Author: Christina Brooke
Provided Synopsis: When the Ministry of Marriage arranges a match, all that matters is power, wealth and prestige. In the business of marriage, there is no room for love. But even the most prudent plans can go awry…
A Convenient Marriage
Jane, Lady Roxdale, has endured one marriage of convenience decreed by the Ministry of Marriage. While she deeply regrets her late husband’s death, she is relieved to be free at last. But when a dissolute rake threatens everything Jane holds dear, she must contemplate marrying a second time…
An Inconvenient Passion
Disgraced libertine Constantine Black inherits his cousin Roxdale’s land and title—while Roxdale’s prim widow is left all the wealth. Constantine is not a marrying man, but wedding Jane is the only way to save the estate from ruin. Jane resists the smoldering heat between them, desperate not to fall in love with an unrepentant rake. But for the first time ever, Constantine wants more than seduction. He wants all of her—body, heart, and soul…
Review: When Frederick, Lord Roxdale, dies without children his entailed estate is to pass on to his cousin, Constantine, who is known by English society to be a rake. Meanwhile, Frederick’s widowed wife, Jane, is left to wonder what will become of the place she has considered home in the hands of a man with such a scandalous reputation, along with her worry for the ward she has taken on and who has somehow been included in the divisions of Frederick’s will. Things are complicated and soon it becomes quite clear that Jane and Constantine will need to marry to secure the estate’s future. But can an arranged marriage reliant solely upon business be possible? What happens if they fall in love?
All in all, I would consider this to be a good historical romance. At first I felt very little in the way of the attraction between Jane and Constantine, but it eventually grew to be stronger and more palpable. Hero and heroine have a lot of issues to deal with in this story. In her case, she must understand that not all men will give her an uncomfortable marriage like her late husband did; on his part, he must learn to move out of the way of his pride to see that people can make mistakes and still love him at the same time. I liked them together, but I cannot deny that I wanted a bit more. Towards the beginning of the story I skimmed a lot as I wondered when the story would begin to move, which is a problem when I approach these books with the hope to find something that will consume me.
For a series called “The Ministry of Marriage” there was very little information about the institution given to the readers. Are they even an institution, or are they an exclusively formed club? They were like a meddlesome group of older aristocrats with the one-minded goal of maintaining their wealth through marriages they have arranged. I was interested in learning who and what the Ministry of Marriage does (because with a name like that they should be interesting, right?) yet they were unnecessary side-characters.