Saturday, June 4, 2011
Hidden Affections by Delia Parr
Hidden Affections by Delia Parr begins with Annabelle Tyler, a recently divorced woman (unheard of and quite scandalous in those days) and Harrison Graymoor, a cad and wealthy, confirmed bachelor (although a womanizer), handcuffed together in Western Pennsylvania in 1831. They had been robbed as they traveled on a stagecoach. It began to snow after they'd given it their best to remove the handcuffs, so they huddled together to stay warm. And that's the way they were found by the sheriff. The sheriff, knowing of Harrison's reputation and wanting to protect the honor of Annabelle (not knowing she was divorced), took them to the minister's house and forced them to marry--with a shotgun in Harrison's back.
Neither Annabelle nor Harrison wanted to be married. Harrison assured Annabelle he would go to his lawyer when they returned to the city and have the marriage annulled. He could well afford it. But in the meantime, both would have to give the performance of their lives, since an announcement of their marriage preceded their arrival to Philadelphia in the city's newspaper.
Annabelle was given her own room in Harrison's country home outside of Philadelphia and a new wardrobe befitting the wife of one of the wealthiest men of the city. But they both had to convince the godly housekeeper, Irene, that they were truly married--and living as husband and wife. Annabelle and Irene were to become the best of friends.
Annabelle's ex-husband and his new wife appear in the city and the scoundrel begins to cause trouble for the new couple. Eric had only married Annabelle to get to the money her dying parents possessed. Once he had the money, he left her and divorced her promptly. And he was in the process of repeating the same thing with his new wife.
Through the story, you begin to see a change take place in Harrison. And you begin to see a change take place in his relationship with Annabelle.
I'd give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It is a very easy book to read. Delia is a craftsman with her words. But the story line is pretty predictable. In fact, the conflict in this book had me shaking my head and saying, "No! Don't go there!" But she did. All in all, it was a good book and an easy read.
Thank you to Bethany House for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.