Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck by Kathleen Y'Barbo

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Summary: Marriages of convenience were commonplace in the 19th century; but in the case of Charlotte Beck, marriage is most inconvenient. Charlotte is an American heiress with a stubborn spirit, lofty dreams, and a penchant for causing a scene.  In an attempt to control his daughter, Daniel Beck arranges a marriage between Charlotte and the English Viscount, Alex Hambly.

Sparks and tempers ignite between Charlotte and Alex, but they mutually agree that marriage can solve problems that they both face.  Charlotte will achieve her dream of attending college, and Alex's family will be spared the pains and humiliation of financial ruin.  True to her character, Charlotte makes a secret pact with Alex to marry in name only and eventually annul their union.  Will they find that love can blossom in an inconvenient marriage?

Review: Kathleen Y'Barbo's newest novel is a light-hearted and quick read.  The first half of the story is particularly engaging, with a war of wills between Alex and Charlotte.  Charlotte's spunky and conniving nature provide humorous vignettes within the framework of the novel.  At times, her stubborn nature and selfishness is irritating. Charlotte grows through her experiences, and has her own charm.  As a reader, I was sympathetic towards Alex, who nobly suffered and persevered through his inconvenient marriage.
While the plot progressed quickly, it was relatively predictable. I found some references repetitive, particularly the quotes by Miss Pence that began each chapter and often referenced the importance of posture and rest.  The juxtaposition between the rugged Wild West and the glitter and glamor of high society provided a unique backdrop for the story, which offered a fitting end to the trilogy which includes The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper and Anna Finch and the Hired Gun. 

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck is available for purchase on the following sites: Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Multnomah/ WaterBrook Press through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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