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Friday, October 14, 2011

The Wedding Affair by Leigh Michaels

The Wedding Affair by Leigh Michaels
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (379 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

The Duke of Somervale's sister's wedding brings together three couples who must sort themselves out to avoid scandal. The handsome Duke persuades Lady Reyne to pretend to be his fiancée so he can avoid the matchmakers but falls in love with her anyway. Lady Reyne's friend Kate discovers how much she has in common with adventurer Andrew Carlisle, and Lady Penelope Townsend discovers new love with her estranged husband.

A young woman in need of a future, a widow hiding from her past and a Lady who is a wife in name only: All three will have to prove they have the courage to take their destinies in hand. Their reward will be worth far more than silver and gold but the risk to their hearts may be just as pricey.

If a theme could be set for the first trilogy by Leigh Michaels, Just One Season in London, it would be “Sacrifice”. In this new trio of stories that overlap within themselves in The Wedding Affair, the theme is clearly “Courage”.

Lady Olivia Reyne has a past that is threatening to destroy any future she might build for herself and her daughter. When the charming and charismatic Simon, Duke of Somervale persuades her to help him avoid a gaggle of bridesmaids, she convinces herself that it will be a short term affair with no lasting effects on her heart. Love is never that convenient or obedient.

Kate Blakely has a very limited window in which to set the course for her future. She has the opportunity to choose the easy, staid and secure way or she can put herself in the path of someone who will whisk her away from the “small town vicar’s daughter” life and onto an adventure. Kate is concentrating so hard on making the best decision she almost doesn’t notice the one man who is everything she ever wanted and wants to give her everything she needs.

The third arc of this book involves the Lady Penelope Townsend. Her story really touched my heart because she appears to have everything on the outside but behind closed doors she missing the one thing her father’s money couldn’t buy. Love. I liked Penelope’s story best because she’s married but obviously in name only and she decides that she wants more than a roommate, she want a husband. I initially got the impression that Penelope was timid and a bit brow beat by her father and the ladies maid he chose for her. Thankfully, that meekness doesn’t last and Penelope comes out of her shell to prove she’s strong enough to stand beside her husband rather than in his shadow.

If you read Just One Season in London, you know the stories transition swiftly and smoothly between one another. There is some head hopping but it lends more detail to a scene rather than making it confusing. Ms. Michaels does a fabulous job of creating characters that have you cheering for their HEA as well as enjoying the journey. Her writing style is flawless for the period and the sensual scenes are hot enough to singe your fingers.

I understand there is to be one more book in the triad story series. I’m looking forward to seeing how Ms. Michaels takes a theme and weaves it into the lives of so many unique and fantastic characters. They draw you in, they make you fall in love, and you won’t want to put it down!