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Her Sudden Groom

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Book reviewed by Valarie Pelissero

Baron Watson and Lord Sinclair had been best friends for years so when Lord Sinclair has a daughter it is only natural that the two lifelong friends want their families to merge with the marriage of their children. Unfortunately, by the time Lady Olivia Sinclair was eight-years old she was already a termagent so the Baron and the Earl added a codicil to the betrothal agreement stating that Alex could marry another but, if he wasn't married by his thirtieth year then he must marry Lady Olivia. Now Baron Watson is dying and Alex is almost thirty and still single.

Alex is stunned when his dying father informs him of his betrothal contract. A scientist at heart Alex has never had much time for women, or more accurately, they have never given him much of their time. Alex heads to Sinclair house to discuss the betrothal agreement with his friend Marcus, the new Earl of Sinclair. While there Marcus turns Alex's sights on to Caroline, Marcus's cousin.

Caroline has been the poor relation ever since her uncle rescued her after her mother's death when she was a child. Caroline is not a servant in the Sinclair household, even though Olivia would like nothing more. As a friend of Marcus' Caroline has seen Alex a few times but knows that he is betrothed to her cousin. After constantly hearing Olivia's vitriol about being betrothed to the son of a mere Baron, Caroline is not at all upset when Alex forms a friendship with on her on the basis of recruiting more members to his scientific society. What ensues is a very sweet courtship, albeit one-sided as Caroline doesn't realize that she is being courted since she knows that Alex is betrothed to her cousin.

While I did enjoy Her Sudden Groom, I did have a few quibbles with it. Like, why did Olivia and Caroline know about the betrothal, but Alex never did even though he and Marcus were friends and Alex had spent time at the Sinclair household?

There was a mystery surrounding Caroline's background and with how badly Caroline was treated by Olivia that made me think that Caroline was illegitimate. However, that wasn't the case and I couldn't figure out why she was treated the way she was, unless it was because Caroline's father was an addict and the implication was that he raped her mother so he could extort money from the family. There wasn't a lot of conflict in Her Sudden Groom between Alex and Caroline, but they were sweet together. Mostly the conflict was external, especially the treatment Caroline received from her cousin, which gave Caroline the incentive for her to marry anyone, and I loved Alex when he informed Olivia that he would never marry her after one of her particularly nasty attacks on Caroline.

Her Sudden Groom shows us Alex's cousins and their families, who had books of their own, and whenever things were mentioned about their courtships I felt a bit lost, so Her Sudden Groom is not a fully stand-alone book. However, despite all that I really did enjoy both Alex and Caroline, and their quick little courtship. Alex's family was great and really added a lot to the story. Caroline's cousin Olivia was a raving bitch, and downright nasty. I was really impressed at how Caroline took her cousin's abuse and didn't let it drag her down. Even though I seem to be having more quibbles with the book, I did enjoy Her Sudden Groom, I just thought it was a bit uneven, but I'm glad I read it.

Her Sudden Groom does have some minor flaws but it is a sweet Regency romance with a nerdy scientific hero and heroine, and I'm looking forward to the next book in this series.

Reviewed by: Valarie Pelissero

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“An unwanted betrothal contract and an experiment in courting leads two scientists into love.”

November 2012, 301 pages
Publisher: Second Wind Publishing
ISBN: 1935171941

Back Cover Blurb:

The overly scientific, always respectable, and socially awkward Alexander Banks has just been informed his name resides on a betrothal agreement right above the name of the worst chit in all of England. With a loophole that allows him to marry another without consequence before the thirtieth anniversary of his birth, he has only four weeks to find another woman and make her his wife. Being the logical scientist he is, Alex decides to take his friend's advice and treat his quest for a bride just like a science experiment...

Caroline Sinclair is still trying to scrape her jaw off the floor after hearing her cousin, Lady Olivia's, latest announcement when the object of their conversation, Alex Banks, Olivia's intended, arrives for what Caroline assumes is a bout of drawing room chitchat with his betrothed. But when an experiment is mentioned, Caroline, who cannot resist a science experiment any more than she can deny her lungs air, volunteers to help before she even knows what his latest experiment is!

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