Title: Someone To Wed
Series: (Westcott #3)
Author: Mary Balogh
Length: 361 pages
Rating: 5 Stars
A very practical marriage makes Alexander Westcott question his heart in the latest Regency romance from the New York Times bestselling author of Someone to Hold.
When Alexander Westcott becomes the new Earl of Riverdale, he inherits a title he never wanted and a failing country estate he can’t afford. But he fully intends to do everything in his power to undo years of neglect and give the people who depend on him a better life. . . .
A recluse for more than twenty years, Wren Heyden wants one thing out of life: marriage. With her vast fortune, she sets her sights on buying a husband. But when she makes the desperate—and oh-so-dashing—earl a startlingly unexpected proposal, Alex will only agree to a proper courtship, hoping for at least friendship and respect to develop between them. He is totally unprepared for the desire that overwhelms him when Wren finally lifts the veils that hide the secrets of her past. . . .
Her eyes fell to their hands, and she removed her own. “Well?” she said. “Did you notice today?”That she was not wearing a veil? But then he realized what she meant–though I noticed the last time and notice again now, I would be willing to wager that after seeing you a few more times I will not even see the blemish any longer.“Yes, I did,” he said. “But it is only the third time I have seen you. I have still not recoiled, however, or run screaming from the room.”“Perhaps,” she said, “you are very desperate for my money.”He drew a slow breath before allowing himself to reply. “And perhaps, Miss Heyden,” he said, “I will take my leave and allow you to start adding from the top of that column again.”The color had flooded back into her cheek. “I beg your pardon,” she said. “I ought not to have said that.”“Why did you?” he asked her. “Do you value yourself so little that you believe only your money gives you any worth at all?”She was taking the question seriously, he could see. She was thinking about it. “Yes,” she said.It was the moment at which he really out to have taken his leave. It was a devastating answer, and it had not even been given in haste. He could not possibly take on such brokenness, even if she had all the riches in the world to offer. Good God, all because of an unsightly birthmark?“What happened to you?” he asked her, but he held up a staying hand even as he spoke the words. “No. I have no right to an answer. But I will not marry you for your money alone, Miss Heyden. If you truly believe you have no more to offer than that, and if you truly believe that I have nothing but marriage to offer in exchange for your money, then say so now, and we will put an end to this. I will take my leave and you need never see me again.”
This has to be one of the most emotionally engrossing Historical Romances that this reviewer has had the pleasure of experiencing in quiet some time.
The story of successful business woman and recluse, Wren Heyden. And her most practical approach to finding a husband. In spite of the Port Wine Stain birthmark covering the left side of her face.
Believing herself to be unmarriageable in the traditional "marriage mart" sense. The 29 year old glass works owner resorts to a tactic that has served the men of the ton for eons. Putting her money where her heart should be.
The one man that seems to show any interest in Wren, is in fact, the last man that she could ever want.
Or at least, the last man that Wren believes that could ever want her.
The impossibly perfect Alexander Westcott. Newly minted Earl of Riverdale.
Things couldn't be more up in the air if he had thrown them. With the lines of legitimacy and succession in the Westcott family having been newly reset. With Lady Anastasia Westcott, now Duchess of Netherby having been declared the sole and rightful heir to the Westcott legacy. Upon the death of her father; the former Earl of Riverdale. Thereby unseating her father's current family from their so long coveted lives and places in society.
Leaving Alex as the next in line to inherit all of the estate's entailed properties. As well as the money woes that go with them.
And so it is that we find these two setting out to make what could be or both "the deal of a lifetime".
Alexander armed only with his charm, title, good looks, and a sense of duty to those depending on him.
And Wren, with her money and a yearning for home and family. If not love.
We who are blessed to live in a time when all manner of enhancement and corrective options are available to us. Are still slaves to "the ideal of beauty".
So, imagine if you will the pressure and problems that Wren faces. When living at a time when a woman's beauty is touted as her "only relevant asset". Being valued in most cases only less than the ability to bear children.
Adding to her insecurities:
A. A childhood of which Wren refuses to speak before the age of ten.
B. A very supportive surrogate family in the form of an aunt an uncle. Who shelter and coddle her to the point that she never learns to see herself as more than her flaw.
Leaving her completely unprepared for life in the outside world.
Neither does it appear that she is prepared for Alexander and his ability to see the woman, and no the birthmark.
Alexander is looking for a woman of substance. And by that, he doesn't just mean her money. The more he comes to know her. The more it becomes clear that Wren may just be that woman.
Seeing Wren come out of her shell in the myriad of ways that courting Alexander literally forces her to. Is nothing short of brilliant.
This is a book that will tear at your heart and fortify your soul.
Reviewer's Note: Someone To Wed is the 3rd book of this related series. This may be read as a standalone or as part of its respective series.
Mary Jenkins was born in 1944 in Swansea, Wales, UK. After graduating from university, moved to Saskatchewan, Canada, to teach high school English, on a two-year teaching contract in 1967. She married her Canadian husband, Robert Balogh, and had three children, Jacqueline, Christopher and Sian. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, music and knitting. She also enjoys watching tennis and curling.
Mary Balogh started writing in the evenings as a hobby. Her first book, a Regency love story, was published in 1985 as A Masked Deception under her married name. In 1988, she retired from teaching after 20 years to pursue her dream to write full-time. She has written more than seventy novels and almost thirty novellas since then, including the New York Times bestselling 'Slightly' sextet and 'Simply' quartet. She has won numerous awards, including Bestselling Historical of the Year from the Borders Group, and her novel Simply Magic was a finalist in the Quill Awards. She has won seven Waldenbooks Awards and two B. Dalton Awards for her bestselling novels, as well as a Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award.
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