Series: Marriage of Convenience #1
Published by Berkley on May 2, 2017
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Romance
Source: My own copy
Amazon • Goodreads
Major Calbourne Rutherford returns to England on the trail of an assassin, only to find he’s become Lord Ashendon, with the responsibility for vast estates and dependent relatives. Cal can command the toughest of men, but his wild half-sisters are quite another matter. They might just be his undoing.
When he discovers that Miss Emmaline Westwood, the girls’ former teacher, guides them with ease, Cal offers her a marriage of convenience. But strong-minded and independent Emm is neither as compliant nor as proper as he expected, and Cal finds himself most inconveniently seduced by his convenient wife.
Emm knows they didn’t marry for love, yet beneath her husband’s austere façade, she catches glimpses of a man who takes her breath away. As pride, duty and passion clash, will these two stubborn hearts find more than they ever dreamed of?
My thoughts on Marry in Haste:
Marry in Haste is the first in the Marriage of Convenience series, and there are some familiar names from previous series that pop up throughout the course of the story.
Cal – former soldier, home on the trail of an assassin – finds himself in a position he never wanted or expected, that of Lord Ashendon. He also finds himself responsible for the care of his younger half-sisters, and a previously unknown niece. He is definitely a man of his time – expecting things to be a certain way, and for all his plans for his sisters to fall into place so he can go back to searching for the assassin. Of course, these things never do turn out as planned, watching him navigate this new world of his was most amusing.
Emm – former teacher to his headstrong sisters – is making her way without the care and support of her own family (the reason for this is revealed later in the story). She is intelligent, self-aware, and not willing to be walked over like a doormat – traits I love in my heroines.
Cal and Emm’s chemistry is perfect – from their initial stilted meeting, to the hastily arranged marriage, through their growing attraction, and into the growth of both as people because of their connection. I loved that even though Cal and Emm had an immediate physical connection, that wasn’t used as the sole carrier of their relationship – it was what helped them discover each other and what they were really about.
There may not be an instant arrival of their romantic connection, however it was so worth waiting for when it did arrive. The characters were so beautifully developed and their histories (both shared and uncommon) were explained and explored at a perfect pace. I cared more about Cal and Emm, and those around them, because of the way the story was set up.
The thread woven through the story concerning the assassin (The Scorpion) was enthralling, without taking over from the main focus.
I am always excited when I find supporting characters that I adore, and Cal’s sisters Lily and Rose and niece Georgiana are three colourful, interesting women that I just cannot wait to read more about (should that be the way the series heads). Aunt Agatha is everything a starchy old Regency madam should be, and Aunt Dotty is delightful. As always, I have left the spoiler horse back at the stables, but the way in which Emm discovers how much she is cared for and loved is just so good!
Ever since Kate Cuthbert implored me to read Anne Gracie’s magnificent The Perfect Rake at the Romance Writers of Australia conference in 2013, any release of hers has been an automatic purchase for me. There is just something so wonderful about the way in which she transfers her readers back into Regency times and creates couples that linger in your memory long after you’ve turned the final page. I’m most pleased to say that the trend has continued with Marry in Haste.