Friday, July 24, 2009

Marriage a La Mode - Elisabeth Fairchild

A Scandal Over Love

The ton was in an uproar! The King was bringing divorce proceedings against the Queen. And Lady Melody Bainbridge was doing the same against the cruel lord she had wed a fey years before. Now forced to hide her face behind the veil of he fashionable leghorn hat, Melody found she could not stop Dunstan Hays, Earl of Erroll, from gazing at her. He had come to Kent to fetch a cherry-tree sapling for his home in the Highlands. It was perfectly logical for the sightseeing Melody to mistake the strong Scotsman for a gardener--his warm words made hope blossom again in her heart.

As for Dunstan, he was enchanted by Melody, whose voice sounded like a song. Once wounded by a fickle woman, he had sworn to remain a bachelor. Now he was rapidly falling for a lady no respectable gentleman dared court. Could the scandal of the season become a romance to remember as a man and a woman who'd sworn off happiness plunged--heart first--into love?

This book has an original plot. Set during the reign of King George VI Fairchild establishes a parallel between the attempt the king made to divorce his queen and the situation the heroine was suffering through trying to divorce her husband. In both cases the women's rights are gravely injured and are very different from the husband's. Fairchild shows a very sympathetic heroine to Queen Caroline's plight.

Other than that I found the main characters to be interesting and engaging, especially the hero who searches for a way to free the heroine and hopefully in a way that she can remarry. That can only be obtained in a somewhat tortured way as at the time divorced couples could not remarry. I found the way that their relationship, and later courtship, develops really nice and sweet.

There are not many secondary characters, the only major one is the Earl of Erroll's mother who at first doesn't seem very happy with the fact that her son as chosen such a scandalous bride. There seems to be a mystery attached to his cousin and his wife (Erroll's former beloved) and I was left wondering if they have their own book.

Grade: 4/5




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