Thursday, July 24, 2014

Trapped at the Altar by Jane Feather

Historical Fiction

What Goodreads Says:

The first in an all-new, sizzling historical romance series from New York Times bestselling author Jane Feather.

Torn between a true love and family duty…

Ariadne "Ari" Carfax has never been one to play by the rules; she’s an heiress to the Carfax family, banished from London when Oliver Cromwell seized the throne from King Charles, who has since gained notoriety for pillaging, thieving, and ruling the Carfax Valley with an iron glove. All too soon, Ari finds herself in her family’s legendary vise, forced into a marriage to Ivor Chalfont, Ari’s childhood friend and confidante, against her wishes.

While the Carfax family has only its own interest at heart—a union between the Catholic Carfaxes and Protestant Chalfonts will guarantee the Carfaxes’ reinstatement at London court, and the rehabilitation of their noble name—Ari cannot bear the thought of being separated from her secret lover/poet, Gabriel. She vows to fight her family—and Ivor—every step of the way, even when forced into the marital ceremony at her own grandfather’s wake, in a treacherous coup de etat that leaves her wed to another, and eternally broken-hearted.

Sending Gabriel to the temporary safety of Lord Monmouth’s outpost at The Hague in Scotland, Ari resigns herself to her new life as Lady Ivor Chalfont—at least until the newlyweds travel to London, and she can escape her new husband and reunite with Gabriel. As the two make their preparations to travel, however, Ari finds herself entertaining entirely uncharacteristic thoughts about her new husband: she finds that she likes him as perhaps more than a friend, after all. Not wanting to be disloyal to Gabriel, but simultaneously more and more attracted to Ivor, Ari can’t help but give into the physical pull between her and her new husband, and the two embark on a tentative, post-marital courtship that just might hold the seeds of love…until, that is, Gabriel spots Ari in London and makes it his mission to get her back. Ari is caught between a lover who might be better left in the past, and a husband who she just might be able to love; who will win Ari’s heart?

Set in 1600s England during the tumultuous Monmouth Rebellion, this is the epic story of what happens when the one thing we think we can trust—our hearts—turns out to be the most duplicitous.

I loved the setting for Trapped at the Altar.  The 1600’s in England were full of history and drama and Ari and Ivor are poised to be right in the middle.  My one complaint about the story was how little of the story was set in London.  That meant that much of the intrigue at court was just touched on. I would have liked to see more of tht history in the story.  Since this seems to be the first book in a new series I hope it is worked into future books.

What I did love were the three main characters.  Ari is a wild child who has been indulged by her clan and her Grandfather.  Suddenly she is forced to grow up and she does not like it one bit.  Ivor was brought to the clan when he was six years old and now is the time for him to play the part he has been trained for.  Gabriel is the weakest of the three main characters.  He is a poet and a dreamer.  It was easy to see who was the best match for Ari and easy to see why her attraction to Gabriel was a passing thing. 

That attraction and the history between Ari and Ivor is at the heart of the story.  Ari's history with Gabriel adds the needed tension.  Trapped at the Altar has everything a historical romance needs.  There are trust issues, danger, romance and a little history.  All make a very readable story.

Pocket Books published Trapped at the Altar by Jane Feather in 2014.

I received an ARC of Trapped at the Altar from Netgalley.

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