Former Riskies,  Jane Austen

Risky Read Along – Edith Layton’s To Wed A Stranger

Questions to Address in Comments

1. Did you like the story overall? What did you like and/or dislike about it?

2. What did you like/dislike about the heroine?

3. Same for the hero.

4. Things you LOVED?

5. Anything that irritated or annoyed you?

I will add my 2-3 cents in the comments, too.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

10 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Carolyn
11 years ago

I’ll kick things off here but will also comment more fully later.

1. Overall I liked the story. But I did not love it. I had an issue with the way the main plot point was achieved. That is, I kept thinking there was just no way the flu was going to destroy the heroine’s looks that shockingly and for that long.

2. I started out liking the heroine a lot, then later no so much.

3. Mostly I liked him. There were times when I thought he was patronizing and I do wish he’d confronted head-on his private reaction to ending up with a wife who was, for a while anyway, no longer beautiful.

4. I’m not sure I LOVED anything about the book. I’d give it a strong LIKE though.

5. The premise just wasn’t carried off well enough for me. The heroine went from strong to treacly and I really hated that. A lot.

Janet Mullany
11 years ago

I’m still at the flu, and I enjoyed what I read. However, it bothered me that if ever there was a case for a wedding in the drawing room via special license, this was it. Why subject her to that humiliation and whose idea was it? Did I miss something here?

I found the hero wanting to “delay” sex after the first attempt–which didn’t seem that bad to me, I thought they both needed to get over themselves already–unconvincing.

I liked that they talked to each other during sex altho she became a bit tiresome. I also thought that her claim that she might be pregnant the morning after might send him into some great hissyfit–so that’s why you had to marry me?!? etc.

Kat
Kat
11 years ago

Since I had not read the previous Edith Layton books in this series, I obviously was not familiar with Annabelle’s character. She’s apparently played key roles in prior books as something of a manipulative flirt. Therefore it took me a bit to get invested in her character. I liked how she developed the lead characters in this book, and how she allowed the novel to unfold but the ending was a bit rushed. I am not sure if I liked the subplot dealing with Miles’ mother. I would have liked more of Annabelle’s family dynamic particular her mother’s character to be flushed out. Overall I like this twist on the marriage of convenience story and how the married couple got to know not only know themselves more but grew as a couple.

Kat
Kat
11 years ago

After reading Carolyn’s comments I have to disagree. I did not have a problem with believing Annabelle’s looks could be altered so dramatically. My thoughts are not so much that the flu did the altering but the treatment she received did so. If I was already petite and as the result of being sick lost a significant amount of weight very fast, had my hair shaved off, been bled, cupped resulting with bruises and had blisters all over my body in the name healing for said flu it does not take much to imagine that my looks would be all together metamorphosed.

Amy Kathryn
Amy Kathryn
11 years ago

I have made it to flu recovery and the parents visit. Here are my thoughts so far:

The blurb on the back was very misleading on my copy…it sounded like the wedding night was all fireworks leading to lurve for both characters through the rest of the book. I was very surprised to see it portrayed more realistically between two acquaintances and then have doubts creeping in.

I love the fact that they, especially Annabelle, are having to not only discover and build a relationship with another but also with themselves. This is one reason I love marriage of convenience stories.

I had a few qualms at the very beginning when references were made to past books (I really like to read a series in order in its entirety) but I do not feel exceptionally lost or confused.

I plan to keep on reading….no decision yet as to whether I will track down the other books.

Diane Gaston
11 years ago

1. Did you like the story overall? What did you like and/or dislike about it?
I already said I loved it. I loved the premise of the beautiful “diamond” losing her looks. And like Kat, I believed the original treatments contributed to her altered appearance. Young people even today can die from the flu if not treated properly, so I had no problem believing this.

2. What did you like/dislike about the heroine?
I liked the heroine’s dignity. Even when losing the man she loved…and the other men she wanted to marry…she held her head high and didn’t let on about her pain and humiliation. I liked how she learned to get gratification from her sister-in-law’s social success instead of her own.

Janet, I think having a drawing room wedding would have been more humiliating. She needed to act as if she was very happy about this marriage of convenience. She needed to act as if it was the greatest thing ever.

3. Same for the hero.
I liked him! I thought he was very heroic. I would not have liked him so well had he lamented her loss of beauty too much.

4. Things you LOVED?
I loved the premise of the diamond losing her beauty. It gave her –and the hero–so many ways to grow. I also loved that the former beaux and their wives were kind and accepting towards her. I assume they were the heroes and heroines of other books, but it was a nice touch.
I totally believed the heroine’s transformation, Carolyn. It worked for me.

5. Anything that irritated or annoyed you?
Like Kat, I thought the ending was rushed and the whole subplot with hero’s mother didn’t work for me.
I didn’t need that excitement. The relationship between the hero and heroine was enough for me.

sonomalass
11 years ago

I read this book two years ago, but for some reason I didn’t recognize it from the description. My comments on it at the time, in a Smart Bitches thread, were that I really enjoyed it.

I love the premise, and I love the way the situation causes both main characters to examine who they are and what they want. A lot of marriage of convenience romances use sex as the bridge to love, and so far in this re-read, I am enjoying how that has been taken out of play.

I didn’t have a problem with the idea that almost dying of influenza (along with treatments like cupping and bleeding) would drastically alter her looks, or that it would take quite a while for her to recover. That was absolutely believable to me.

This time through, however, I am much more annoyed by the hero. So far (her parents’ visit), he seems a bit whiny and selfish to me when he is thinking “oh, what have I done?” and wondering about his future happiness. I don’t remember rolling my eyes this much the first time I read it.

I agree that the heroine is getting a bit treacly. I think I need to read more about her as an antagonist to believe that she needs this much reforming. I will definitely be reading the book before this when I can (I have a print copy, and reading print books is beyond my reach right now.)

Kat
Kat
11 years ago

Diane I have a question for you and the other authors who read this book. I read this book as fan of historical romance and gave my opinion. When a writer is reading a book for pleasure do you find yourselves lapsing into critiquing the book as an author would? I apologize if this question makes no sense.

Carolyn
11 years ago

I guess I’m outvoted on the flu affecting her appearance. Not that I disagree that it would affect her radically, but the length of time it took for her to recover seemed too long and, it seemed to me, it was only because the author needed that to happen.

I agree with Diane that the premise of a beautiful woman losing her beauty was interesting. I very much liked that and wish it had been dealt with more thoroughly. I kept waffling on my reaction to that, I felt the message was inconsistent at times.

I haven’t read the previous books in this series either and I wonder how much I missed from this story because of that. I think Layton did a great job handling that. I was curious to know just how awful she’d been, but I didn’t feel like not knowing the answer diminished my enjoyment at all.

Both the hero and heroine annoyed me at times, but I really did like the way Bella slowly came to see him for the fine man he was. For me, that was a real strength of the story.

Kat: To answer your question about reading as an author — I think an author has a technical reaction to a work, but when I’m reading for pleasure (which is a lot) I want to fall into the story. My favorite authors seem to have no trouble pushing me in.

When a book isn’t working for me, I think there’s an extra layer of story elements I can identify as well as additional vocabulary I can use to describe why/when that’s happening. But I don’t know that it’s all that different from someone who isn’t an author.

Janet Mullany
11 years ago

Losing her beauty would be a major issue for them both, I’d think (haven’t got there yet). I kept thinking “Trophy Wife” when the hero ruminated on the elegance and beauty of his wife.

Follow
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com
10
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x