Reviewer: Connie Payne
Title: Once Upon A Wedding Night
Author: Sophie Jordan
Release Date: July 2006
Genre/Sub-genre: Historical Romamce
Overall Rating: 4.5
Sexual Content Rating: Sensual
Language (Profanity) Content Rating: None/Mild
Violent Content Rating: A couple of bloody noses
Sophie's Website: www.sophiejordan.net
Lady Meredith Brookshire fears sheís in danger of losing her home. Her absentee husband has passed on without providing for her or her family in his will. She must do something! Having never met the new earl isnít important. She knows blood is blood, knows the new Earl of Brookshire is cut of the same cloth (not good) as his half-brother. So, that being the case, she perpetuates a fake pregnancy in order to keep the title and her home, which she doesnít think he deserves.
Nick Caulfield, self-made man, is set to step back and wash his hands of the title and all that comes with it. Including the memories. Nothing, not even his reluctant attraction or feelings of protection for his half-brotherís wife, can make him want to stay and accept the title. In fact thatís enough to drive him away.
Meredith finds out too late that Nick isn't the man she thought he was. Itís only a matter of time before the scheme backfires on her and the trust Nick has given her is shattered. Their relationship had been one of growing attraction and friendship. But now the heat has been turned up between them with emotions at a volatile level. Life as they knew it is forever over. Theyíre both forced to alter their lives in ways theyíd never intended or wanted.
With both of them protecting their hearts who will win in the end? Who will have to give up the most before all is said and done? Is there anything to be given up or is there more to gain?
I connected with Nick, rooted for him. I empathized with him as his feelings ran a gamut at being the target of the deception on false supposition. Childhood issues hovered over him. He was more compassionate than he ever gave himself credit for. There was more to him than he even knew or Meredith discovered. More than even we, the reader, are given a glimpse of.
Meredith, Iím sorry to say, was a character I couldnít connect with. She jumped to many assumptions and struck out first based on those assumptions. She was indignant much of the time because of Nickís reaction to the deception she perpetrated against him. Her softer side, while visible from time to time, seemed to be on the peripheral.
The flip side is she felt she had no other choice, legitimate reasons, to have done what she did, and to continue fighting Nick. Whether or not you root for her is going to be a matter of reading taste and preference.
(Personal opinion here, but I wish the back-stories of both Nick and Meredith had been a bit more fleshed out. I believe if both characters had come to know more of the otherís past there would have been greater understanding and cheering from me as the story went on.)
That aside, the fact is Ms. Jordan has delivered a well-written and compelling story in her debut. Itís sensuous. Itís fast paced and full of intense emotions with a few twists and turns thrown in along the way.
If Once Upon A Wedding Night is any indication, I expect Ms. Jordanís writing to become richer and more full-bodied with each subsequent release. Weíll be seeing the name Sophie Jordan well into the future, Iím sure.
P.S. I understand Portia--a wonderful secondary character!-- finds her way as the heroine in Ms. Jordan's next book. I loved her exuberance and intelligence and am eager to see her with those characteristics meet the match/love of her life. She's bound to lead some unlikely hero on a merry chase!
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