Trouble At The Wedding: Abandoned at the Altar Mass Market Paperback – Dec 5 2011
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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
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.
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.
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.