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Feature book: Marry in Scandal

15 August 2018

Marry in Scandal by Anne Gracie

Series: A Marriage of Convenience #2
Subgenre: historical romance
Release date: 3 Apr 2018
Publisher: Berkley
Format: print and ebook
Length: 336 pages
RRP: print A$14.99; ebook A$10.99

I had the extreme good fortune to receive an ARC of this absolutely delightful book from Ms Gracie. No prizes for guessing I loved it, having recently read and raved about Marry in Haste, the first in this charming series.

The second ‘Marriage of Convenience’ story centres on Lily, the youngest Rutherford sister with the soft and forgiving heart, and a short and round physique that somehow doesn’t ‘match’ the fashions. To her dismay she also struggles to read and write. She’s an absolute dismal failure at any kind of school learning, much to the distress and shame of everyone but her staunch and supportive sisters. But she has a clear mind, a keen intellect and an excellent memory. (Please make sure you read the lovely Dedication to those doing battle with reading disabilities; everything will become clear.)

As you might guess from the title, Lily marries to avert a scandal. She’s been horrifically abducted but then almost accidentally rescued by the flummoxed Edward Galbraith, a returned soldier and friend of Lily’s brother Cal (Marriage of Convenience #1). Ned just does what he has to do as an officer and a gentleman, being in the right place at the right time to become a ‘hero’ for Lily, then suddenly he’s marrying her to avoid the ensuing scandal that flares up.

But Ned planned never to marry. He hides deep psychological wounds from the war that have almost paralysed him in terms of living a fulfilling life. He can’t, simply can’t free himself from his demons, and yet—here is he, marrying Lily who, being sweet and loving and really such a gorgeous person, is willing to plumb the depths of Ned’s soul so he can heal.

This is a tender exploration of two very different yet extremely vulnerable, hurting people. I truly think if they hadn’t found each other they might have been lost … The romance became a dance, one step forward, two steps back, but it was beautifully done; very tender. I admit to getting a bit misty eyed every now and then, and cheered them on every step of the way.

I do so love the occasional glimpses we’re given of the Chance Sisters here, from Ms Gracie’s previous series; they add a lovely depth to the book, as do the references to the other Rutherfords from the first book in this series. However, if you haven’t read any of them you can still read this as a standalone. Thanks Anne, you have given us another exquisite tug-at-your-heartstrings romance. A must read.

Reviewed by Malvina

A review copy of this book was provided by the author.

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