A convenient marriage
An inconvenient passion…
His parents’ loveless relationship has left silk merchant Jonathan Harcourt suspicious of marriage. But in order to expand his mill and have an heir, he must marry his neighbour Aurelia Upford. Even more surprising than finding himself with a clever, beautiful society wife is the unexpected passion that flares between them, and the unsettling emotions it leads to. Sharing a bed was part of their arrangement, but can Jonathan risk sharing his heart, too?
When Jonathan Harcourt was twelve years old, and about to head off to school, his mother chose to abscond with him, leaving her volatile marriage behind. They moved to a mill town, where Jonathan began working, starting at the bottom. Thirteen years later, his hard work, along with the sponsorship of the mill owner, has led him to become a full partner, on track to take over completely someday. Due to the sorry state of his parents’ marriage, Jonathan determined that he would remain a bachelor, but his mentor, who has no heirs of his own, strongly suggested that Jonathan should not follow his same path. When Jonathan approaches a local baronet about purchasing some land, the financially strapped gentleman suggests that Jonathan court one of his three daughters.
Aurelia “Lia” Upford is the daughter of a baronet, and is currently nursing a broken heart and wounded pride. It turns out the man she was romantically involved with had been engaged to another. Lia meets Jonathan, and decides that if he chooses her to court, a convenient marriage may not be a bad thing. It will allow her to have her own home and children, with no messy emotions involved. When Jonathan finally chooses Lia over her more beautiful sister, she agrees to the marriage.
Jonathan and Lia begin their life together as friends, of a sort. Though they are both aware that they will eventually have to have physical contact to produce that heir, neither has a great deal of experience. They are both surprised by the immediate desire they feel for one another, and soon are sharing passionate encounters, with each determined to feel nothing more. Still, love has a way of creeping in unexpectedly.
THE SILK MERCHANT’S CONVENIENT WIFE is a warm and engaging story of two people who have been wounded by life, though in different ways. They have to overcome their own reluctance to love, as well as other circumstances which add some bumps in their road to a happy future. I liked both of these characters, and enjoyed the gently paced romance, which will appeal to readers who appreciate a character driven story and a marriage of convenience leading to a lasting love. ~Rose