A couple wed because of a death-bed promise, a romance destroyed during its first tender moments by infidelity … Can they make their relationship work? Jack Armstrong joined the army young and has spent most of his adult years in foreign lands. Home on leave, he finds his childhood friend dying and makes a promise to marry the man’s widow before heading back to his post in Canada. Years later he has returned, only to find a furious wife waiting for him. Because of their unusual beginning, Elizabeth didn’t necessarily expect her husband to forgo other women, but she did expect him to be discreet. She’s been living with scorn and pity for years because of his actions. Can he do anything to win her forgiveness … And her love?
An Infamous Marriage is a regency treat. It takes place in the country, far from the glittery London ton, and centers around a gentleman farmer turned soldier during times of peace and war. A good historical romance gives readers a glimpse of the time without boring them or leaving them to feel like they’d spent time in the classroom. This one is no exception. Susanna Fraser shares small snippets of North America during the beginning of the 19th Century as well as life of English country gentry. The ending brings us to Waterloo and, though there is some artistic license, it paints an intriguing, personal picture of the time leading to Bonaparte’s defeat. My only real complaint is that we are introduced to characters and then not provided their fate. I can only hope there are other stories for them in the works.
I’m not a fan of infidelity in my romances but in this case it works. The marriage is more like a technicality, something on paper and not in spirit. It gives Jack someone at home to take care of things and Elizabeth has someone to support her. She isn’t as upset of Jack’s actions as she is by the gossip it creates and I enjoyed the conflict that arose from it, painful as it was at times. Their developing feelings are handled smartly and the realization of their love, and all the fallout it could bring, is very sweet.
This is Fraser’s third novel and packs quite a punch – full of heart and wit and fire. I’m looking forward to hunting down her other two novels and will definitely keep an eye out for future projects.