The Convenient Bride
by Teresa McCarthy
Lord Clayton Clearbrook stands to inherit a fortune if he marries within three weeks of the reading of his uncle's will. If he doesn't, the money goes to his cousin, Sir Gerald. Clayton and Sir Gerald are not on the best of terms. Having just lost his own fortune in a shipping venture, Clayton is very interested in obtaining this inheritance. He loathes the idea of being dependent on his family for his income. Briana Garland is but one of the young ladies whom he consideres eligible for the role of his wife. Although his sister and her husband, warn him away from Briana, he finds himself more and more interested in her. His shock at her refusal of his proposal is profound. Clayton vows to continue his search but can't stop himself from monitoring Briana during his attendance at Society events. When Lord Kingsdale, makes a pest of himself, Clayton sets out to save Briana.
Briana is determined to start a home for unwed mothers after the apparent suicide of her sister after she was thrown out of the house, by their father when she announced her pregnancy. Their father died a short time later after her body is discovered floating in the Thames, At the same time, Briana learns that her Aunt Agatha has been working for Whitehall and Briana convinces Agatha to allow her to help. Now, Whitehall has decided that it is time for Briana to take a more active role. She and Agatha will be attending a house party to determine whether there is really a plot to take the Prince's life.
While I enjoyed many of the characters and some of the interesting moments in this novel from Ms. McCarthy, I felt the plot was a little too involved. There were moments when I wasn't sure if the spying was being discussed, the home for unwed women or the relationship between Clayton and Briana. So much of the confusion on Clayton's part could have been avoided if someone in his family had bothered to just give him some information about Briana and the tragedies she had endured. This is an intriguing premise that got bogged down in too many details.
“Lord Clayton Clearbrook needs a wife right away. Will Briana Garland fall into his plans?”
September 2005, 218 pages
Facing financial ruin, Lord Clayton Clearbrook inherits his uncle's fortune with the stipulation that he must marry within three weeks…an opportunity he dare not refuse. Not many weddings in the ton are based on love, after all-and a bride of convenience would suit Clayton perfectly. Knowing time is of the essence, he sets his sights on Miss Briana Garland, a bluestocking who has adored him since childhood. But to Clayton's dismay, the lady shuns his advances.
Though Briana still has feelings for the handsome lord, she has vowed never to marry. Besides, she has other things on her mind, namely taking part in a secret mission to break up the assassination attempt of the Prince Regent! However, her rejection does not stop Lord Clayton. And as he intensifies his pursuit of her, the lady finds herself falling in love…and in more jeopardy than she ever bargained for…