Another Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) I was privileged to receive through a Shelf Awareness giveaway was a historical romance novel, A Wedding by Dawn by Alison DeLaine. Here is my extended review.
A Wedding by Dawn
By Alison DeLaine
Published by Black Canyon Creations, LLC
Through Harlequin HQN, 2014
Alison DeLaine’s new historical romance is set primarily in France and England. The story features Lady India Sinclair and Nicholas Warre as the romantic leads. Green-eyed Nicholas Warre has inherited a title and lands in England, but is in debt to the extent that he needs the money that will come to him when he marries Lady India. Moreover, he needs this money quickly as his debts are coming due and is jeopardy of losing his home to his debtor, Holliswell.
India does not wish to be married; she has been locked away by her father for years, and she is afraid that marriage to anyone will be like trading one prison cell for another. Therefore, she runs away to the sea, but as the novel opens, the pair meets in a tavern in Malta.
Nicholas needs the money and could care less what India looks like (although she is gorgeous with blue eyes, long, golden honey-colored hair, and a well-endowed figure); India is there attempting to lose her virtue to ruin herself for the man to whom her father plans to marry her off. He rescues her from a potential assailant and then plans to marry her by dawn. Suffice it to say, he doesn’t marry her the next day, however. Otherwise, this would have been a short story rather than a novel.
Throughout the story, she continues in her attempt to escape as they travel in France toward Paris. Neither wishes to admit to his or her attraction to the other; in fact, they both act aloof, which soon becomes a contest of wills. Each of them has their own vulnerabilities to hide even to the point that once he forces her into marriage, they have even more reason to not trust the other. Neither can admit nor express what they are truly feeling. Because of this, each is prepared to let the other one go. It is only the intervention of a half-sister, Emilie, and her vulnerabilities that finally allow them to stand up for the love they have for each other.
Romance, as a genre, is fairly predictable. Yet, in this novel, there are some novelties that do not show up in most romances. For example, one of the more unique aspects was the fact that neither India nor Nicholas declares his love for the other until the very last chapter. Each privately thought it, but would not publicly announce it. While this isn’t the only variation seen, for a change of pace, those who enjoy reading romances might wish to give Alison DeLaine’s story a try. I know I shall be checking out some of her others like A Gentleman ’Til Midnight or A Promise by Daylight.