JUST ONE NIGHT
Six years ago, Delilah was wed to Charles Everett, Lord Dragoner, a man she'd loved from afar. But after only one night, he fled England for France, and was gone from her life... Now the handsome lord has returned, surrounded by scandalous rumors. Although he cloaks his explanation in wit and laughter, Delilah discovers her husband was forced into their marriage by cruel and manipulative parents - and soon understands why Lord Dragoner wants to cut his ties with the past...He assumes his estranged wife wants the same. But Delilah has other plans - for she truly loves her husband, and dreams of a life together, if he could give them a chance at happiness. Only two things stand in their way - Dragoner's bitter past, and his present occupation, which promises danger for them both....And when Delilah resolves to face that danger beside her husband, a fragile chance for love begins to bloom...
I had read Lord Dragoner’s Wife a few years ago but I had never reviewed it so as I found another copy I thought I should reread and write about it. Plot wise it has two of my favourite themes – it’s a marriage of convenience and a marriage in trouble story.
Six years previously Delilah, a tradesman daughter, and the present Lord Dragoner were married. He appeared on church drunk and disappeared right after the wedding night. For five years, Delilah has waited for him to come back so they can form a relationship but when he returns is to speak of a divorce.
While Dragoner believes theirs was only a marriage of convenience, trading a title for money that his parents immediately managed to spend Delilah had in fact examined several candidates and decided to choose him because she was attracted to him. It’s with considerable distress that she finds what he plans when the only thing she wants is to start a family.
It seems divorces are much easier to come by in France and that’s where Dragoner has been living so he assumes it will be as easy in England. When he sees it is not so he lets Delilah persuade him to postpone a decision. While he goes back to France where he performs undercover work for Wellington she decides to follow him and see if his bad reputation is well deserved and if she should indeed forget him and any chances of saving their wedding. But she is welcomed with open arms in Madame de Stael’s salons and given a lot of information on her husband as well as a makeover.
What follows is Dragoner still trying to do his job as a spy but finding his wife in the middle of the action. Delilah is quite a strong and determined woman in her own way and tries her best to help him even if some wrong assumptions do lead to some funny and unexpected scenes. And of course, in the end Dragoner can’t help himself and does fall in love with his wife.
A very enjoyable story where my only complaint is that Delilah was a bit too good, too kind, too intelligent, a business genious… but I still liked it very much!