Vows to Save Her Reputation (Harlequin Historical)

Written by Christine Merrill
Review by Ray Thompson

Convinced he is under the family curse, Sir Robert Gascoyne decided to protect others by isolating himself, but when he takes a young woman into his home for medical treatment after his carriage causes her to fall and injure herself, he finds himself obliged to marry her ‘to save her reputation’. Nor does it hurt that her social-climbing father offers a generous dowry at a time when his finances are precarious. Because Robert’s first wife died in childbirth, he is adamant that the marriage remain unconsummated. Emma, however, proves to be not only sensible, but unexpectedly attractive.

Though their feelings are soon engaged and both thrive in each other’s company, progress towards the happy ending remains uneven, mainly because of their upbringing: Emma’s self-confidence was undermined by her critical and controlling mother, Robert was convinced of the family curse by the mentally unstable grandfather who reared him. There are, perhaps, rather too many issues raised, and they do distract from the central plot. On the other hand, there are some nice touches of humor and irony in this Regency romance. Recommended.