Monday, June 10, 2013

The Elusive Wife by Callie Hutton + Featured Freebie

The Elusive Wife
Jason Cavendish, the Earl of Coventry, is trying to discreetly locate his unwanted and abandoned bride among London society to request an annulment. However, he doesn’t remember what she looks like because he was blind drunk at his arranged wedding and hasn’t seen her since. The fascinating Lady Olivia has captured the Earl’s attention.

Newly arrived from the country to stay with her school friend for the Season, she is appalled to discover that her husband, Lord Coventry, doesn't even recognize her. She's not about to tell the arrogant arse that she is his wife. Instead, she flirts with him by night and has her modiste send her mounting bills to him by day. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned… Too bad this woman finds her husband nearly irresistible.

My Rating: 5 Roses

This book was so wonderful! A huge misunderstanding, a vengeful charade, and a delightful romance come together in this book to make it an awesome read.

Olivia was a great heroine. She might have been cajoled into marrying Jason, but that didn't mean she was going to let him run all over her. Despite their less than happy wedding, she makes a life for herself at his estate, ends up going to London a few weeks after her husband hightailed it out, and begins a charade to get her revenge. I especially liked that she made him beg a little (or a lot) for forgiveness after everything he did. She didn't trust him at that point and wouldn't trust him until he earned it. And after screwing up their relationship so bad, he had a lot of work to do. Olivia was great. Strong, determined, and very likable.

Jason didn't get off to the greatest start. Our first impression is of him getting absolutely trashed and having a party for two with a barmaid the night before his wedding. Then, he shows up to the wedding so drunk that he doesn't even remember how his new wife looks. The next morning, he's out to London. Again, not the most favorable of impressions. But, as the book went on, we see that he  isn't really a bad guy. The day of his wedding was very out of character for him and a result of an entirely different issue that he was dealing with. He proves that he is a good man and it wasn't long before I really liked him. Of course, there were several points where I wanted to shake some sense into him, but that didn't keep me from adoring him. He was a flawed hero, but a good one nonetheless.

The romance was well done. I'm glad that the charade didn't last an annoyingly long time. It was about halfway through that the truth was revealed. That first half allowed their feelings for each other to deepen without the haze of passion since there was the whole "I think I'm married to a different woman" thing that Jason had going on. And regardless of his flaws, he is an honorable man and he wouldn't do that to his wife, even if he was thinking of getting an annulment at that point. I liked that they didn't fall into a perfect romance after Jason found out about Olivia and the progression of their relationship after that was believable. A buildup of trust on both sides until they were completely in love. There was a bit of spice in this book, but this couple was mostly sweet.

The plot was fast paced. I was utterly hooked and kept amused by the constant misunderstandings and the issues they caused. And the ending was a very cute romance HEA.

Romance lovers, if you want a great read, this is your book. The Elusive Wife was an excellent romance, just wonderful!

*Thanks to Netgalley and Entangled: Scandalous for a copy!
Featured Freebie:
Today, I have a western romance that sounds good: Another Chance by Michelle Beattie . Go forth and get it for free!

Being a veterinarian in the late 1800’s is difficult enough, but for Jillian Matthews it’s impossible. Not allowed in the vet schools, she trained at her father’s side until she had the skills needed to move west. Jillian accepts an advertisement for a position in Montana, using only her initials which happen to be same as her father’s. Convinced that in the untamed west, her skills will be valued and appreciated, regardless of her gender, she’s quickly proved wrong.

Wade Parker is sure the pretty redhead claiming to be the vet he sent for is one of his ranch hands’ practical jokes but the fiery woman very quickly puts him in his place. His impression, however, turns south when the animal she operated on later dies. With a ranch on the verge of bankruptcy, losing an animal was the last thing he could afford and he can’t help thinking the old vet, the male doctor, wouldn’t have let his animal die.

With Wade’s initial reaction guiding them, the town is quick to want Jillian out. But the more Wade gets to know Jillian, the more he sees her grit and compassion, the harder he falls for her. When Wade realizes he was too hasty in his judgment and urges the town to give Jillian another chance, he makes more than few enemies. Enemies that would do almost anything to get her out, and to make sure Wade doesn’t take her side again.

Soon threats turn to violence and both Wade and Jillian must make a stand. The problem is, at what cost?

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