Reviewed by May
Cecilia Harcourt is now an orphan, her cousin is odious and taking over the home she’s always known, and now her brother Thomas is missing on the battlefront in the Colonies. What is a girl to do? Why jump the first boat over and when she finds her brother’s friend Edward Rokesby unconscious in the hospital but no sign of her brother – pretend she is his wife! Staying by his side and caring for him is helping her as she tries desperately to get any information about her brother and his whereabouts.
When Edward wakes up he finds himself with some memory loss… but wouldn’t he remember having a wife?
She met his eyes with solomn respect. “You are a good man, Edward Rokesby.”
For a moment he looked almost surprised by the compliment, and then he blushed, although it was mostly obscured by his beard. She dipped her chin to hide her smile. He’d not be able to hide behind his whiskers for long.
Cecilia decides not to tell him they aren’t married as she has claimed, or explain her actions. The pair did correspond for quite some time through her brother so it isn’t as though they are total strangers either. They had quite a rapport building up, and in fact we get to see this through snippets of those letters.
There are a few things I really liked about this story. First of all, we are given enough to believe the quick “strangers to married” story because of the correspondence, and by sharing bits of that sprinkled through the story it lets us see the early relationship without being tedious or slow.
The second thing I really like is the setting, and that it shows them going through hardships, frustration, and nothing being easy. In these times and in a place of war it wouldn’t have been easy! It would have taken days, if not weeks for things. Resources would be scarce. And sometimes you wouldn’t have been able to get answers at all.
The final thing that I really enjoyed is that both of these characters are such good people. The kind of people you could ask a favor of, the kind you’d want as a neighbor or a friend. This is the best part of the story for me, as you could see how the series of events led them to each other, and why they’ll be such a blissfully matched couple.
This is not to say the story is without flaws- without giving spoilers there were some elements of the plot that I simply did not enjoy or agree with. I also had issue with the whole “Bridgerton” tie in as it felt exceptionally forced into the tale. Cecilia’s concerns and even mild jealousy of the Bridgerton girl everyone assumed Edward would marry didn’t quite work for me.
Complaints aside – this is one of the better Quinn novels in recent years, and I hope to continue finding many more of her stories to read in the future.