Series: Millworth Manor #4
Published by Zebra Books on October 28th 2014
Genres: Historical Romance
Source: the publisher through NetGalley
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Also in this series: The Daring Exploits of a Runaway Heiress
Also by this author: The Daring Exploits of a Runaway Heiress
The bride and groom cordially request your presence for a wedding at Millworth Manor. . .Guests will include Jackson Quincy Graham Channing, New York City banker, and Lady Theodosia "Teddy" Winslow, wedding planner to the finest families in England. Introductions shall be followed by light conversation, dancing, flirtation, arguing, reconciliation, and an impulsive kiss that both parties are quite certain they will never repeat. Until they do. A mutually beneficial fake engagement will be accompanied by all manner of very real complications, scandalous revelations, nefarious schemes, and one inescapable conclusion: That true love--unlike the perfect wedding--is impossible to plan. . .
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
I can’t think why I don’t read Victoria Alexander more often. Her 19th-century historical romances are usually fun and often funny, and I almost always enjoy them. The Shocking Secret of a Guest at the Wedding is no exception.
Theodosia (Teddy) is a typical Alexander heroine: independent, spirited, and intelligent, even witty. I admired and liked her, though she is perhaps a bit too independent and stubborn for her own good on occasion. Jack I liked even more. He’s the grandson of a banker, raised to be a banker, but there’s an adventurer and a hero lurking behind the conservative, sensible persona he presents at first – and it’s as much a surprise to Jack as to anyone else. The two of them are well-matched, and there’s fairly good chemistry between them, but barring a few kissing scenes and one somewhat steamy encounter, the book is more about the two main characters’ discovery of themselves and each other than about the physical side of their relationship.
I haven’t read the previous books in the Millworth Manor series (this is book #4), but that was no problem – I was able to follow the storyline and get up to speed on recurring characters without any problem. I’ll probably hunt down the other books in the series, though; there are references to humorously rocky courtships of several of Jack’s Channing cousins, and I’m curious!
The plot does rely on two rather timeworn tropes: the long-lost heir and the heroine forced to make her own way in the world. Alexander treats both with humor, warmth, charm, and a certain amount of originality, particularly in Jack’s case. And the ending (before the epilogue) came as a bit of a surprise. Perhaps it shouldn’t have, since it’s completely in character, but I was a little taken aback. . . so make sure you read the epilogue.
The book is set before and during Christmas, but it’s not really a seasonal read, because the events could easily have been set at any other time of the year. Nonetheless, I found it a diverting and enjoyable book for the first week of my Christmas holiday. I hope you enjoy it, too!