Tuesday, January 16, 2007
The Ideal Wife - Mary Balogh
I finished another oldie today and again thanks to a friendly loan. It was Mary Balogh's The Ideal Wife.
Just after the Earl of Severn has vowed that if the plainest, dullest, most ordinary female in England were to be set before him he would marry her without further ado, Abigail Gardiner calls on him at his town house. The strong-minded Abigail is a distant cousin of the earl's and has been driven, much against the grain, to seek his aid. To do so, she has decided to dress as plainly as possible and to act the part of a dull brown mouse. The inevitable inevitably happens!
I must say I enjoyed it very much. First of all it's a marriage of convencience story and I just can't resist those. And then it has a really nice hero! To flee the marriage project his mother and sisters have for him Miles decides to marry the first plain and quiet woman that he finds.
And that is exactly what he does! He soon finds out that his wife is nothing like he thought and in fact all his plans end up upside down. But as he falls in love with his wife he is such a caring and attentive husband that nothing, not even the troubles she gets into, makes him change his atitude.
Their relationship evolves troughout the book but it's mostly about Abigail revealing her true personality and Miles acceptance of it even if it's not what he was expecting.
Although Abigail has some secrets in the closet ( and some tendence for sacrificing herself in the name of the family)this makes for a light and easy reading with a very sweet romance. A B+.
I can't resist mentioning that I much prefer these traditional regencies to some of Balogh's later books. These characters feel so much more true to their time...