An Infamous Marriage by Susanna Fraser
Publisher: Carina Press
Review Source: NetGalley
Release Date: November 5, 2012
My Rating: 4.5/5
At long last, Britain is at peace, and General Jack Armstrong is coming home to the wife he barely knows. Wed for mutual convenience, their union unconsummated, the couple has exchanged only cold, dutiful letters. With no more wars to fight, Jack is ready to attempt a peace treaty of his own.
Elizabeth Armstrong is on the warpath. She never expected fidelity from the husband she knew for only a week, but his scandalous exploits have made her the object of pity for years. Now that he’s back, she has no intention of sharing her bed with him—or providing him with an heir—unless he can earn her forgiveness. No matter what feelings he ignites within her…
Jack is not expecting a spirited, confident woman in place of the meek girl he left behind. As his desire intensifies, he wants much more than a marriage in name only. But winning his wife’s love may be the greatest battle he’s faced yet.
I received this book free from NetGalley for an honest review.
I need to tell you that I usually do not like historical romance, but I absolutely loved this one.
It’s well written both the romance and the military aspects. I fell right into it. Read it straight through and got to bed around 3 a.m.
Jack is a soldier that is rarely home. On one of his rare trips back home he makes a deathbed promise that nets him a wife. A wife he doesn’t want or find attractive in any way. He leaves the country days after the hastily arranged wedding without consummating the marriage. Jack reasons that he doesn’t want to leave his new bride pregnant on top of all the other responsibilities she’s inherited as his wife. In the first part of the book Jack comes across as a selfish boy who gets and does as he wants without regard to others. OK maybe he is that way. After his return home 5 yrs. later due to peace he discovers his wife is strong, attractive and pissed off. He’s shocked that he could be drawn to the “mouse” he married. Except she isn’t the mouse he thought. Jack is made aware of the hurt and humiliation his actions caused his wife. As a result I was left with the impression that he grew up quickly and is truly remorseful and ashamed of his behavior. Jack spends the rest of the book trying to make it up to his wife and falling more in love with her.
Elizabeth doesn’t want to marry Jack or be a soldier’s wife, but she made the same promise as Jack. She is both relieved and surprisingly disappointed when the marriage isn’t consummated before Jack leaves for Canada. Elizabeth’s time is spent helping to care for Jack’s ill mother, taking care of the home and managing the farm. As the years pass she realizes she’s falling in love with her husband through the letters they exchange. When Jack’s mother passes away she is visited by a woman who, I believe, is evil through and through. Elizabeth is told of all of Jack’s infidelities by this viper. Now Elizabeth isn’t surprised Jack had affairs, just that he was SO indiscreet about it. At this point, 3 yrs. after wedding, Elizabeth hardens her heart toward her husband and her letters become cold and distant. She is humiliated and removes herself from society for the most part.
It’s the interaction between them after Jack returns home that’s the best part of this book. I got to see Jack grow up and realize his actions do have consequences. Elizabeth deals with her hurt, she doesn’t just let him off the hook, and she grows as well. Elizabeth grows in self-esteem and confidence. They truly do love each other. Then Jack does something really stupid that they have to deal with.
This is a sweet love story with some hurt and feelings of betrayal. What I really liked was the lack of angst. Not that there wasn’t any, it just wasn’t overwhelming. The story was of love and focused on it.
An Infamous Marriage is a 4.5 star read for me.