About the Book:
One stolen night…
…leads to unexpected wedding vows!
Widowed Lady Charlotte Gregory believes she’ll never marry again after losing her husband. Until meeting dashing Lord Andrew Pearce brings her respectable, lonely world back to vibrant life! Left alone one night, they give in to their desires only to find their secret passion leads to shock, scandal…and a sudden marriage of convenience!
Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link: One Week to Wed (The Sommersby Brides)
Lady Charlotte Gregory loved her husband, Jonathan, deeply, and has grieved for him since his death at the battle of Waterloo four years ago. She has no plans to marry again – in fact, she doesn’t believe she is capable of ever loving anyone else. Her quiet life in the country suits her just fine. Then she meets Andrew Pearce, who is visiting her friends, Ann and Toby, and he awakens feelings she never thought to feel again.
Lord Andrew Pearce is the younger brother of the Duke of Winterbourne, and they are both committed agents of the crown. Andrew lives for his assignments, is determined not to form any lasting connections, and is furious when he’s ordered to the countryside of Cheshire for two weeks. Still, he makes the best of it by visiting his friend, Toby. He finds that he’s very attracted to their neighbor and friend, Charlotte, though she’s not the type to indulge in a dalliance.
Yet, when Charlotte and Andrew meet again at a local fair, and are left to their own devices, they give in to the overwhelming desire they feel for each other, neither expecting anything more. Andrew is unnerved at how strong his feelings have become in a short amount of time, and flees back to town the next day, never even telling Charlotte goodbye. Charlotte is hurt at his abrupt departure, but philosophically tells herself that it’s for the best.
Weeks later, Charlotte ventures to town to visit her recently widowed sister, Lizzy, who is relieved to be free of the older man she was forced to marry. For years, Lizzy has secretly desired Andrew, and now that she’s unencumbered, she plans to do everything in her power to have him. Unforeseen circumstances throw Charlotte and Andrew together, and a quick marriage becomes a necessity, though it’s not what either of them desires. This marriage also breaks Lizzy’s heart, and causes her to cut Charlotte from her life, ending their close lifelong relationship.
I like both Charlotte and Andrew very much, though I found them to be overly tenacious about not loving each other– Charlotte out of loyalty to her first husband, and Andrew for not wanting to endanger anyone by his involvement in spying. Andrew plans to live separately from Charlotte after spending some time with her immediately after their wedding to avoid gossip. This brief time together lets them recapture the camaraderie and passion that first drew them to each other, and it seems as though they may have a happy, real marriage after all. A few hastily spoken and unintentionally cruel words put an end to their temporary honeymoon, and Andrew leaves, while Charlotte attempts to carry on living her life as she did before she ever met him.
I found ONE WEEK TO WED to be my favorite of Laurie Benson’s books, thus far. The writing felt smooth and polished and flowed effortlessly. I felt that I really got into the lead character’s minds and got to know them and to understand their motivations. It was interesting how this story was set against a real historical event that became an integral part of the resolution. I loved the passion between Andrew and Charlotte, and how they both came to realize they were in love. I enjoyed the resolution of the conflict between Charlotte and her sister, Lizzy, and it greatly improved my liking for Lizzy, whose brazenness originally rubbed me the wrong way. Now I’m looking forward to her upcoming story in the Sommersby Brides series. All in all, ONE WEEK TO WED is a very satisfying, romantic, and steamy read that I greatly enjoyed and recommend, especially for fans of marriages of convenience – or necessity. ~Rose