It’s been awhile since I've read anything by Anne Gracie
. Even though I loved her first couple of books, she never became one of my auto-buys. But times are tough, and I've been on a desperate search for something I like, so when I read a glowing review about Marry in Haste
, I thought - what have you got to lose? Well, I'm mighty happy I read that review. Turns out Marry in Haste
was just what I was looking for.
This was a character-driven story. There were no heroic harebrained heroines doing preposterous things. There weren't any groan-inducing-eye-crossing antics which didn't fit into the time line. And, best of all, we have a hero and heroine who actually talk to each other - dare I say, they even become friends. Gasp! They learn to respect each other. It was a charming story.
Major Calbourn Rutherford has been a soldier for over a decade. Even though the war is over, there is still some unfinished business. He's after the sniper who murdered his best friend during the war. This is his obsession. But on his return to England, there are some problems which must be addressed. Calbourn has two half-sisters who are regular hellions and need a firm hand. Being an army guy, he charges in, strong-arms his sisters, and immediately loses control of the situation. Not only that, but he finds out his deceased brother has a daughter who seems to have run wild in the countryside. Now Cal has a problem. He has three young women who resent him and don't follow his orders. He does not have time for this; he has an assassin to catch. He must find someone to rope the girls in - it is time for our heroine, Emmaline Westwood, a teacher from sisters' school. At first, he offers her a job of looking after the girls. She turns him down. She needs something which will last a few more years. Cal then gets the brilliant idea of proposing a marriage of convenience. After a few minutes of consideration, Emmaline accepts. Cal now thinks he can wash his hands of this sisters and niece and return to his assassin search. Ha! Nothing works the way Cal has envisioned.
Cal was a wonderful, gruff hero. Throughout the book we watch as he discovers what is important and what isn't. He is the one who changes the most in this story, but that doesn't mean Emmaline is just a supporting character. Her presence is what this story revolves around. She is the catalyst.
Cal and Emmaline are a wonderful couple. They make for what I would call a good old romance story. They talk to each other, they support each other, and together they build a family. I sense that the three young women will have their own books.
If I had any quibble, it was that some of the loose ends were tied up too tidily, but overall this was a well-written lovely story and highly recommended.
Kay is an avid reader of historical romance books, maybe with a little trip into paranormal land and an occasional journey into mystery world.