Review – The Inconvenient Elmswood Marriage by Marguerite Kaye

About the Book:

Their marriage was a solution…

Until passion turns it into a problem!

Part of Penniless Brides of Convenience. Lord and Lady Elmswood’s convenient marriage has allowed them to live separate lives for years. Until larger-than-life Daniel almost dies and Kate must nurse the husband she barely knows back to health…and discovers how maddeningly attractive he is! With the clock ticking on his departure, they disagree on everything—except the impossibility of resisting each other!

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:                                        The Inconvenient Elmswood Marriage

My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

The Penniless Brides of Convenience series is the story of three orphaned sisters who come to live with their Uncle Daniel’s convenient wife, Kate.  In the previous three books, each of the sisters has also made a convenient marriage which turned into a love match.  Each of those three books easily stands alone, but a common thread in each story was their aunt by marriage, Kate, who seems vastly content to have lived apart from Daniel for ten years.  I was intrigued by Kate, wondering about the circumstances which led to such an irregular arrangement.

Kate Wilson is the daughter of the estate manager for Daniel’s late father.  As her father became ill, she secretly assumed his duties, little by little, until she was basically fulfilling the job of estate manager.  When Daniel returns home after his father’s death, Kate explains the situation to him.  Daniel can see that she is equal to the task, and offers her the position of estate manager officially.  Knowing that Daniel will not be in residence, and that her father will soon pass away, she feels that she would be unable to maintain authority.  Kate surprises Daniel with an alternate proposal.

Daniel despises the estate where he grew up, and he isn’t mourning his father.  If he could, he would reject the title he’s now inherited, but at least he chooses not to use it.  The funeral can’t occur soon enough for him, so he can leave this place and return to his secret career of spying, under the cover of being a world explorer.  He’s content to leave the management in Kate’s hands, but her rejection of his offer, and her counter proposal of a marriage of convenience actually makes sense.  It will allow Kate a permanent home, with full authority, and keep the estate profitable for whoever the distant heir may be.  Since Daniel never intends to marry, and will always be away, he sees no reason not to go ahead with the marriage.

Eleven years have passed, and Kate is now thirty three years old, and she’s still content with the arrangement.  Two visitors appear unexpectedly one day, bringing news of Daniel, who is seriously ill.  Unknown to Kate, one of those men, Sir Marcus, is actually Daniel’s superior.  He convinces Kate that it’s necessary for her to travel to Cyprus to meet Daniel, and accompany him home, where he’ll need substantial time to recover.  Kate agrees, and nurses a feverish and injured Daniel all the way home.  As he slowly begins to convalesce, he becomes very antsy to leave this dreaded estate and return to his career.  Sir Marcus, however, has other plans, insisting that Daniel recuperate and play the role of lord of the manor for three months.

Daniel has no choice but to follow Sir Marcus’s orders, though he loathes the role he has to play for the near future.  Thus far he has kept a friendly and polite, if distant, relationship with Kate, though he does appreciate her efforts in nursing him back to health.  Now they’ll be forced to be more in each other’s company, as well as socially active.  Though becoming aware of her attractiveness, Daniel is determined to keep emotionally distant from Kate.  Life has taught him hard lessons about forming close relationships and what repercussions caring for someone else can cause.

I have to say that Daniel is truly one of the most self contained men I have read about.  His very essence is to have no ties and no feelings.  Though Kate tries her best to break through his walls, he continues to shut her out.  Eventually they give in to physical attraction, but Daniel recognizes a weakening of his resolve, and decides to stop even physical intimacy.  Kate has somehow managed to fall in love with this cold and distant man, though he makes no secret of the fact that he will be leaving just as soon as he is able.  When his marching orders come, he is immediately ready to go.

It is so hard to imagine Daniel changing his mind.  He has always felt that he knew exactly who he was, but the truth was just the opposite.  His past took him to a career where he played any role required of him, but in the process, he lost himself.  Will he ever find that man and allow him to live a life that’s his own, and one that contains the things he truly wants?  THE INCONVENIENT ELMSWOOD MARRIAGE is an excellent and well written story, but one that is truly heartbreaking to read.  It’s also one that I heartily recommend to readers who really want to sink their teeth into a deeply damaged character, and follow his path to awareness, healing, and love.    ~Rose

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