Tuesday, January 4, 2011
BOOK REVIEW: Wedding Of The Season by Laura Lee Guhrke
Avon Romance 384 Pages
Dec 28 2010 By Laura Lee Guhrke
BLURB ON BACK OF BOOK:
Abandoned at the altar . . .
Lady Beatrix Danbury had always known she would marry William Mallory. She'd loved him forever and she'd never doubted he loved her, too. But when she made him choose between their life together or his lifelong dream, Will chose the latter . . . and left two weeks before their wedding.
Return of the duke . . .
Will has no illusions that Beatrix would welcome him back with open arms, but six years did not dim his love or desire for her. The only problem is, she's about to marry someone else. Someone safe and predictable . . . the complete opposite of Will. But can he stop the wedding of the season and win Beatrix back, or is it just too late?
I was in a real conundrum over the characters in this novel.
The book begins around 1902, the hero, the Duke of Sunderland is returning to England after a six year absence. We learn the duke, William Mallory, has been in Egypt part of an archeological dig to find King Tut.
And six years ago, he left the heroine, Lady Beatrix Danbury at the altar as such. He chose Egypt and adventure over her. At least, that is how Beatrix sees it.
They meet on the road, Will on horseback, Beatrix in a Daimler Auto. The vehicle startles the horse, and Will is tossed on the ground.
Will sees their breakup in a different light. In his mind, Beatrix chose her father and comfort over him. Will is arrogant in their conversation, so much so, if it were me in the car, I would have backed up over his leg for good measure. Beatrix leaves him on the road with his injured leg, good for her.
Beatrix was devastated with Will's choice six years ago, she was an emotional mess for over five of those years. Now engaged to the Duke of Trathern, Will's return is messing up her plans, and her emotions.
I have to admit, Will was hard to like. Singular in his purpose, he has already blown through his inheritance on the excavations in Egypt. He comes across as a selfish, willful and thoughtless man. I didn't hold much hope for him. He is home to find a new sponsor, and more money. And to irritate Trix at every turn. Arguing is apparently something they have always done since they were children, part of the attraction I suppose. But I personally lose patience with constant sniping between the hero and heroine in any story, and I was starting to lose patience here.
The more I read, however, the more I got caught up in the dynamics of the couple. Will's needling and sarcasm is really to hide his broken heart. Trix also is hiding her hurt, while it is obvious they are still attracted to each other, something between them has been irrevocably smashed, trust. Trust is really at the heart of this story.
I found I got annoyed at both Beatrix and Will either separately or at the same time. Both are stubborn and determined to stand fast in their conviction that the other person, is wrong.
But, I kept reading. It is credit to Laura Lee Guhrke storytelling talent that I actually began to care what happened to this couple. And wonder, how they will ever bridge the yawning chasm in front of them?
Some genuine tender moments between the two, and a big romantic ending that is timeless in its execution. I also warmed up to Will, once he spoke to his heart. How could Beatrix resist? I couldn't. A wonderfully frustrating read, but the romance is heartfelt and real.
3 out of 4 Stars for the book