Sometimes when you go digging through the dust and cobwebs of the past, all that happens is a sneeze. But other times you find a forgotten treasure and you say to yourself – now I know why this author is still around. Book Review: The Temporary Wife by Mary Balogh My brain hurts.
I will put out a warning to all my little Petunias -- don't glom Mary Balogh.
I should know better, I've been reading Ms. Balogh for years, ever since she wrote her first novel for Signet. But silly me, I discovered some of her early Signets have been turned into
electronic books -- so, what the hey! It was time to reread!!!
Did I go to the library storage area? Did I go to ye' ol' book shelf and pull out my paperbacks? That would be too economical of me -- I ordered the electronic copies. And, now I have reread five of her books in a roll. Yes! Five. In. A. Roll.
My brain hurts.
In case you have never read a Mary Balogh book, you should know that you are required to use those little brain cells when you read. You have to feel
along with all the characters. It is a requirement!
A Mary Balogh book is an experience. A Mary Balogh book is always character-driven, full of emotions and plenty of angst. Are all of them winners? She's written over 60 books, so what would be your guess? She's a very popular writer, has been around for a long time, and everyone has their favorite Mary Balogh book. Also, not so favorite. And, you are not allowed to skip words, because each one of her words is important to the storyline. So, yes, my brain is overtaxed right now -- but I will get over it. Let's take a look at the stories that I reread, starting with The Temporary Wife.
The Temporary Wife
was first published in 1997 and has been recently republished along with another of her early books The Promise of Spring
. The Temporary Wife
is not part of a series or connected to any other book. The Promise of Spring
is connected to her Web trilogy. The Temporary Wife
stars Anthony Earheart, Marquess of Staunton, as our hero, and Charity Duncan as our heroine. Anthony has advertised for a governess. Here's the thing -- he doesn't have any children. Well, why has he advertised for a governess? Anthony thinks that governesses are desperate, meek, unattractive women -- just the kind of woman his father would hate. So, what better way to seek revenge on his father than to marry a perfect doormat of a woman and drag her kicking and screaming to the family estate? He thinks the only way to get this kind of wife is to advertise for a governess and then tell her it's actually a wife job she's interviewing for. Sounds logical to me. But poor Anthony hasn't had too much luck finding a woman gruesome enough or desperate enough to fall in with his plans. Enter Charity Duncan.
Charity needs a job. She wants her family to have a nice comfortable life. But Charity has had problems keeping a job. She's either too pretty, or too outspoken, so her brother suggests she tone her next interview down a bit. Which she does. Anthony offers her the job of not a governess but a wife. Oh yes, he intends to pension her off after he's had his revenge. Charity is a little surprised, but after a few moments she accepts -- sort of. She ups the amount of pension. Poor Anthony, even when confronted with a woman who barters for more money, doesn't have a clue that's she's not as meek as she appears. He thinks he is just imagining the gleam in her eye. If only these guys would read romance novels, they'd know.
Anyway, Anthony is expecting a marriage of convenience. He's expecting to drag his mousy wife to his family estates, irritate his family, especially his father, and leave. It isn't long before Anthony figures out that his wife isn't what he expected her to be. Once he figures out that she's not what he anticipated, he still finds a way to use her against his father. Let me tell you, his father was a hard person to like, in fact I never warmed to him. Anthony's father is a cruel man who also sees a chance to use Charity. So Charity is caught in the middle of these two men who are trying to hurt each other. However, Charity is no martyr. She ever so subtlety maneuvers Anthony's dysfunctional family back together again. There is even a reconciliation between father and son. And, through all of this family quagmire Anthony and Charity fall in love.
The Temporary Wife
is one of Mary Balogh
's better books. It's an emotional journey for Anthony and Charity and we get to watch from the sidelines as all of it slowly develops. I highly recommend this one.
Kay is an avid reader of historical romance books, maybe with a little trip into paranormal land and an occasional journey into mystery world.