Married to a Perfect Stranger by Jane Ashford

Married to a Perfect Stranger by Jane Ashford
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (361 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rated: 4 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Mary Fleming and John Bexley are the “white sheep’ of their large families, written off as hapless, boring—and thus suitable for each other. But they’re no sooner married than John is sent off on a two-year diplomatic mission.

Upon his return, John and Mary find that everything they thought they knew about each other is wrong. They’ve changed radically during the long separation. They have to start all over. It’s surprising, irritating—and somehow very exciting…

Two people coming into their own and finding they’ve got more in common than a marriage certificate–very interesting.

Ms Ashford’s book brought me to tears in good ways. I couldn’t put the book down and needed to know what would happen next. Why? The premise, first of all. Newlywed but strangers? I had to know what that was all about. Mary and John marry, but he’s called away on an offer he can’t refuse. What a jerk, right? He’s redeemable, so don’t let that deter you, but I thought the same thing. And he’s gone for two years. But it’s what happens during those two years and after that makes the story shine.

Mary…the poor girl. She wanted to be what everyone wanted her to be. Talk about a boring life. I cheered when she decided to come into her own and stand up for herself. Granted, this all takes place in a time where women being independent and forthright was frowned upon. A little interjecting of current values? Maybe, but this added spice to the story and I liked it. She finds out she’s happier when she’s herself and that’s a lesson we all should learn.

Then there’s John. Like I said, he comes off as a jerk initially. And why not be a jerk? He’s considered the one member of the family who isn’t suitable for marriage. I mean, how awful! He’s not stupid or witless as he’s thought to be by his family. Again, I liked how this character came into his own. He’s a good guy and smart. Plus, he’s sexy and just what Mary needs. Who can argue with that?

This book proves there might just be someone for everyone and it’s a matter of taking the time to find that person. Enjoyable, indeed.

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