A very practical marriage makes Alexander Westcott question his heart in the latest Regency romance from the New York Times bestselling author of Someone to Hold.
When Alexander Westcott becomes the new Earl of Riverdale, he inherits a title he never wanted and a failing country estate he can’t afford. But he fully intends to do everything in his power to undo years of neglect and give the people who depend on him a better life. . . .
A recluse for more than twenty years, Wren Heyden wants one thing out of life: marriage. With her vast fortune, she sets her sights on buying a husband. But when she makes the desperate—and oh-so-dashing—earl a startlingly unexpected proposal, Alex will only agree to a proper courtship, hoping for at least friendship and respect to develop between them. He is totally unprepared for the desire that overwhelms him when Wren finally lifts the veils that hide the secrets of her past. . . .
He needs a rich wife; she needs a husband to look past her flaw. Can they make it work? I loved the set up for this marriage of convenience scenario for Alex Westcott and the enigmatic Wren Heyden. If anyone knows how to bring two unsure, hurting and even slightly hostile strangers together and convince me they are The One, its the clever pen of Mary Balogh.
Someone to Wed is book three in the Westcott series that begins with a startling chain of events that is still rippling outward to encompass each member of the Westcott family. I suppose this one can be read out of order in a pinch, but the premise behind Alex’s situation and all the history of his family make much more sense when the books are gotten to in order.
Alex is an honorable, dutiful man who’s been handed a bum deal not once, but twice. If he wishes to do the right thing by the people relying on him, he must sacrifice his own dreams and needs and take a rich wife sooner rather than later. Wren’s seeming cold, calculating offer sends him reeling, but not half as much as her icy inner pain that he can see when she lifts the veil. She thinks her facial blemish is holding her back, but Alex looks her in the eye and tells her truly that it is the blemish on her soul that keeps people back.
Their slow progress to respect, understanding, liking, and more is painful and agonizing. Wren must go from being a near recluse and peel back her abrasive shell that protects her from the potential of people being disgusted by her. I appreciated how the author made her unlikable in the beginning, but still with a touch of something that kept me rooting for her and reading on until I did start to warm to her right along with Alex. My heart broke for her when her secrets finally came out. Alex had stood stalwart and loyal to her from the beginning, but this wonderful, amazing man had me in love with him when he worked to heal and restore Wren through tenderness and affection. He always saw her as beautiful even when she hid behind her cold, harsh facade.
Someone to Wed requires patience for it to unwind and reveal its romance and character growth. It carries along the story of all the Westcotts with Alex getting the limelight. I continue to be impressed with the series that focuses on how one man’s terrible choices are affecting so many and how they find a way to make it work for them. I can’t wait to get to the next installment in the series which I strongly recommend to those who like gently paced, in depth historical romance.
My thanks to Penguin for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
New Release #199
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