I’d never read a Jane Ashford book, and the premise sounded interesting…two “normal” people readjusting to marriage after a prolonged separation. But I think I wanted it to be more interesting than it actually turned out to be.
THE PLOT: John and Mary were more or less bullied into an “acceptable” marriage by their overwhelming, managing families. Then John goes on a business voyage to China and is gone for 180months. Mary settles into managing her own life and becomes self-sufficient. John comes home, expecting a meek, submissive wife, and is surprised with someone who reminds him unpleasantly of their mothers. They have to come to terms with their marriage and possibly find happiness while overcoming obstacles such as John’s work nemesis. Although Mary is a talented portrait artist, putting her on the spot at a ball results in her insulting her hostess, who just happens to be Lady Castlereagh. This causes more problems for John at work, just when he is hoping to move up to greater importance.
MY TWO CENTS: First let me say that this is almost a clean romance. It’s not QUITE as clean as a Christian romance, but there are no detailed descriptions of intimacy. If that’s something you’re looking for in a romance, then check out this book. If you prefer romance that borders on erotica, this probably isn’t the pick for you.
Second, while I really liked the idea of two “normal” people solidifying their relationship, I felt like something was missing. Their romance was cute, but I didn’t feel a connection really building between them. It seemed like I couldn’t get involved with the characters; they were too standoffish to me, the reader, as well as each other.
BOTTOM LINE: I wanted to like this book much more than I did. It was a pleasant read, but I don’t know that I’m running to pick up more Jane Ashford.
TEACUP RATING: Three out of five teacups.
ON SALE DATE: The book will be on sale in paperback and eformats on March 3, 2015.
Note: Review is based on an ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.