Thursday, June 16, 2011

Book Review: The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck

I love a historical, romantic fiction novel. The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck by Kathleen Y'Barbo falls into that category, but I didn't see much in the way to recommend it as either historical or romantic. It was a fine book, but it wasn't amazing.

First, I was unaware that this book is the third in a series of three. I am unsure as to whether the other two titles would have filled in the gaps that I found in this one. The book is not labeled as part of a series, so I am guessing it was intended to also work as a stand-alone novel. In that case, it had some details that were sorely lacking to aid in understanding the plot.

Charlotte Beck is the beautiful, spoiled daughter of a Colorado tycoon. She is only interested in pleasing herself- mainly through obtaining a college education and becoming a board member in her father's company. I disliked how inaccurate many of the details concerning a period woman's behavior were. I am sure there were exceptions- but I doubt that they were quite this bold. I am not a feminist at all, so I suppose if that is your thing you would probably enjoy Charlotte's determination to be proven an equal to her male counterparts in business. I did not.

Her "love interest", Alex Hambly, is more often frustrated with Charlotte than enamored of her. When Charlotte's father arranges Alex's marriage to Charlotte, neither of them are happy about the prospect. However, due to the Hambly family's financial troubles Alex needs the Beck's funds, and because of Charlotte's outrageous behavior, Charlotte's father is insistent on the match.

The book has a predictable ending, which I don't mind, actually I usually enjoy them. Both Charlotte and Alex realize their love for each other and settle down, happily ever after. However, as I was not deeply engaged in the characters, and found much of Charlotte's behavior to be ridiculous, I was not applauding. The author seemingly hurries to tie up what I am guessing are lose ends from the previous book and it is a little hard to follow.

I will refrain from passing too harsh a judgement. The book wasn't a total drag, and had some interesting details. I would like to think that I would have enjoyed it much more if I had read the series in its entirety.

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I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher, Waterbrook Press,in exchange for my unbiased review.

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