A Matter of Convenience is the first book in Gabriella Anderson's "Destiny Coin" trilogy. In each book, the heroine finds true love after she becomes the
possessor of an ancient good luck coin that has been passed down from mother
to daughter through the generations.
Corinna Towers is a nineteen-year-old orphan living with her aunt and uncle.
The only keepsake she has of her mother's to remember her by is an ancient
silver coin that bears the likeness of the love goddess Venus on one side and
the Latin words numquam tuas spes dedisce (never forget your dreams) on
Corinna is treated horribly by her aunt and would do just about anything to
escape having to live under her roof. When the handsome and dashing Stuart
Grant proposes a sham betrothal that will benefit them both, she agrees to
it, knowing he will give her the money she needs to live an independent life
when they end their arrangement. All would have gone according to plan had
Corinna not succumbed to passion one evening and given him her virginity.
Since Stuart is a man of honor, she knows he will have no choice but to turn
the sham betrothal into a sham marriage.
Stuart Grant has always had trouble keeping marriage minded ladies and their
tenacious mamas from hounding him. He's not only good-looking, but he's also
one of Boston's wealthiest men to boot. Corinna is the first woman he's met
who didn't instantly fall in love with him and his money, so he finds himself
intrigued by her.
Stuart takes a thorough disliking to Corinna's aunt, not caring at all for
how she treats her niece. When it occurs to him that a sham betrothal can
help both his and Corinna's situations, he acts on the idea immediately. It
seems a sensible course for both of them to take, but being near her proves
too much temptation and in a moment of unchecked passion he takes Corinna's
virginity, making it necessary for them to wed. Stuart doesn't mind marrying
her, for in truth, she will make an excellent mistress for his estate. What
he does mind is falling in love with his wife, but that is something he feels
powerless to stop himself from doing.
A Matter of Convenience employs a couple of plotting techniques that might
not go over very well with more experienced romance readers. The first one is
called, in a word, "miscommunication." Corinna thinks Stuart feels this way
when in fact he feels that way, and Stuart thinks Corinna wants A when in
fact she wants B. (Can we say, "frustrating"?!)
When conflict occurs and fails to be resolved because of mere words that were
never spoken between the protagonists to make everything right between them,
the result is aggravation rather than intrigue. Add into that mix a heroine
who is too thankless and stubborn for her own good - the result is a minor
And then comes along the second questionable plotting technique: the big
misunderstanding. For the last two-thirds of the book, the heroine is led to
believe that the hero is being unfaithful, when in fact, he isn't. The big misunderstanding coupled alongside the scenario of never-ending miscommunication equals major migraine.
A final criticism of this book concerns the reader's ability to be transported into America's past. You are told that you are reading about Boston, yet there is no real colonial flavor. The setting just didnít feel very authentic.
So why, after all of those criticisms, did I give A Matter of Convenience a three heart rating? Because Gabriella Anderson is a good storyteller and this novel does possess the ability to draw you into the plot. Whether or not it keeps your attention is largely up to your preferences as a reader of romance. Readers who haven't yet gotten their fill of miscommunication scenarios and big misunderstandings might enjoy this novel to a greater extent than I did.