The Silk Merchant’s Convenient Wife (Harlequin Historical)

Written by Elisabeth Hobbes
Review by Ray Thompson

Scarred by his parents’ arguments, Jonathan Harcourt vows never to marry, but when Sir Robert Upford insists that he will part with the land needed to expand the silk mill Jonathan co-owns only if he weds one of his daughters, he reluctantly agrees. Aurelia Upton is equally reluctant, not at the prospect of marrying below the gentry class, but because she has sworn off men after an unfortunate experience. Nevertheless, both recognize the practical advantages, he proposes, and she accepts. They also share a mutual attraction, but can it develop into love?

There are insights into class attitudes, the treatment of child labor, and the situation of women in the Victorian era, but this romance focuses primarily upon the relationship between Jonathan and Aurelia as they struggle to adjust to each other’s needs during the first year of marriage. The challenges that confront a couple, who know so little about each other and are reluctant to be honest about their true feelings, are intensified when secrets are revealed. Fortunately, both are sensible and fair-minded, and increasingly they have come to care for one another and to build trust. Strongly recommended.