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Trouble At The Wedding: Abandoned at the Altar [Mass Market Paperback]

Laura L Guhrke
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Dec 12 2011 Abandoned at the Altar

“Passionate and exciting, Laura Lee Guhrke is always a delight to read.”
—Christina Dodd

New York Times bestseller Laura Lee Guhrke’s delicious Abandoned at the Altar series has historical romance readers eagerly saying, “I do!” Trouble at the Wedding is the third unforgettable walk down the aisle by the always delightful RITA Award winning author. The marriage ceremony of a Victorian heiress to the “perfect man” is most rudely interrupted by a meddlesome duke who’s convinced the bewitching lady is making a the biggest mistake of her life. Fans of Julia Quinn and Elizabeth Boyle will most certainly want to be in attendance to discover why Ms. Quinn herself calls the romance novels of Laura Lee Guhrke, “Better than chocolate.”


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From the Back Cover

Annabel is about to marry the perfect man . . .

The last thing Miss Annabel Wheaton desires is true love. She learned the hard way that love makes a woman foolish and leads only to heartache. That’s why she agreed to marry an earl who needs her money. He’s got a pedigree and a country estate, and he won’t ever break her heart. There’s only one problem . . .

Christian isn’t about to let her marry that pompous prig . . .

Christian Du Quesne, Duke of Scarborough, thinks the stubborn heiress is about to make the biggest mistake of her life, and he’s determined to stop her. Tempting beautiful women is Christian’s forte, after all. When her family offers him a nice sum of money to stop the wedding, he’s happy to accept.

Falling in love with Annabel was never supposed to be part of the bargain . . .

About the Author

Laura Lee Guhrke spent seven years in advertising, had a successful catering business, and managed a construction company before she decided writing novels was more fun. When she's not tapping away at her keyboard, Laura spends time relearning how to ski, mastering the wakeboard grab, and trying to actually hit a golf ball.


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3.0 out of 5 stars Delicious. Jan. 2 2012
By Detra Fitch TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Set in 1904. Miss Annabel Wheaton of New York has no interest in true love. Until three years ago, everyone considered her to be nothing more than white trash. But this Southern Belle is now an heiress. She had been humiliated and discarded by her former beau and had taken great pleasure in her revenge. This time Annabel has agreed to marry an earl who needs her money. No one will look down at her or her family ever again. Bernard David Alastair, Fourth Earl of Rumsford may be a fortune-hunter, but the young man is exactly what Annabel wants. That is, until ...

Christian Du Quesne, Duke of Scarborough, is in America to investigate possible business investments. His older brother had accumulated a massive amount of debt before his death. Christian has decided to quit the gaming tables and concentrate upon restoring the family fortune. Not with marriage though. His American wife died twelve years ago and Christian refuses to wed again. So when Annabel's uncle, Arthur Ransom, offers a half million dollars for what should be an easy task, Christian agrees. All Christian has to do is talk Annabel out of marrying Rumsford. What Christian never expects is to fall in love with her.

*** THREE STARS! In this wicked tale the heroine is no weak, simple miss. She is intelligent, resourceful, and has a mean right hook. The hero is a rogue who never intends to reform. He is wild, reckless at times, and a master at lying to himself. Author Laura Lee Guhrke brings London and New York together for this, the third stand-alone story in the "Abandoned at the Altar" series. I admit that there were times that I wanted to strangle each of the main characters, but overall I enjoyed their stubbornness. Delicious! ***

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  35 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Trouble at the Wedding Dec 27 2011
By Lisa Wolff - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
America heiress Annabel Weston is determined to marry a titled gentleman to help provide a better coming out for her younger sister, following her own humiliating episode. Even though Annabel is beyond wealthy, everyone still thinks of her as 'white trash' from the backwaters of Mississippi and Annabel dreams of a better life in England and just knows a title will do that. She meets the Earl of Rumsford and believes all her hopes are coming true much to the dismay of her uncle who sees Rumsford as the fortune hunter he is. Her uncle concocts a plan with the help of the dashing Duke of Scarborough, Christian De Quesne who also happens to be in great need of funds but has no desire to marry again after his disastrous first marriage. But Annabels uncle makes too good of an offer to Christian that he can not refuse and he reluctantly agrees to board the ship bound for England and try to stop the wedding.

