Saturday, January 5, 2013
Book Review: The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck
Title: The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck
Author: Kathleen Y’Barbo
2011, Waterbrook Press
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Unlikely romance is sometimes just an inconvenient marriage away.
Charlotte Beck may be entering adulthood, but she can’t seem to keep to her stubborn, independent spirit from bucking social protocol. Fed up with her behavior, Charlotte’s father Daniel pressures her to settle into a nice marriage despite knowing she is set on going to college. Then Daniel sees Charlotte with the handsome but annoying English astronomer Alex Hambly, and everything changes.
Though Alex and Charlotte can barely stand one another, Daniel offers them a deal they can’t refuse: if they agree to marry, he will save Alex’s family from financial ruin and grant Charlotte the freedom to go to college. Reluctantly the couple agrees, but in private they plot to annul the marriage as soon as possible.
But when Alex’s feelings change and he refuses to dissolve their contract, will Charlotte find a way out of her vows? Or will she discover that maybe this marriage isn’t so inconvenient after all?
I did not read the other two books in the Women of the West series, so I was coming in on the 3rd of a series. I think this book could mostly stand alone. I was slightly unsure of what was going on regarding Charlotte’s real mother when it was being explained at the end of the book, but I don’t think that was really too important.
The character of Charlotte Beck really annoyed me for the most part. She was very stubborn and selfish. I flip-flopped between liking her okay because of her spunk, to thinking she really just needed a slap of reality. Most of the time I just couldn’t believe how badly behaved she was. It did make for some interesting situations though, so it was entertaining. The first half of the book starts off with her wreaking havoc in England as a childish 17-year-old and the second half is four years later as a self-serving adult living on her father’s ranch in Colorado.
I LOVED the character of Alex Hambly though. He was responsible, sweet and caring and had just enough spirit to not get railroaded by Charlotte. I actually felt kinda sorry for him as the book went on because he was getting stuck with this stubborn girl.
There are some other secondary characters, like Charlotte’s parents who must have been introduced in earlier books and also Buffalo Bill is a friend of the family with his Wild West Show. There is some talk of God and faith throughout the book, but it’s not very heavy on those topics. It was a good book – fairly predictable, but interesting nonetheless. I would recommend it to those who like clean historical fiction. It is set partly in London, England and partly in Denver, Colorado which is a little unique.
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers for my honest review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are mine.