Married to a Perfect Stranger by Jane Ashford

A stand-alone historical romance title, sure to please those who like to watch a developing relationship from bad to good is up for review from Jane Ashford today. Please read on fo

Married to a Perfect Stranger

Mary Fleming is very much of her time: doing what is expected of her without great regard for her own desires. While in the lower levels of society, she isn’t a sought-after debutante, and her family isn’t all that interested in her or her wishes.  Expecting that she will become a companion to an elderly aunt with dozens of cats, she’s unwilling to change her family’s perceptions.

John is also in a similar predicament, not the heir but one of many, he’s not the favorite or brightest, and his family finds him rather hapless and hopeless.  A childhood friendship with Mary seems to present solutions for both families: marry them off.

John and Mary start their married life together, until John is offered, and gratefully jumps at the chance for a diplomatic posting, expected to last 2 years. He accepts and moves on to China, leaving his new bride to fend for herself.

For the first time, Mary is left to her own devices and able to think of herself and her wants: and she does some serious soul-searching and growing up. Not to mention her resentment toward her ‘husband’.  Through the two years she gains in independence and confidence, and is a far different woman from the retiring and biddable one that was left behind.

John experienced many changes as well, seeing the very un-diplomatic and less than forthright actions of his co-workers helped him to grow up and learn the art of compromise. While not changing his initial impressions of the woman he married, his return did not prepare him for the changes she has made.

Together these two must learn to work on their relationship, or decide on the next steps, as divorce is not an option.  The dialogue and growth of both characters, and the slow development of their relationship was charming: both had grown up feeling ‘less than’ their siblings, and the time apart gave them a chance to find their own way. Now, together, they are learning to make a life that allows them a chance at happiness.

Clever and a bit different from other historicals I have read, this was a quick read and quite amusing.

Married to a Perfect Stranger by Jane Ashford

Title: Married to a Perfect Stranger
Author: Jane Ashford
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 149260190X
Published on: 3 March 2015
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 384
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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...

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

 

About Jane Ashford

Nancy Jane LeCompte was born in Eaton, Ohio, USA. She discovered Georgette Heyer in junior high school and was entranced by the glittering world and witty language of Regency England. That delight was part of what led her to study English literature and travel widely in Britain and Europe. She has lived in New York, Boston and LA, her writing life punctuated by breaks where the fates intervened and swept her off in different directions. Today, she lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Jane has written historical and contemporary romances as Jane Ashford and Jane LeCompte. Her books have been published in England, Spain, France, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, and Latvia, as well as the U.S. She is a two-time nominee for a Career Achievement Award by Romantic Times Magazine. Away from romance writing for several years, she recently completed a new historical.

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