Monday, 16 January 2017

An Uncommon Courtship (Hawthorn House Series) – Kristi Ann Hunter

When Lord Trent Hawthorne stopped to investigate the singing he heard from abandoned ruins, the last thing he expected was to spend a night with the woman seemingly trapped there and least of all to propose to her soon after 'escaping'.

It wasn't his intention to marry Adelaide, but he didn't want her reputation to become a disgrace. Trent has a carefree life – after all he’s not going to inherit the title of ‘Duke'. (Thankfully that honor and serious job fell to his big brother Griffith.)

Adelaide Bell, middle daughter of Lord and Lady Crampton was used to being ignored. Her mother lavished all of her attention on her elder sister Helena. So, when confronted with the prospect of a loveless marriage, she simply went along with it, as she did with most things whilst growing up.

Moving to Trent’s London home, is a completely new and almost unnerving experience for Adelaide. Although, her new husband refers to the residence as ‘theirs’, she still feels a stranger in her ‘home’, especially with the familiarity of the staff – something her mother would never have stood for.

In a bid to make the marriage work, Trent suggests a scheme that he hopes will rectify a difficult situation. However, the ‘ton’ are renowned for gossip and the unexpected marriage of the Duke of Riverton’s younger brother is a source most fruitful.

And then Trent’s mother finally hears of the news. Lady Blackstone is astounded at her son’s behavior and knowing what Adelaide’s mother is like, takes the young inexperienced (with London society) under her wing.

Will this marriage of responsibility turn into one filled with understanding, compassion and love? And with a scheming mother who is still looking out for her eldest daughter, can Adelaide truly be happy with life and it's expectations?

Whilst a robust novel, I found the first few chapters almost repetitive in that the main characters were both foisted into a marriage that neither wanted. Both wanted to be in a union that was based on love. However, once past this, the development of these characters and their circumstances is rich and absorbing.

There are touches of humor throughout and whilst part of series, it still read well as a standalone novel. Descriptions of London and it's High Society, as well as the hierarchy, are detailed with being laborious. Some may find the reference to the consummation of their marriage too much for a novel such as this but it is done tastefully and is something I would expect in a 'marriage of convenience'.

Overall, I enjoyed this regency romance and am glad to have discovered Hunter. I am looking forward to backtracking and reading the first few books in what I'm sure is an enjoyable series. A recommended read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, as part of their blogging program in exchange for a review. The opinions expressed are my own and I am not required to give a positive critique.

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