Sunday, August 18, 2019

Review - Marry in Haste

Title:   Marry in Haste
Author:  Anne Gracie
Series:  Marriage of Convenience #1
Genre:   Historical Romance
Publisher:  Berkley
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages:   320
Date of Publication:  May 2, 2017
My Rating:  5 Stars


From the award-winning author of The Summer Bride comes the first in a charming new historical romance series where marriages of convenience turn into true love matches.

Major Calbourne Rutherford returns to England on the trail of an assassin, only to find he’s become Lord Ashendon, with the responsibility for vast estates and dependent relatives. Cal can command the toughest of men, but his wild half-sisters are quite another matter. They might just be his undoing.

When he discovers that Miss Emmaline Westwood, the girls’ former teacher, guides them with ease, Cal offers her a marriage of convenience. But strong-minded and independent Emm is neither as compliant nor as proper as he expected, and Cal finds himself most inconveniently seduced by his convenient wife.

Emm knows they didn’t marry for love, yet beneath her husband’s austere facade, she catches glimpses of a man who takes her breath away. As pride, duty and passion clash, will these two stubborn hearts find more than they ever dreamed of?


Major Calbourne Rutherford has returned home with the express purposes of seeing his two half-sister settled. Having become Lord Ashendon, while in the middle of trailing an assassin gives Cal very little time. When he realizes that the girls, Rose and Lily, are rather wild, he looks to their former teacher for assistance. Cal soon offers their former teacher, Miss Emmaline Westwood an unusual offer.

When Emm gets asked by Cal for her hand in marriage, she knows love will have nothing to do with it. When Rose and Lily were at her school, she was rather fond of them. It doesn't take Emm long to consider Cal's offer. But, she soon realizes that this will not simply be a marriage of convenience, at least on her part. Not only does Emm accept, but she begins to have powerful feelings for Cal. What's more is that she starts to see his shell begin to crack.

Marry in Haste is the first book in the Marriage of Convenience series. I truly enjoyed how this story developed. Not only do readers get to see Emm and Cal fall in love, and Cal is the typical historical romance hero in this type of tromp, hard on the outside, but there was a strong family atmosphere throughout.

As most romance stories entail, there will be at least one conflict, and this story had its fair share. Although part of a series, this could serve as a standalone, but having already read the next two, Marry in Scandal and Marry in Secret, I was able to see this family come together, with Emm, Rose and Lily all finding love. I look forward to their cousin, George's - as she prefers to be called - story. I found this to be a touching book, with a wonderful ending.


Me, very early in my story-telling career

I’ve always loved stories. Family legend has it that I used to spend hours playing in the sand pit, with a dog on either side of me and Rocka the horse leaning over me, his head just touching my shoulder, while I told them stories. I have to say, dogs and horses are great audiences, apart from their tendency to drool occasionally. But people are even nicer.

In case you imagine we were a filthy rich horse-owning family, let me assure you we weren’t. The horse period was a time when my parents entered a “let’s-be-self-sufficient” phase, so we had a horse, but no electricity and all our water came from the rain tank.

As well as the horse and dogs, we had 2 cows (Buttercup and Daisy and one of them always had a calf), a sheep (Woolly,) goats (Billy and Nanny) dozens of ducks, chooks, and a couple of geese, a pet bluetongue lizard and a huge vegie patch. I don’t know how my mother managed, really, because both she and Dad taught full time, but she came home and cooked on a wood stove and did all the laundry by hand, boiling the clothes and sheets in a big copper kettle. Somehow, we were always warm, clean, well fed and happy. She’s pretty amazing, my mum.

Once I learned to read, I spent my days outside playing with the animals (I include my brother and 2 sisters here) and when inside I read. For most of my childhood we didn’t have TV, so books have always been a big part of my life. Luckily our house was always full of them. Travel was also a big part of my childhood. My parents had itchy feet. We spent a lot of time driving from one part of Australia to another, visiting relatives or friends or simply to see what was there. I’ve lived in Scotland, Malaysia and Greece. We travelled through Europe in a caravan and I’d swum most of the famous rivers in Europe by the time I was eight.

This is me and my classmates in Scotland. I am in the second front row, in the middle, to the right of the girl in the dark tunic.

Sounds like I was raised by gypsies, doesn’t it? I was even almost born in a tent –Mum, Dad and 3 children were camping and one day mum left the tent and went to hospital to have me. But in fact we are a family of chalkies (Australian slang for teachers)- and Dad was a school principal during most of my life. And I am an expert in being “the new girl” having been to 6 different schools in 12 years.The last 4 years, however, were in the same high school and I still have my 2 best friends from that time.

On the left is me in Greece with my good friend, Fay, in our village outfits. The film went a funny colour, but you get the idea. I’m the one in the pink apron. On the right, is me posing shamelessly on a glacier in New Zealand.

No matter where I lived, I read. I devoured whatever I could get my hands on — old Enid Blyton and Mary Grant Bruce books, old schoolboys annuals. I learned history by reading Rosemary Sutcliffe, Henry Treece and Georgette Heyer. I loved animal books — Elyne Mitchell’s Silver Brumby books and Mary Patchett and Finn the Wolf Hound. And then I read Jane Austen and Dickens and Mary Stewart and Richard Llewellyn and Virginia Woolf and EF Benson and Dick Francis and David Malouf and Patrick White and Doris Lessing and PD James and…the list is never ending.

I escaped from my parents, settled down and went to university.To my amazement I became a chalkie myself and found a lot of pleasure in working with teenagers and later, adults. I taught English and worked as a counsellor and helped put on plays and concerts and supervised camps and encouraged other people to write but never did much myself. It took a year of backpacking around the world to find that my early desire to write hadn’t left me, it had just got buried under a busy and demanding job.

I wrote my first novel on notebooks bought in Quebec, Spain, Greece and Indonesia. That story never made it out of the notebooks, but I’d been bitten by the writing bug.

And then I discovered Romance and … the rest is…. historicals…

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