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Monday, May 8, 2017

Review: Marry in Haste by Anne Gracie

I have been on a huge historical romance kick these past few months! Anne Gracie is a new-to-me author that I am SOOOO glad I picked up. I do have to thank Anna from Herding Cats and Burning Soup for the recommendation though.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: May 2, 2017

Major Calbourne Rutherford returns to England on the trail of an assassin, only to find he’s become Lord Ashendon, with the responsibility for vast estates and dependent relatives. Cal can command the toughest of men, but his wild half-sisters are quite another matter. They might just be his undoing.

When he discovers that Miss Emmaline Westwood, the girls’ former teacher, guides them with ease, Cal offers her a marriage of convenience. But strong-minded and independent Emm is neither as compliant nor as proper as he expected, and Cal finds himself most inconveniently seduced by his convenient wife.

Emm knows they didn’t marry for love, yet beneath her husband’s austere facade, she catches glimpses of a man who takes her breath away. As pride, duty and passion clash, will these two stubborn hearts find more than they ever dreamed of?





What’s it About? Calbourne Rutherford is tracking an assassin and the trail leads him back home to London where he is surprised to learn that he is now Lord Ashendon. An even bigger surprise to Cal is finding out he also has to help care for his half sisters who are used to running around and doing whatever they please! Then by chance he happens to witness the efficient way his sisters' former teacher, Emmaline Westwood handles their rebellious behavior and Cal is quick to offer Emm a job, which she quickly declines. Over and over again Cal tries to convince her to help him but when Emm refuses all of his offers of employment he becomes desperate and instead proposes a marriage of convenience which Emm agrees to. Of course convenience goes right out the window when Cal and Emm realize they have an undeniable chemistry and Emm decides to do more than just help Cal's sisters learn to be ladies.


Overall reaction to the story? It's been a while since a new-to-me author made me feel warm and fuzzy all while laughing like a dork at the characters' antics. What's more surprising to me is that it is a historical romance that made me feel like this. Marry in Haste delivers a marriage of convenience romance between two utterly charming characters and invites a small gaggle of hilarious characters to add an extra dose of humor. I am in love with Anne Gracie's engaging way of telling a story!


Describe the hero in five words: Valiant. Intelligent. Caring. Stubborn. Fun.
Did you like him? Total book boyfriend material.
Why? Cal is a reluctant peer but he's a responsible one. I loved how he behaved with his half sisters from the very start. He is bewildered at first, then baffled when his stern military attitude doesn't intimidate Rose and Lily. His inability to get them under control was entertaining and endearing at the same time. Cal is definitely a leader but I loved that he wasn't the type of hero that everyone bowed down to. The fact that two young women like his sisters challenged and bested him at times and left him wondering just what the heck he had gotten himself into. Cal wasn't used to having warm and fuzzy feelings either but he didn't spend most of the book fighting his growing feelings for his very unique family. He was kind even when he was scolding them, never resorting to using his gender to scare them into submission. I adored this character.


Describe the heroine in five words: Brave. Strong. Intelligent. Kind. Determined.
Did you like her? Yes!
Why? Emm is a definite underdog in the story. She doesn't have a title, isn't drop dead gorgeous, and has no family save for the girls she teaches. However her appeal is in her personality. Emm's determination to do things on her terms and to never allow her choices to be taken away from her is what drew me to her as a character. I live for unconventional heroines like her and she never disappointed. Emm may not have been as obvious in her rebellion as Cal's sisters but her strength was apparent in every interaction she had with Cal, his sisters, and anyone else she encountered. Even when she was at her most vulnerable, Emm was a survivor. I loved her.


Let’s talk about the romance: The romantic aspect of Marry in Haste was a bit different than I expected. Cal and Emm don't meet right away, in fact the first half of the story is mainly about Cal's combatative relationship with his sisters and his work trying to catch an assassin. I didn't mind though as author Anne Gracie kept me delightfully entertained with these three as well as a surprise addition to Cal"s family that no one expected. When Cal and Emm did meet and eventually marry, the romance progresses fairly quickly but I felt that some of the important bits happened "off page" thus making their romance feel almost like an insta-love thing when it actually isn't. A little more attention to the development of their relationship would have really made the romance feel more genuine. I did love the way Cal was gentle and understanding with Emm and how she made him feel safe emotionally and showed him how to be the head of a misfit family.


How about that supporting cast? Here is where I have to give huge props to Anne Gracie, her supporting characters really rocked! The women in Cal's care are unconventional to say the least, they're wild, unruly, a bit selfish, but completely likable. I sympathized with them even as I wanted to strangle them for their recklessness. They're not children but they're not adults either and can be forgiven because of that. I hope that they all get their own stories because with some maturity and guidance, they will definitely become memorable heroines. In the meantime they"re just finding their feet now that they have someone who does care for them.

Click It or Skip It? Click It! Anne Gracie's superb storytelling should not be missed!



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