Review Of Jo Beverley’s The Secret Wedding
Jo Beverley is known for her thoroughly researched novels, filled with as much heart-stopping romance as they are with intricate historical detail. Beverley studied history, which adds to the richness of her novels. The Secret wedding is the second novels in her Geogian Secret trilogy. Like the other novels in the trilogy, The Secret Wedding includes chance encounter sat a inn, secret identities, aliases, strange pets, and ties to Beverley’s famed Malloren family. Set in England’s Georgian era of nearly 17-year-old Lieutenant Christian Hill gallantly reusing 14-year-old Dorcas Froggatt from the clutches of fellow officer, Bart Moore. During the struggle, Christian kill more in self –defense. He is then forced to wed Dorcas to preserve her virtue and to save himself from the hangman’s noose. Terrified at the prospect of being bound to her forever, Christian gives a false name – Jack Hill – and sets off to fight in the French and Indian War in Canada. Ten years pass, and both Christian and Dorcas – now called Caro Hill – are convinced that the other is decreased. When Christian hears that someone has made inquires about Jack Hill, he wonders if his wife is truly dead. Meanwhile , Caro must certain of her husband’s death so that she can remarry Sir Eyam Colne.
After the inquired Christian confesses his secret wedding to his childhood friend and heads off to Yorshire to find out if his wife is dead and if his marriage is legal. At the same time, Caro Hill wants to make sure that her husband died overseas in battle before she marries Sir Eyam Colne. When Christian Hill – who Caro doesn’t recognize – shows up and starts asking for her, Caro, terrified that her secret will come out, disguises herself as a maid. She is a wealthy heiress and doesn’t want her husband, or his relatives, to take her wealth and property. In the Georgian era a man had complete authority over his wife’s possession, but Caro wants to avoid this at costs. She disguises herself as Kat Hunter, a woman with a sick husband. Both Caro and Christian are the two embark on a journey through Yorkshire, Caro reluctantly deserts Christian along the way, and he is determined to find her.
The Secret Wedding is plagued by one of the major problems of romance novels. The heroine, despite her self-reliance and strong will, is unlikeable. When Christian Hill saves her from an aver mob after she is wrongly accused of theft, her from response is extreme ingratitude. She is scornful, insulting hypocritical. After unbelievably falling into bed with Christian, after a single flirtatious conversation she judges the questionable choices of the people around her. She condemns what she as a scandalous London, after behaving scandalously her.
While the novel’s heroine is insufferable, its hero is much easier to fall in love with. Christian Hill has a title, but he is relatively poor, especially in comparison to Caro. He earns a living wage from his life as a soldier. He rescues Caro twice, even if it means certain danger to him. He is even willing to take care of the wife he doesn’t know and doesn’t want. Despite his willingness to help strangers, he feels smothered by his huge, loving family. He is terrified of having children because of his12 other siblings, but his large family adds another layer to a man who, despite his gallantry is flawed. He is a womanizer. He acts impulsively.
Uneven characterization aside, both Caro and Christian sound most of the novel looking foolish. Incredibly, neither of them works out who the other is. What’s more is that secondary characters are able to untangle their web of debit with scant information and after only a brief period of time. It would be easy for Beverly to get away with her characters not recognizing each other after so many years have passed, but the fact that other characters around them are able to figure it all out almost unforgivable.
The Secret Wedding is a layered romance. It’s a huge undertaking, and the plot with all its twists and turns could fall apart – luckily it mostly doesn’t. The suspenseful plot twists, and character’s problems could be solved with a letter or asking a few questions, but because Beverley’s plot construction is masterful enough, the reader goes along with it. The novel is filled with a great deal of action – sword fights, daring rescues, chases, a few wars stories. It’s well researched, and it’s more than just the history that is detailed. Its territorial nuances add authenticity to be differences between English’s urban, industrial south and the rural north of Christian’s native Yorkshire.
One can already guess how The Secret Wedding ends. But it’s how the lovers arrive at their happy ending that manages to intrigue.