Be careful what you wish for...
Lord Havelock is in need of a wife. But with no time for a society wedding and no stomach for girlish fripperies his options are limited. So, with help from his friends, he draws up a list of qualities he does desire in a wife…
When orphaned Mary Carpenter discovers her handsome new husband’s list she’s hurt – and incensed. If he thinks she’ll sit meekly by, be ‘compliant’ and ‘a mouse’, he’s got another think coming! Is it perhaps time for Mary to make a list of her own, and change the rules of their relationship for ever… ?
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Pleasant but slow in parts
The plot sounded alluring and the characters were great. Havelock was particularly endearing - although quick tempered he was able to moderate this and admit to his faults and he was caring of other people while Mary was a delightful heroine.
The book started very brightly was amusing and interesting and I waited for the fun to start when Mary discovered the "marriage list". However for some strange reason Mary took a laisser faire attitude to this and the plot languished for some considerable time. The author
Towards the end the action picked up again but there was too much lost opportunity in the middle of the book.
Overall pretty enjoyable though.
Seven out of ten
Couldn't put it down ......
WOW this is a fantastic story.
First if you haven’t read it you should check out ‘Governess to Christmas Bride’ which starts of with Lord Chepstow fleeing London after helping Havelock to create his list. They are all confirmed Bachelors and all go cold at the mention of marriage. Lord Chepstow ends up falling in love during a Christmas party. I think the best thing to do is, read Lord Havelock’s story first as it starts with the Lists creation then Lord Chepstow as his story is in reaction to the list.
Both characters and stories are amazing.
Lord Havelock is a confirmed bachelor but needs must and so he needs a wife and quickly. He has never been that good with women. They usually try to entrap him into marriage so even though his reputation considers him a little bit of a rake he really hasn’t got close to any gently bred women before.
He is stumped on how to go about getting a suitable (in the minds of men) wife, so he enlists the help of Lord Chepstow, but being of the same mind Lord Chepstow pulls in Ashe who is more bookish and with luck could take the pressure of Chepstow. Joining them is Morgan and friend of Ashe but not titled. They sit down with wine and create a list, at the end they have a list of requirements that to a rational person would be a little on the specific side. Morgan suggests that Havelock come with him to a ball the next day as he thinks Havelock will find someone who will fit the bill there.
It isn’t exactly a ton affaire. Morgan is acquainted with the Pargetter family, the sisters Dotty and Lotty and their distant relation Mary. Mary is connected through her family line and Mrs Pargetter is proud that Mary is part of their family. They do not have much but they welcome her. Unfortunately Mary feels a little trapped even though she appreciates her cousins and Aunt for taking her in. Since she lost her family she has been passed around, never really feeling at home with anyone.
Morgan introduces Havelock to them and straightaway Dotty and Lotty sweep Mr Morgan away. Mrs Pargetter tells Havelock about Mary which makes Havelock feel she may be what he is looking for.
As their relationship develops and they put tests in Mary’s way to see her true reactions, Havelock decides she is the one for him but Mary has plans never to marry. Dotty and Lotty catch Havelock and Mary in an embrace and conclude that they are engaged. Havelock is happy to do the necessary but Mary is torn.
When they Marry it is only after a short acquaintance and Mary is still on edge. Havelock tells Mary his true reason for marrying along with what he expects out of the marriage and takes her to the family home of Mayfield. No one is there to receive them and the house is dusty and cold. Mary and Havelock make do until the caretakers come back.
Julia is Havelock’s half sister and comes to stay. This causes Mary to feel unwanted so she leaves for London.
With a fair bit of muddling and a bit of wonderful writing the story has a happy ending but it needs more.
I couldn’t put either story down but found I wanted to let Ashe, Morgan, Dotty, Lotty and Julia, have stories of their own and I hope the author will do this as they are too good to just leave up in the air.
If there is more to come then I hope we catch up with Gregory (Havelock) and Mary as things were left a little unfinished and we need to see them again in order to see the outcome of their news. With the hope of more, this book is excellent but if there is not more I would problem give it one less for no real complete ending but there is hope and we all hope there will be more from this wonderful mix of characters.
So please dear author could you please do some more…….
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