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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Marrying Money by Glenys O’Connell

Marrying Money by Glenys O’Connell
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Short Story (134 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Fennel

Diana, Lady Ashburnham, needs to find a rich husband, and fast.

She's the last of an aristocratic line stretching back 500 years, and she's broke. The family fortunes have been eaten up by the crumbling mansion and impoverished estate. Not wanting to be known as the 'Ashburnham Who Lost The Lot', she refuses to sell off heirloom jewellery or let the estate be auctioned off to a millionaire or heavy metal rock star.

That's when Diana has her Great Idea - she'll follow a new take on the way her ancestors raised money - by marrying money!

So Diana corals her best friend, Sally Barnes, into joining her on a trip to Ireland to try to net a - preferably titled - millionaire. After all, with the Celtic Tiger economic boom, Ireland is supposed to be awash with wealthy guys. As she tells Sally, Ashburnham ancestors plundered Ireland with Cromwell, so why shouldn't Diana do a bit of plundering there herself?

Take a pile of crumbling stones called Alexandria House, add in a garrulous narrator, and you’re all set for a romp through a series of comedic calamities.

Ms. O’Connell marries comedy and suspense together as tightly as bindweed. She captures the idiocyncrinacies of the English class system so beautifully, then adds in some Irish blarney, and hey presto, you’re off again, until the tears of laughter stream down your face.

Her heroine, Lady Diane is larger than life and willing to admit to her flaws. Sally, her best friend, but ‘not her social equal’ is as Dr. Watson to Sherlock Holmes. She brings balance to events, and still manages to throw in some thought provoking personal digs, just when Lady D is in full flow.

Lady D is so busy looking for ‘The Right Man’, to save her estates, she doesn’t see him when he’s standing under her nose.

Bob the Builder, Ms. O’Connel’s hero is everything a hero should be, but for Lady D, so entrenched in a search for a man from her own social echelon, he’s not in the running.

Lady D has lessons to learn, and part of the suspense is created when it seems she may not learn them in time.

If you enjoy reading about settings you feel you are standing in, surrounded by a vibrant cast of characters, with a pot-full of suspense and a happy-ever-after, then this is the book for you. If you can stop laughing long enough to clear your eyes of tears, that is!