When Annabel and Christian first meet the sparks fly right away but Annabel shoves them away as she believes her fiance is perfect. But the more little snippets that Christian feeds to her about how 'perfect' Rumsford is, the more her cold feet start to show up until on the day of her wedding she is seriously considering crying off. She bucks up though and the resulting actions are quite funny and put Annabel and Christian in quite an awkward position. As they move forward with their lives and try to put the scandal to rest, their feelings deepen and they try to ignore them but fate has other ideas naturally.

Laura Lee Guhrke has written another excellent, unique story set in the fascinating time period of the early 1900's. When our couple was traveling on the ship to England, I loved the little attentions to details (lips on bookshelves so the books won't fall out) that really made me feel like I was traveling with them. The inclusion of the motor car is again fascinating and leads to a very happy, somewhat drunk on moonshine, experience. I adored Annabel and all her Southern goodness. Ms Guhrke wrote her in such a way that you always knew she was from the backwaters of Mississippi (lots of y'alls and sugars) and it was a delight to read but never felt like all the twangy goodness was overpowering. When Annabel complains about her accent, Christian is right there to defend it and tell her how much he loves it. Together, our couple have quite a few hurdles to overcome. Christian is a bit jaded as his first wife was also an heiress and he refuses to marry for money again and has a hard time even thinking of Annabel due to her wealth. Annabel is stubborn and determined to do what is right but is closely guarding her heart as she just wants to be truly loved. Together, Annabel and Christian push through these barriers and find happiness with Ms Guhrkes trademark humor, passion and wonderful attention to details. If you are looking for a slightly different historical romance that reads easily and will have you laughing and sighing, this is a great book for you! 4 stars
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cash-for-title theme had a lot of promise. Jan. 5 2012
By OLT - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The premise of this HR, that of American heiresses marrying into the British peerage at the turn of the century, has always interested me. Edith Wharton's unfinished novel was made into a pretty decent miniseries The Buccaneers. The Earl of Grantham of Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey has an American wife whom he married to shore up his estate and happily found true love with her. Daisy Goodwin has an OK novel about the same theme: The American Heiress: A Novel. So I was all settled in with this Guhrke book to enjoy some Edwardian romance.

Heroine and heiress Annabel Wheaton grew up dirt poor in Mississippi but unexpectedly came into a fortune when her father (long divorced from her mother) dies in Alaska, leaving her his gold mines. Very nice! Unfortunately, she learns that money does not necessarily buy acceptance in society, as the upper-class snobs of New York City still do not want to associate with her.

What to do? How about buying herself a title and a place in British society? It's all the rage, after all. Annabel finds Bernard, who's an impoverished earl. They're to be married shipboard on the way to England but her uncle Arthur doesn't like Bernard and offers an impoverished British duke, our hero Christian DuQuesne, lots of money to talk Annabel out of getting married.

Christian agrees because his estate is badly in need of funds but he has vowed never to marry for money again. His first marriage ended badly and that's the reason for his vow. There you are. You know what will happen. Annabel and Christian meet on board the ship and feel an instant, lustful attraction but Annabel is set on marrying Bernard and, anyway, Christian isn't offering her any alternative. He does make her doubt her plans but they're the best she's got.

Things go awry in her plans and she has to rework her ideas for the future. That's what the rest of the book is about and it takes place in England, where Annabel is thrown into high society. This part of the book should have been interesting. An American interloper trying to be accepted in the peerage? But everything seems to work pretty smoothly in that department with Annabel's easy admission into society and that's pretty unrealistic.

So the "American in London society" theme becomes rather bland and uninteresting. As for the romance between Annabel and Christian? Well, the lust is pretty high but after the initial buildup, this romance just turned into another one of those "I can't marry you because you don't love me" HRs that so irritate me and it could have been set in any time period. A bit of a waste of that Edwardian cash-for-title setup.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars exciting Edwardian Era romance Dec 27 2011
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In 1904 on board the Atlantic Ocean liner, nouveau riche American heiress Annabel Wheaton knows she still has Mississippi mud running through her veins as the New York Knickerbocker snobs reminded her, but will marry into respectability. Her wedding to impoverished womanizing Lord Bernard Rumsford will give her what she craves. Bernard with one dance in Saratoga after three years of ostracizing made the redneck relevant and now they will marry on the ship at sea.

