Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Unwanted Wedding

By Barbara Cartland

The Duke of Tynemouth is in a bit of a bind. Queen Victoria is rumored to have chosen a bride for the Duke, a fat, homely German princess. The Duke is involved with a married woman, Aline, the Countess of Langstone.  He is certainly not interested in having a wife, especially not the fat princess.
Aline convinces him that his only way out is find himself a willing bride and forestall the Queen's matchmaking. And she has the perfect candidate, Honora, her niece.
Honora, an orphan, has been away at school in France for years. Now she is returning home to England and to the only relatives she has, her aunt and uncle.  Her parents had no money and so Honora is dependent upon her aunt and uncle for her support. This is how Aline coerces Honora into agreeing to this arranged marriage. Either agree to wed the Duke or be shut away in a convent for the rest of her life.
Aline is a bit of a dope. She thinks the Duke will marry Honora then dump her at his country estate and return to London to be with herself. Of course, it doesn't work out that way. Honora is a young, beautiful innocent girl and the Duke, resentful at first, finds himself quickly thawing out, especially after having to rescue Honora from kidnappers. And the more time they spend together, the clearer it becomes that the two have many of the same interests and a lot in common. So what will the Duke do about Aline when she stupidly crashes his and Honora's honeymoon?

This was not a good read. The idea is kind of interesting but the story seems sparse and unfilled out. The characters are pretty much stock Cartland characters, the handsome Duke, the innocent beauty, the evil slutty woman. It is just the bare bones of a story though, kind of lifeless and rote. It just lacks the liveliness, the color, the juice of her earlier novels.

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