Welcome to my stop on the Not Quite a Wife book tour! I hope you enjoy my review and visit the other stops on the tour and of course, enter to win one of three Print Copies of NOT QUITE A WIFE
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Format: .mobi (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Marry in haste, repent at leisure.
James, Lord Kirkland, owns a shipping fleet, half a London gaming house, and is a ruthlessly effective spymaster. He is seldom self-indulgent. . .except when it comes to the gentle, indomitable beauty who was once his wife.
Laurel Herbert gave James her heart as an innocent young girl--until she saw him perform an act of shocking violence before her very eyes. That night she left her husband, and he let her go without a word of protest.
Now, ten years later, a chance encounter turns passionate, with consequences that cannot be ignored. But as they try to rebuild what was broken, they must face common enemies and a very uncommon love. . ..
A second chance love story between an estranged couple is something to smile about.
Spymaster James, Lord Kirkland has always done his duty to his country without question. He’s gone on missions, routed out traitors and even killed when it is necessary. But the last action cost him something that he valued above everything else: His wife.
Horrified by her husband’s actions, Laurel walked away from her him, determined to start a new life somewhere where she wasn’t reminded of the violence he was capable of.
Ten years later, after a chance meeting leads to a moment of passion, James and Laurel find themselves having to face the consequences of not keeping their hands off one another. They’re forced to try and rebuild a relationship again all while facing enemies that wouldn’t blink twice at taking away their second chance at love.
I’ve read this series from the beginning and was highly anticipating this particular book. James and Laurel had a lot of unfinished business between them. The love that James had for Laurel was obvious and to me, very selfless. He let Laurel go before because he understood how she felt even if he didn't agree with her but most of all he wanted her to be happy no matter what. He’s a noble man with good intentions and I fell in love with him more and more as the story went on.
There was a bit of focus on some issues that were prevalent at the time which I also found very interesting. Slavery and women’s shelters particularly caught my interest. As a secondary character, Violet didn’t have many scenes but she does her job highlighting how far reaching slavery was and how difficult it was for slaves to find freedom, even in Britain. Then there was the fact that Laurel and her brother ran a women’s shelter. In a time where a woman was considered a man’s property to do with as he pleased, I loved that Not Quite a Wife showed a crucial turning point in the fight against domestic abuse by including a women’s shelter in the story as well as showcasing how it was for these women and their children, living in fear of not only their husbands, but the law that said their place was beside those violent men, no matter what. Not Quite a Wife had a touch of realism in it with these two issues and I would like to see author Mary Jo Putney explore them more in her upcoming books.
Now for what I didn’t enjoy quite so much. I’m not a fan of the “consequences that cannot be ignored” trope at all for one big reason: How can a couple determine if they’re getting back together because they truly love one another or if it’s just because of those consequences? That’s always going to be on my mind no matter how many passionate encounters, declarations of love or near death experiences one or both characters have. It was too difficult to overlook that James and Laurel spent 10 years apart and now because of a “passionate encounter with consequences”, they’re forced to try and work things out and then discover that there’s still something between them? Yeah, not something that worked well for me here. It felt forced, like that was the only reason those two could ever be together.
Then there was Laurel. How could someone who works in both and infirmary AND a women’s shelter be so clueless, naïve and have such a black and white view of the world? She was judgmental to the extreme and a hypocrite. She’s so keen on doing good and being an example of a good person, yet she plays judge, jury and executioner with her. She doesn’t bother to take into account that he’s a good person, not perfect but good and that without people like him, the world would be a lot more dangerous than she has already seen.
Final Verdict: Not Quite a Wife did fall short of my personal expectations but it was by no means a bad book. I enjoyed quite a bit of the story, especially the inclusion of Laurel’s brother, whom I’m hoping gets a book of his own soon. I'm going to eagerly wait for the next book in this series.
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