The overly scientific, always respectable, and socially awkward Alexander Banks has just been informed his name resides on a betrothal agreement right above the name of the worst chit in all of England. With a loophole that allows him to marry another without consequence before the thirtieth anniversary of his birth, he has only four weeks to find another woman and make her his wife. Being the logical scientist he is, Alex decides to take his friend’s advice and treat his quest for a bride just like a science experiment… Caroline Sinclair is still trying to scrape her jaw off the floor after hearing her cousin, Lady Olivia’s, latest announcement when the object of their conversation, Alex Banks, Olivia’s intended, arrives for what Caroline assumes is a bout of drawing room chitchat with his betrothed. But when an experiment is mentioned, Caroline, who cannot resist a science experiment any more than she can deny her lungs air, volunteers to help before she even knows what his latest experiment is!
Publisher and Release Date: Second Wing Publishing, March 29, 2012
Time and Setting: Regency England
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 1
Reviewer Rating: 4 Stars
Review by Susan:
Avid intellectual Alex Banks, the son of Baron Watson, and Caroline Sinclair, the impoverished cousin of Lord Sinclair and born with an inquisitive nature make a love match reminiscent of Prince Charming and Cinderella’s idyllic compatibility in Rose Gordon’s Regency romance Her Sudden Groom. Coming from two different backgrounds, Alex and Caroline seem like an unlikely match until certain factors come to light which convince readers that they truly belong together.
Gordon creates a sweet romance that engages the reader’s sense of fairness while tapping into the coffers of romantic lore. Her Sudden Groom is the fourth book in Gordon’s Groom series and has equal shares of drama and humor buffered by a tinge of suspense. One such suspenseful moment is when the audience is introduced to the mean-spirited and cruel-tongued Lady Olivia Sinclair to whom Alex is bound by a betrothal contract agreed by his late father and the late Lord Sinclair. Audiences breathe a sigh of relief when the new Lord Sinclair, Olivia’s brother Marcus, accepts a clause in the contract which allows Alex to marry another woman. The softly spoken Alex Banks would be ripped to shreds if he had been obliged to marry Olivia, and Ms Gordon makes that a likely possibility in the reader’s mind.
The dialogue keeps readers alert about what is going on, and the narration moves the story at a comfortable pace making each new stage fit naturally into the main theme. Ms Gordon’s writing enables readers to easily comprehend her characters’ situations and dilemmas. The crux of the story is Alex’s to approach towards marriage in that he wants to find a woman to marry as a science experiment. His tunnel vision gravitates towards everything scientific, and his lack of experience in entering into a flirtation and understanding a woman’s unspoken or implied messages make his character seem flat except when he is interacting with Caroline, when he breaks out of that starchy mold. The love scenes take place within the marriage bed, although there is a lack of historical accuracy in the characters mannerisms, vocabulary, and mindsets which reflect more closely figures found in the 21st century rather than in the early 19th.
The struggle which Alex faces is to learn to listen to his heart instead of his scientific mind. For Caroline, it is overcoming her low self-esteem, thinking she isn’t worthy of a being married to a baron’s son. Their struggles are touching and enhance their character’s credibility. Ms Gordon’s story is lighthearted and tempered for readers who like their characters to be down to earth and softly passionate.