I've read some books by Joan Wolf and on the whole I enjoyed the regencies more than the european historicals so when the opportunity arised to read one more I didn't hesitate.
After one terrible marriage, Laura Dalwood had sworn never to be duped again. But how could she refuse the proposal of handsome Mark Cheney? What could she do when, as his bride, she discovered how much she could love a man . . . and how much she could fear him?
A Double Deception seemed to have the ideal plot for me. A marriage of convenience story where both the hero and the heroine had troubled pasts with unhappy marriages. I actually did like the idea and how Wolf developed it. It starts with their first marriages and then jumps forward in time. Mark is a widower with a son and departs for the sea leaving the boy in the care of his nurse. Laura is a widow but without children and through her godmother she goes to live and raise Mark's son. When Mark returns they spend a few days in the same house without a chaperone and therefore marriage is the best solution to stop the gossips. Not only do they have to get to know each other as Laura has to face the rumours that Mark murdered his first wife and when a series of accidents start to happen those rumours start again.
It becomes obvious that there's a secret regarding Mark's first marriage and his wife's death. A also that someone is trying to hurt Laura to put the blame on Mark. This could have been interesting if the villain had been a bit stronger and if there had been a confrontation between them. Instead we are told what really happened and who was behind the accidents but there's no sense of closure. Another weak point is that we are told from the back blurb that Laura feared her first husband but it seems he ignored more than mistreated her. I would have liked more background on her because she was such a sensible and nice girl.