Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck by Kathleen Y’Barbo

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck by Kathleen Y’Barbo. Waterbrook Press, 2011. 342p. Series: The Women of the West #3 (9780307729644)

It’s never a good idea for me to start a book after midnight…or later. I just don’t like stopping in the middle of a book. I got this book as a free ebook from the publisher and thus was reading it on my laptop in bed. So I did contemplate stopping once my laptop battery got really low. But that didn’t happen. Instead I stretched the power cord across the room and finished the story.

Charlotte Beck is an American heiress who is making her London debut under the watchful and caring eyes of her stepmother, uncle and grandfather. And Colonel William F. Cody. A family friend who had recently brought his Wild West show to London.

Unfortunately Charlotte, a willful and creative girl, has a knack for getting into trouble and a lot of the trouble seems to stem from her interactions with Viscount Alex Hambly. Although the society shocking stunt during Colonel Cody’s show was entirely her own fault.

The Hamblys have their title, lands, family heirlooms and jewels but very little money. Alex does not wish to marry but is forced to realize that he must find a rich wife if he hopes to keep his mother comfortable and uphold the family honor.

When Charlotte and Alex happen to meet again in Denver, Colorado, Mr. Beck is confirmed in his suspicions that Alex gives as good as he gets and doesn’t let Charlotte get her way completely. Mr. Beck loves his daughter and wants to see her settled in a good marriage. Mr. Beck is persistent and shrewd. He knows Alex needs money and Charlotte wants to go to college, and he has the ability and power to fulfill both. All he wants in exchange is for the two to get married after Charlotte graduates.

This is book three in The Women of the West series and I have not read the other two. There were a few things that were not fully explained that might have been clearer had I read the others, but I think each book can probably stand on its own.

I really enjoyed the dialog between Alex and Charlotte, their interactions are always entertaining. Although I had hoped Charlotte would be a bit more mature and less selfish after college. Mr. Beck would seem quite tyrannical if it weren’t for the obvious fact that he dearly loved his daughter, that he was quite certain that the marriage was the Lord’s will, and that Alex and Charlotte are well suited.

One thing that bothered me though, was that both Mr. Beck and Alex claimed to be “praying men” but I can’t remember either of them ever praying. This is supposedly a Christian historical fiction romance but there is nothing about Christ or Christianity in the book. Just “faith” – a very generic word that the author didn’t elaborate on. Perhaps I was just expecting more after reading Sabrina by Lori Wick. It is a clean read for the most part – there are several kisses (before and after the marriage) and caresses (after the wedding).

Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher through the Blogging for Books book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission.

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