What happens when a woman is determined to marry the wrong man? When she just won’t listen to reason and rushes forward with wedding plans? When she just doesn’t care that she’s marrying a fortune hunting scoundrel who doesn’t love her? What’s her exasperated family supposed to do about it? Hire a different scoundrel to talk her out of it, of course.
American heiress Annabel Wheaton knows what she wants and love isn’t it. Born in a Mississippi backwater, with a twang as wide as the Delta, she wants respect to go with the millions her daddy found in a Klondike gold mine. But respect isn’t easy to come by in the closed Knickerbocker society of New York, and when the fortune-hunting Earl of Rumsford shows up, it seems like he’s just the ticket to make all Annabel’s dreams come true. When he proposes marriage, she happily agrees. That’s when the trouble starts.
Christian Du Quesne has always been trouble—a rake, a gambler, and when he was younger, a fortune hunter. He married once for the sake of the decaying family coffers, but he won’t do it again. When his older brother, the Duke of Scarborough, dies without issue, Christian become the duke and inherits a whole new pile of family debt with no way to pay it. When Annabel’s family hires him to show Annabel just what she’d be getting by marrying into Britain’s aristocratic class, he knows he’s the perfect person to talk her out of matrimony. Problem is, he only has four days to do it. Can he cause enough trouble in those four days to get her to call off the wedding?
I was surprised by the opening of the story (and then that the first few chapters are flashbacks). There is a tension between Annabel and Christian, though I'd assumed Annabel wanted to keep her mind off him for another reason -- that he wouldn't commit to marrying her, so she moved on. As we see more of Christian and Annabel's time during the crossing to England, their true personalities take hold, and Christian is surprised to find himself falling for yet another American heiress. Annabel, for all her feelings toward Christian, is willing to go forward with her marriage to a man she does not and one whom she assumes she will not love.
But all these little surprises add up to a very quick, satisfying read, just like the two previous books of this series, and I'm glad to have taken the chance on the unconventional heroines introduced in all three books.
(A very special thank you to Avon, Harper Collins and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of Trouble at the Wedding.)