Confessions from an Arranged Marriage
by Miranda Neville
(Avon, $7.99, PG-13) 978-0-06-202306-6
****
Lord Blakeney, who goes by Blake, has found himself engaged. A fun prank with a friend's sleeping mistress has turned into being caught in a compromising position with a young debutante. And to make matters worse, the young debutante has always despised him.

Minerva Montrose has aspirations and is not the typical lady of society. She's looking for a man in politics she can marry and become his confidant in decisions that affect the political reform movement. What started as a little nap in the library to help rid a headache turns into a spectacle with many onlookers watching. At least Blake has the decency to marry her, but a man who has no political interest whatsoever is washing Minerva's dreams away.

Blake has been hiding his inability read since he was a child. He's been able to convince most people that he is just lazy, but the truth is the written word is very hard for him to get through. As the son of a duke with control of many seats in parliament, this has always been a heavy weight on his shoulders. Soon after his marriage to Minerva, the duke falls ill and passes away. Blake is saddened and not sure what his future holds.

Minerva sees her dream becoming a reality. With her husband now a duke, she just may get to be part of the political life she's been wanting. But Blake is holding her at an arms' length and she knows he's hiding something. The more time they spend together, the more trust he has in her, so she waits patiently for their relationship to develop knowing that her aspirations are close.

Confessions From an Arranged Marriage is a smart, out of the ordinary story. While the main plot is the love story between Blake and Minerva, Neville delves deep into politics giving great detail that intertwines itself in the plot. The political themes don't distract form the main story, but actually give depth into the connection Blake and Minerva make as they realize that marriage is more complicated than either one of them thought.

There are some slow parts in the story and a few times the point of view seems to change without a break in the set-up of the page, but Confessions from an Arranged Marriage is a book that I recommend.

--Nichole Howell


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