“The Shocking Secret of a Guest at the Wedding” by Victoria Alexander
I received an ARC of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program. You can check out this program at: http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway
The release date for this book is set for 10/28/14.
The story is set in 1887 and moves from the opulence of Fifth Avenue in New York City to the decadence and refinement of the grand estates of the English countryside.
Jackson Quincey Graham is the Vice President of a prestigious banking facility in New York. He is set to announce his engagement to the granddaughter of another of the bank’s founding families. They are following the plan set out for them by their families that has been in place since the two were born. Jackson considers his life predictable and comfortable. He has very few surprises in his life and he believes himself to be content with the path his life is taking.
So, when his supposedly deceased father shows up at a dinner party at his family home, Jackson is completely taken aback. He had thought his father had died before he was born.
Even more shocking, Jackson is informed that he is the heir to both a title and a grand estate in England.
Deciding to travel to England to meet his long lost family and to get to know his father, Jackson defers announcing his engagement. He is shocked to realize that he does not really love his intended fiancé, even though he likes and respects her greatly. However, love is not a necessary factor in a marriage for the upper class of American society and he is well aware of this fact.
Upon his arrival in England he meets his new family and their closest friends. One of those friends is Theodosia Winslow.
Lady Theodosia Winslow is the daughter of the Countess of Sallwick. Theodosia and her mother orrganize weddings and other soirees, charging exorbitant prices for their services. It is at the wedding of Jackson’s cousin that the two meet for the first time.
What follows is a tale of adventure, romance, intrigue and difficult life decisions.
The only thing I did not like about this story was the overuse of people “returning from the dead.” While Jack’s father shows up after 30 years of his son believing he was dead, there is also Nigel whose daughters had thought he was dead (although their mother knew differently.) One person is okay, two people is pushing it, but when a third person “returns from the dead” it seems ridiculous. That plot line is definitely overused in this story.
However, I did enjoy how Theodosia (Teddy) was portrayed. Historical fiction rarely has independent women as their heroines. All too often the women are portrayed as having no ambition other than to marry well.
I enjoyed this book and read it very quickly. A good book is an escape from reality and that is exactly what this book provides – a pleasant distraction from the modern world.
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars based purely on escapism. It is fun and enjoyable read.
Readers who enjoy historical romance will enjoy this book.