Monday, April 27, 2015

New Review: Betina Krahn’s NOT QUITE MARRIED – From England to America and Back Again in the late 18th century

First released as RAPTURE’S RANSOM, this is the story of Brien Weston, daughter of the Earl of Southwold, who one day wakes up and realizes his daughter, now in her early 20’s is too stubborn and willful and must be married. Believing no man would have her, the earl picks the son of a French business associate for her husband. After she meets him, though he is handsome and smooth talking, she discovers the French nobleman only wants her money. So she determines to make herself unavailable to him by marrying another. A friend finds her a husband in a dockside tavern, one Aaron Durham. He’s a man who, for a sum of money, will wed her and then go away.

When Brien’s French fiancé learns of this, he is furious and promises to get even. Then her father does some investigating and tells her the wedding Brien went through with the stranger was not a real wedding and there is no record of it in the church. Brien is horrified, especially since the handsome stranger consummated the marriage that wasn’t real. Thus, she is forced to marry the man she hates, but then there is a fire…

Original cover, original title
The story begins in 1787 in England but moves to America when Brien happens to take a ship to Boston to sell a part of her father’s business. Turns out the ship is owned by Aaron Durham. Krahn keeps you guessing as to when Brien and Aaron will get together. Aaron is constant throughout but Brien loathes the role of a woman and loves being an active partner in her father’s trading business. Of course in the 18th century nobility considered trade something for the other classes. And, for some reason Krahn kept referring to America as “the colonies” though it was a sovereign nation by 1783.

Still, it’s a fun tale, well-told and I can recommend it.

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