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An Unsuitable Bride
por Jane Feather
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Third in a triology, but didn't have to read the other two. They stood alone. Alex was cheated out of her inheritance, so she disguises herself as an old spinster librarian and get hired at the inherited cousin's house. He's determined to sell her father's library to the highest bidder, and she wants to keep the collection intact, since she can't keep it for herself. A gentleman visits the house and sees through her disguise - he needs to wed an "unsuitable" woman to get his inheritance. And what's more unsuitable than an illegitimate daughter, who's commiting embezzelment and fraud?
Jane Feather is very good at what she does, which is creating a froth of a book in which much depends upon the reader's willing suspension of disbelief and the charm of her main characters. Plus of course those details of food and clothing that readers of Regencies always adore. Jane is also one of the sexier Regency writers (the sort that darling older ladies used to long for when I was but a girl working in a library; they would entreat me to get them something spicy, with a wink). Being now a darling older lady myself I understand the draw, but it is certainly not limited to women of a certain age.
In her erotic scenes...well it is nice to find that the hero has a penis, not a throbbing member or an engorged shaft or a, ahem, manliness. The heroine doesn't fare quite so well (she has a nub and a core and a center, and I think there is throbbing involved).
But the real pleasure of the book is not in the erotic scenes (though hey, yes, they are fun) but in the "how on earth will our heroine get out of her crisis with safety and live happily ever after?" stuff. Yeah, we have last minute rescues and complications.
My one deep distress with this book is...so much is made of the library, of the rare books, of the precious tomes. And WE DON'T FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS TO THEM. (excuse, please, my raised voice amongst the stacks).
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Only desperation would drive a lady to disguise herself in hopes of employment, but the twenty thousand pounds that their father promised beautiful Alexandra Douglas and her invalid younger sister has vanished into the hands of the greedy cousin who inherited the estate. Alexandra, in search of justice, embarks on an elaborate charade to infiltrate Combe Abbey, her ancestral home, and secretly take the money back. Peregrine, visiting the Abbey, is intrigued by a woman whose mind matches his on every level. Who is this middle-aged spinster with a young woman's eyes and a youthful step that even a limp cannot disguise? Sensing some scandalous secret, Perry assumes the lady would delight in being rescued. But his efforts are rebuffed; Alexandra will take care of herself and her sister, thank you very much. Can Perry court the daring and independent young woman, win her heart, and be the last brother to wed?--Publisher.
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Sistema Decimal Melvil (DDC)813.54 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
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Una edición de este libro fue publicada por Recorded Books.
Third in Blackwater Brides series. In order for Sir Arthur Douglas to receive a divorce from his adulterous wife, he had to relegate his daughters' status as his rightful heirs. Upon his death, Lady Alexandra Douglas and her sister were left out of their father's will and were now considered his bastard children, legally taking away any rights they might have to keep their family home. Adding insult to injury, their mother had already abandoned them for her current lover, so they were on their own. Their greedy and distant cousin now owned everything and refused to give them even the small pittance allotted to them in the will.
Alexandra contrived a plan to go back to her family home, Combe Abbey, as an employee for hire. In disguise as a middle-aged spinster with a birthmark and a hunchback, she applied for the job as librarian under the name Alexandra Hathaway. It was her job to catalog everything in (her father's) library and prepare it to be sold. Since she also showed intelligence and skill, Sir Stephen (her cousin) gradually relied on her to review his financial records, make investment decisions, etc. She helped him make a large profit, but in this way, she also embezzled small amounts of the profits in order to "pay herself and her sister back".
She didn't count on a visitor to the Abbey to easily see through her disguise. Peregrine Sullivan, one of the three Blackwater brothers, is bemused and intrigued by the homely librarian. He would see moments of animation come from the dowdy and self-effacing figure and knew something didn't add up. Especially when he caught her wearing another disguise--this time dressed as a boy.
Perry had a struggle on his hands trying to get stubborn Alex to learn to trust him and be willing to accept his help before she ended up at the end of a rope. Time was running out too, for both of them. As explained previously in the two previous books in this series, Perry needed an "unsuitable" wife to meet the terms of his lascivious (yes, I mean that word, he's a serious perv) uncle's will which would restore the family's fortune. The ending was rushed and left some questions unanswered, which will probably continue to go unanswered unless the author continues the series with Alexandra's sister's story. ( )