Thursday, 28 July 2011
365 books in 365 days Challenge ... book #123
Wife in the Shadows - Sara Craven
Mills and Boon Modern
Harlequin UK, 2011
From the back cover:
"The private face of a public marriage
The manipulative machinations of the great Manzini family have locked Elena Blake into marriage. The reluctant groom is Italy's most infamous womaniser, Count Angelo Manzini. In society's spotlight Angelo bestows dutiful kisses on his shy new countess.
But then, behind closed doors, his apparently biddable bride refuses to stand in the shadows...Challenged by Elena's defiance, Angelo finds himself captivated by the challenge of possessing her!"
It's another Sara Craven book, I know. I have to say, I'm a big fan of her books now! This is her most recent release, and another great book.
This is the story of Elena and Angelo. Angelo has recently ended an affair with his married lover (Elena's cousin) and she is angry with him. Out of revenge she sets home up and he unknowingly goes to Elena's room one night, whilst staying at the home of an important business associate who is also the husband of Elena's godmother. Elena is shocked by events, especially the knowledge that her cousin set her up, but realises the need to avoid a scandal. To help this her godmother suggests that she and Angelo pretend to be engaged. Neither of them want to marry, nor do they particularly like each other, however with no sign of the scandal dying down soon they continue with the pretence and eventually agree to a marriage of convenience. Elena also agrees to try and have Angelo's child, but after a while without success Elena is deeply unhappy and she leaves. She spends time at her grandmothers coastal cottage where she meets a man and they get to know one another and she learns to be happy again. But the pressures from life are never far away from either of them.
I think this is a wonderful story. There are many elements of this book that are true Sara Craven style, but also some wonderfully surprising moments. The bare-bones of this plot are very standard but with some spectacular writing this turned into a truly original romance. There is a particular plot twist that is, in my opinion, a stroke of genius and actually had me almost holding my breath. The many layers of emotion in this book really draw you in and the pace and flow of this story is perfect.
This is one of the best Sara Craven books I have read. Recommended!