Everyone has their romance catnip, a trope or plot device that makes it an automatic read for them. One favorite is the rekindled romance with a spouse, often after an estrangement or a marriage by proxy.
In Eloisa James’s The Ugly Duchess, Theo (Theodora) and James have known each other for years, and Theo thought their marriage was one of love. But when she finds that it was purely for her dowry, she escapes London for the Continent, leaving her husband. In response, James leaves as well and sets sail, becoming a notorious pirate. When Theo returns to London, she’s the toast of the Continent—confident in her unusual looks, and distrustful of James. How can he win her back? This is the fourth in James’ fairy tale retellings series.
When Seraphina Bevingstoke appears on the floor of the house of Lords to demand a divorce, it’s unheard of, and that’s just the first chapter of Sarah MacLean’s The Day Of The Duchess. When Sera and Malcolm were caught by her mother, in order to save her reputation, they married. But Malcolm was convinced that it was a set-up, and became more and more resentful of Sera. When tragedy struck, she left. But now Malcolm needs an heir, and Sera’s reappeared to help him find a new wife, but as he remembers why he once loved her, his goals change. This is the third in MacLean’s Scandal & Scoundrel series, inspired by contemporary celebrity gossip.
Sherry Thomas is a sure bet for angst-ridden romances with happy endings, and Ravishing the Heiress is no exception. Millicent has been betrothed to Fitzhugh for years, her family’s new money helping save his estate, and giving her family the social cachet of marrying into a title. The deal they’ve agreed upon is that once they conceive and birth an heir, Fitzhugh will be able to embark on a relationship with his childhood love, and Millie will be free to do as she pleases. But in the eight years of their marriage, they’ve developed a deep friendship, and Millie realizes she’s in love with a man in love with someone else. When Fitzhugh’s chance comes, will he choose Isabelle, his lost love, or will he realize that Millie is more than just a friend?
Courtney Milan’s Trial by Desire is the story of Ned and Kate. Married but separated for years by Ned’s travel, they’ve grown apart. Kate has the image of a spoiled, flighty shopaholic, one that she cultivates as a front for her true calling, rescuing abused women. Ned has been abroad for business, but in that time, he’s been struck by massive depressive episodes, ones that he could only wait to end. When he returns to England, Kate doesn’t know if she can trust the man she once loved, and Ned doesn’t know if he can trust himself, either. This book explores the internal and external effects of depression with remarkable skill, as well as the legal bindings women were under in the 1800s.
~posted by Jessica W.