Review: The Earl's Inconvenient Wife (Marriage By Scandal (Regencies) #1) by Ruth Ann Nordin

Print Length: 234 pages
Publisher: Wedded Bliss Romances (May 19, 2012)

Nathaniel Buford, Earl of Roderick, doesn't want a wife, but his brother died, passing on the title of earl to him. Now he is bound by duty to get an heir. Unfortunately, to get the heir, he must find a wife. As luck would have it, he gets caught in a scandalous situation not of his doing, and the next thing he knows, he's married...and to a lady whose family is reported to desire money above all else.

Miss Claire Lowell wanted to get married. But she never intended to marry a gentleman who felt trapped into it, and she certainly never thought her family would have a hand in the scandal that forced Lord Roderick's hand in marriage. Can love find a way to thrive under such conditions or will her father's eagerness to see her married off to an earl condemn her to a loveless marriage?

My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

This was one of those novels that by the synopsis seemed to have the potential to be really good. It even started off with a lot of promise - unfortunately, the rest of the story was lacking in such a way that while it had its moments of cuteness, it just couldn't hold up. 

The plot was one of the more common ones I have seen (an innocent accident leads to a purported scandal and immediate marriage), however the childish attitudes of both main characters quickly became annoying. Yes, I understand that Nathaniel was upset, even angry at what he presumed was a set-up on behalf of Claire and her family to trap him into marriage, but he never even took the time to consider that she might actually be innocent. Instead, he's not only cold and uncaring towards her, he even goes so far as to take her away to his country estate, completely removing her from her family and everyone she knows. Eager to jump to the worst possible conclusions about her Nathaniel only succeeds in pushing her farther away. 

While I did have some sympathy for Claire, some of her deliberate actions just screamed of someone who either looked for trouble, or hinted towards an author who really didn't know much about the time period in which this novel took place. I am more inclined to believe the latter of this considering a lot of the phrases and such used were more in-line with a modern romance instead of a regency. 

I thought that the story would redeem itself near the end - when Nathaniel and Claire finally have a heart-to-heart talk, and begin to find some common ground on which to build a relationship, but then the story is over. There was really nothing left for them once the "conflict" of their relationship had been resolved. What (for me) was even more disappointing was that the epilogue, while painting a picture of a happy family, also included a visit from Claire's sister and her husband - a man that was so out of character that I was left confused, and wishing there had been more to her sister's story as well so that as a reader, I could better understand what had taken place. 

Overall, while this wasn't a particular favorite story of mine, there are some people who may enjoy it.

The Earl's Inconvenient Wife is available (for free at the time of posting) from 

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