The Pernicious Proposal
Miss Charity Duncan had no illusions when she said yes to the marriage proposal of Lord Anthony Earheart. This arrogant aristocrat made it painfully clear what he wanted of her. Would Charity agree to be the wife he needed to enrage the father he hated? Of course. Would Charity then depart from his life in return for the money she and her family desperately needed? Of course. Was Earheart as heartless as he was handsome and as remorseless as he was rich? Of course.
It was only when Charity entered into this mockery of a marriage that she discovered that things were not as simple as they seemed. For when the libertine lord took her in his arms, it was not only her marriage contract that threatened to be broken--but her heart as well...
Where do I begin?! Why is it so hard to write a review about a great book? I know I won’t be able to make it justice, but I shall try nonetheless… Because this is one of my favorite books ever, one of those Desert Isle Keepers, like our friends from *all about romance* use to say…
This is, first of all, a story about 2 people falling in love in a marriage of convenience. Yeah, not so original, but me thinks this is one of the best attempts on making work a relationship of two people who have just met and have to share their lives. The hero, Anthony Earheart, Marques of Staunton, heir to a dukedom, a young man who 8 years ago chose to leave his home and family because he couldn’t live any longer in his father’s house, makes an advertisement in the papers that he looks for a governess. His real reason for it is to choose a very insipid, plain and boring wife from the list of “to be governesses” in order to spite his father who, finally, has summoned him home. He is the typical arrogant, cold, cynical *don’t believe in love*romance hero. The heroine, Charity Duncan, comes from a large, impoverished family, she chooses to work in order to help her brother to pay for the family’s needs. She is also very used to managing her brothers and sisters lives, to speak her own mind and also to care for the people around her. So, as destiny would have it (or just the author :)), she applies to the hero’s ad for a governess, is chosen because of her *brown mouse* appearance and accepts to be his temporary wife for a few weeks, in exchange for financial security. Together they go to the hero’s home, where he can flaunt, in front of his father, his lower born wife.
And now the magic begins…
We enter the world of a very unhappy family, caught at a very difficult moment and we meet His grace, the duke of Willingsby, the most cold, arrogant, toplofty duke from Balogh’s ever-growing list, and by far, the most interesting character of this book. Maybe because he remains almost an enigma throughout the book, maybe because he first appeared as the villain who caused the hero’s pain, or just that the human nature will always have more shades of gray instead of the simple black and white of good or bad characters, the Duke impressed me a lot.
The hero is another interesting character, after 8 years he returns home and has to deal with serious problems, some of them caused by youth folly, some by immaturity, some by miscommunication, and all that is added to the fact that he falls in love with his heroine, a process that is quite visible throughout… Another interesting thing about the hero is the fact that, although 28 and quite independent from his family, he still has a lot to grow up, especially emotionally and in terms of accepting his family ties and his heritage.
And now the heroine… I usually don’t like main female characters, they are either too stupid for their own good, or too sassy, or they try to appear independent, or are portrayed as wounded souls, etc., etc. But in this case, Charity is a charming person, very level-headed, decided, correct, taking everything that happens at it’s face-value, but most of all, she is a very nice character, who’s impossible not to love.
No matter how much or how little I say about this book, I will never make it justice… This book just has to be read, especially if you like good family stories, great characters, a wonderful love story and why not, drama and hurt made well until the end.
Grade 5 / 5