Friday, April 14, 2006

The Marriage Bed by Laura Lee Guhrke

Summary: 1833, Lord John and Lady Viola Hammond remain the talk of the Ton as they continue to remain estranged for eight years with no heir, but he never cared because his solid best friend cousin Percy is next in line. That changes when John receives a letter from JohnÂ's widow Constance that he died along with their son. Grieving for his loss, John needs an heir because he will not allow the estate to be destroyed by his next in line. John visits Viola, informing her of the deaths and that he expects them to share a conjugal bed once he returns from the funeral. Viola says she will not sleep with him; John says he is within his legal right and she will or else he will take her to the House of Commons where even her ducal brother knows he will win. Following the funeral, John returns to London to get Viola. He admits that he wed her for her money, but liked her. She asks for more time and they begin seeing one another for he courts his wife who he is beginning to fall in love with while she always loved him.

Okay I read the first two books in this trilogy and loved them soo soo much. In those books you meet the Heroine from this book, Viola. You fall in love with the heart broken woman who at a very young age married a man she loved and who betrayed her and has been having continual affairs. You never meet John outright but hear about all the horrible things he does. So by time I started reading TMB I was ready to hate him. Well let me tell you LLG did aawesomee job at making you fall in love with a man that was so wrong in everything he did. The reason I gave this book a C was not because of the writing, which was top of the line, or the lack of interest in the story cause I was so into it. But because I personally could not imagine making any of the decisions the heroine did.

After John had had affairsamongg many women of the ton for 9 years he decides to come back to Viola because he finally needs an heir. He basically tells her the reason he went to all of those women was because she turned him out of her bed and was so unforgiving. Well she turned him out of her bed because she felt betrayed when she found out he had lied to her and was keeping a mistress while they were courting. Then instead ofapologizingg or begging for her understanding and explaining he gives her a month to 'get over it' and come back to him and when she doesn't he just leaves. Then starts the 9 years of affairs. During that time Viola is forced by her social standing to suffer through dinners, card games, balls and more with the women her husband is sleeping with.

Now LLG did a very good job of redeeming heart broken he was when his sister died when he was just a child, how his parents never showed him any love, how his best friend and cousin died. But still can all theunhappinesss he suffered through be excuse enough for all he did? Not to say in the nine years they were married he didn't change but did thatcancele out all the horribly wrong things he did to his marriage? I just don't know.

One other thing that John did that really rubbed me the wrong way was when Viola, after taking a huge chance on loving himagainn, asked if he would promise to stay faithful he wouldn't promise. He said it depended on her! Well if he really loved her, as he supposedly did at the end, no matter what she did he would have stayed faithful. Right?

But like I said in the beginningg I did end up falling for John, and I loved Viola from the start. But honestly I don't know if I could have made the hard choices Viola did. I give hera lott of props as a great heroine, it would take a very strong woman to forgive like she did.

Grade: C

Read the Series in order:
Guilty Pleasures
His Every Kiss
The Marriage Bed