Sunday, March 4, 2012

Review: The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck by Kathleen Y'Barbo

Charlotte Beck may be entering adulthood, but she can’t seem to keep to her stubborn, independent spirit from bucking social protocol. Fed up with her behavior, Charlotte’s father Daniel pressures her to settle into a nice marriage despite knowing she is set on going to college. Then Daniel sees Charlotte with the handsome but annoying English astronomer Alex Hambly, and everything changes.

Though Alex and Charlotte can barely stand one another, Daniel offers them a deal they can’t refuse: if they agree to marry, he will save Alex’s family from financial ruin and grant Charlotte the freedom to go to college. Reluctantly the couple agrees, but in private they plot to annul the marriage as soon as possible.

But when Alex’s feelings change and he refuses to dissolve their contract, will Charlotte find a way out of her vows? Or will she discover that maybe this marriage isn’t so inconvenient after all?

My thoughts:
I had some difficulty in deciding on a star rating for this one. I enjoyed the book and it kept me entertained, however I did occasionally get annoyed with the two main characters, particularly Charlotte. She has an extremely stubborn streak, and while that can sometimes be amusing and fun, in this case Charlotte's stubbornness almost always went too far... to the point of immaturity. Having seen her grow up throughout the series, I do have to admit she has always been a firecracker, but I wish she could have matured a bit more before having a story all her own.

The book is sectioned into two parts, the first half being before Charlotte and Alex are married, and the second half after they are married. I found the first half to be more enjoyable, as Charlotte's stubbornness rears it's head in full force throughout the whole second half. When she finally admitted to herself that she might be wrong, it seemed out of character for her feelings and actions to change so completely in such a short amount of time. She was almost hateful one day, and completely mushy in love the next.

While Charlotte occasionally did get on my nerves, overall I did enjoy the book, hence my 4 star rating. It's certainly not the best in the Women of the West series (Anna Finch and the Hired Gun holds that position), but it was mostly amusing and kept me entertained. If you haven't already read the first two books in the series, I would recommend reading them first as they do contain a fair amount of Charlotte's past, from childhood on up. 

My rating: 4 stars
(I received this book courtesy of Waterbrook Multonomah Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, a positive review was not required.)

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