young lady entertains a sudden proposal of marriage-to a man she’s only just
before offers his hand in marriage? Lady Sophronia Bettesford doesn’t scream
and run away. Instead, she accepts the shocking proposition. After all, what’s
her other choice? To live with her cousin, caring for six children and a
barnyard full of chickens?
never to settle down. He’s faced danger and disaster…he fears nothing and no
one except his mother and her matchmaking ways. So when ordered to attend a
Christmastime house party filled with holiday cheer and simpering young misses,
he produces a fiancée!
for one month. But when they each promise to give each other a Christmas kiss
it becomes clear that this pact made out of necessity might just be turning
Sophronia Bettesford’s late father was not skilled with figures or management, so his untimely death left her with no legacy and no provision. As Sophronia is about to board a coach to her cousin’s home, where she will live on his charity while caring for his children and his chickens, a handsome man approaches her and asks her to marry him. James Archer didn’t mean for his proposition to come out the way it did, and he quickly explains that he needs a temporary fiancée. His mother has arranged for several unmarried young ladies to attend the same houseparty as James, and he wants to be sure he’s not trapped into a real engagement. James is willing to provide a small cottage for Sophronia if she will agree to the masquerade. Since this sounds way more appealing than chickens, she agrees.
James loves his mother dearly, but he suffers from wanderlust. He can’t stay in the same place for long, or he starts to feel suffocated. He recalls his childhood, and his father, who was just like him, but gave up travelling to please his mother. James is determined not to give up the dream. On the other hand, the thought of a stable home sounds like heaven to Sophronia.
Aside from being very attractive, James is also charming, witty and flirtatious. He finds himself becoming very fond of his pretend fiancée, even if she won’t allow him to call her Sophy. Soon stolen kisses become the real deal , and this couple finds themselves falling in love. But how can James convince Sophy that his affection is real, and he’s just not doing the right thing? Author Megan Frampton handles that very cleverly.
James and Sophy are very engaging characters, who are very well matched. I liked both of them immediately. The secondary characters also add a lot of comic relief and interest. This novella is fun, light hearted, and an entertaining short read. If you’re in the mood for angst or serious drama, save this for another time. But if you want lighter fare that leaves you smiling throughout, No Groom at the Inn is the perfect choice.