About the Book:
To officer’s wife
With a scandal in her past, shopkeeper Henrietta Gardiner has become wary of men, including her friend’s brother, dashing officer Sebastian Fortini. When Henrietta is called upon to take in her three young nephews, Sebastian is on hand to help her, even offering a convenient marriage as a solution! Henrietta starts to realize her new husband’s carefree exterior hides a more intriguing interior…but where will that leave their hasty marriage?
Sebastian Fortini has returned home from his five year career as a naval officer. The last year has been a precarious one, and he was unable to receive or send any correspondence to his family. Thus, he is unaware that his sister has married and has left the family bakery in the capable hands of Henrietta Gardiner. Sebastian arrives late and attempts to quietly enter, hoping to catch some sleep without waking (he thinks) his family. Unfortunately, Henrietta believes him to be an intruder, and manages to whack him soundly with the door, while preparing to defend herself and the shop. After they manage to get everything sorted out, Henrietta offers Sebastian a place to sleep for the night, and they agree to talk again in the morning.
Sebastian is at loose ends with his career over, as he had planned to assist his sister and mother in the bakery. He decides to stay in town for a while, before he goes off to visit his sister, her new husband, and his mother. He spends a lot of time with Henrietta, and they get along very well after Sebastian learns that she doesn’t take kindly to compliments about her physical beauty. Henrietta has been burned twice, having lost previous employment due to men being smitten with her looks. Though she’s uncommonly lovely, Henrietta sometimes wishes she were plain. She has learned to quickly freeze out any man who shows a sign of flirtatiousness, but has come to count Sebastian as a friend, and, therefore, safe.
Sebastian finds himself continuing to linger in town, and he knows it’s because of Henrietta. When her brother has a crisis, leaving his three young sons in her care, Sebastian steps up to help. His experience in the navy seems to have conditioned Sebastian to have the right touch with the boys, a balance of discipline and fun. UNEXPECTEDLY WED TO THE OFFICER is really a simple love story about two young people who are falling in love, but have to face their own doubts and life situations. Henrietta has built some walls around herself after her previous experiences, but she slowly learns to trust Sebastian, and to let down her guard. Sebastian has to come to terms with whether he’s ready to make a commitment, and what he wants to do for his future. They both have to deal with family issues as they travel from friendship to love. UNEXPECTEDLY WED TO THE OFFICER, without being paced too slowly, felt like a warm and comforting read, one that should appeal to readers who enjoy getting to know their characters in detail, and also those who enjoy friends to lovers. ~Rose