Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Admiral's Penniless Bride by Carla Kelly

What an excellent book for a monthly Harlequin! This is a very sweet, tender story of Admiral Sir Charles Bright and his desire to marry quickly to get his hen picking sisters off his back. After almost his whole life at sea, he is a bit unused to what all happens back on land but when he glances up from his table at the hotel and sees the obviously down to her last penny, Sally Paul, he knows that they can help each other. After an initial refusal to his proposal, Sophia, as Charles calls her, accepts and they move to his newly purchased home...which basically used to be a whore house for the old lord and there are um, detailed paintings and statues and books everywhere. Charles is sure she will run out at this point, but Sophia surprises him and believes that they can just change the decor.
There was so much realness to this book which I very much enjoyed. I loved how these two didn't just fall into bed, but their attraction slowly built up as did their respect and love. I loved how Charles and Sophia both hired down on their luck people to help in their home, him some old sailors that otherwise would have a tough time finding work, and her, the governess she meet on the mail coach and some young girls that need a safe place. I loved the relationship between their new neighbors and how delighted they were to feel welcome. The only thing that kept this from being a five star read for me was....the big misunderstanding. I'm not a fan of them to begin with and I was bummed it was thrown in here. Sophia has some secrets that she does not want to reveal and when they finally are, Charles blows up and leaves no room for clarification. Thankfully, we get out HEA but I would have liked an epilogue, just a short one but other than that, this is a really heartwarming book! I will definitely be checking out more books by Carla Kelly! 4 stars

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