Diana Brennan came west on the orphan train and was given a home with a loving couple who cherished and spoiled her. At 17, she fell hard for Tyson Applegate, the son of a wealthy mine owner. After a whirlwind courtship and marriage, Tyson took off for adventures around the world, including fighting with the Rough Riders in Cuba. Receiving no word from him in years, Diana's infatuation with her dashing husband died an ugly death, and she is ready to move past the old pain and marry again, just as soon as Tyson is declared legally dead.
But when Tyson returns, claiming to be a changed man, he wants to reunite with his wife and run for the senate. While Diana suspects the election is his real reason for wanting her by his side, she agrees to maintain his home and to campaign with him, but when it is over, win or lose, she wants her freedom.
He agrees with one condition—she must give him a chance to change her mind about him.
My take: Marriage of convenience stories are my favorite, and while this one has a twist—Tyson and Diana have been married for seven years—it still fits the basic trope. It's definitely one of the better marriage of convenience stories I've recently read.
The novel begins when Tyson appears, after being presumed dead for two years, at Diana's engagement party. The couple's past is told through short flashbacks at the end of most chapters. This allows the reader to learn about the past without getting bogged down in it.
I love how this book isn't solely about Tyson winning Diana's love—it's also about finding forgiveness, self-worth, and family ... and by the end, Tyson and Diana do have quite the family!
I did find the book's villain (and it may be a stretch to really call him that) unnecessary. He didn't really keep Tyson and Diana apart, and I didn't fear him for an instant. He just kind of filled the pages and took away from the Tyson-Diana story.
Beloved is the first Robin Lee Hatcher book I've read (aside from a short novella in A Bride for All Seasons), but it certainly will not be my last. It's the third book in her Where the Heart Lives series, and I now want to go back and read the other two. (The novel functions as a stand alone, so you can read them in any order.)
My rating: 4-1/2 stars
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Robin Lee Hatcher is celebrating the release of her latest novel, Beloved, with an iPad Mini giveaway!
One winner will receive:
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."