A week earlier, her Uncle Arthur wanted the fortune-hunter Rumsford out of his niece's life as he wants better for her. He hired the Duke Christian Du Quesne to prevent the wedding. Christian succeeds in his task, but now covets being the groom to the affluent steel magnolia. However, a raging Annabelle rejects his proposal as the ducal rake, unsure why he feels the way he does, has fallen in love with the American from Goosebend.

Although the premise of competing rakes chasing after the money of an affluent country bumpkin is not new (see Bedtime Story), talented Laura Lee Guhrke provides a fresh exciting Edwardian Era romance. Filled with humor and heart, fans will root for the heroine who as a rebel with a cause fights for what she wants; though her choice seems between two Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Trouble At The Wedding is a delightful romantic comedic historical.

Harriet Klausner
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much content for such a little book... Dec 29 2011
By I Read Anything - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Any other author would have rated higher than 3 stars, but we are talking about Ms. Guhrke here so she is graded on the curve. I loved her Girl Bachelor series, but I could not get myself motivated to finish the previous book in the Abandoned at the Altar series (Scandal of the Year). This offering is much better, but it tried to cover too many themes and it ultimately failed to give us a robust story. Also the pacing of the book is wrong, with too much time spent in New York and on the ocean and a rushed ending that could have benefited from more contextual development. You could see that she was tempted to expand on some topics (the introduction of Tiger at the ball for instance added nothing to the story unless the initial goal was to make the duke jealous). The secondary characters (the duke's sister, Annabel's mother, her stepfather and her uncle) were not well developed and ended up one-dimensional.

Very important historical trends are all crammed on top of each other:

1. The end or near end of the economic model where an English land-owning aristocracy becomes rich from its tenants and from the exploitation of the natural resources of its lands. Ms. Guhrke covered this well by showing the duke's contempt both for his own class and the idle aristocrats who don't know how to preserve their wealth. The duke is aware of the need to invest in the new industries such as telephone and railroads.

2. The trend of new American money to marry nobility to shore up their finances in exchange for titles (Consuelo Vanderbilt later the Duchess of Marlborough is probably the most famous).
3. The beginning of an awareness on the part of women of the power and money they give up upon marriage and an incipient desire to change the system.

All these themes, plus the romance between Annabel and the duke are not very well integrated. The characters are, however, well drawn and realistic, although at times I wonder about the easy acceptance Annabel receives from London high society.

All in all, a pleasant read but nothing I will remember beyond tomorrow.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars At what point do we cease with all these rules of engagement? Dec 30 2011
By Mary J. Gramlich - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
At the turn of the 20th century having old money was treated with respect, but having new money put you in a state of being caught between the world you came from and not accepted in the one you long to be part of. For Miss Annabel Wheaton a newly moneyed Southern Belle the only way out of this rut is to marry a titled English man. No one thinks this is a good idea but Annabel is a determined steel magnolia who knows how to get her way.

Annabel's uncle is determined to stop a relationship doomed for disaster and hires a rake to make it all go away. The idea was for Christian du Quesne, the Duke of Scarborough to use his charm and make the wedding come to a screeching halt. What no one expected was for a complete explosion. Christian may be desperate to fill his family coffers but not enough to marry and yet here was Annabel now seeking a husband due to his action, which Christian is remiss to explain even to himself. Neither of them wants to depend on the other but the resolution to the issue appears to be the road of most resistance from both of them. Annabel and Christian will walk the correct path but where it will lead is the question right now.

Christian knows he should never love again but perhaps Annabel will be the salve to heal his heart and set him free. If wishes were hopes than the one answer both of them is seeking shall be found.

This is a wonderful combination of the still under development American life with established English culture. This book is a reflection of changes that happened in the colonies but still show the problems and how class order issues remain regardless of your side of the pond. Annabel is the best of what women have become and Christian is a man who knows change is coming and looks to embrace it.
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