Julia Quinn has been on my auto buy list for years, her Bridgerton series is still one of my go-to comfort reads. Lately her books are hit or miss for me. Because of Miss Bridgerton, the first book in the Rokesbys series, featuring Miss. Billie Bridgerton was a hit. I loved it and was really looking forward to the next installment. Then I found out Edward’s story featured an amnesia storyline and I was like eh, okay. Still looking forward to reading, but not quite as much.
After Miss Cecelia Harcourt receives a letter saying that her brother had been wounded in the war, she immediately boards a ship and sets out for New York. With the death of her father and her brother, Thomas, being so far away in the middle of a war, she really has nothing left in Derbyshire anyway. When she finally arrives in America it’s to find out that her brother is missing and no one seems to know anything about his whereabouts. His best friend, Captain Edward Rokesby, however, is wounded and hasn’t regained consciousness since being brought to the hospital. Determined to see to his welfare, in a moment of frustration, she blurts out that she is his wife. Then he wakes up and she’s stuck in a lie that she can’t figure out how to get out off.
When Edward Rokesby wakes up in the hospital, he has no memory of the last several months of his life. All he knows is he has a splitting headache and there is a woman claiming to be his wife sitting next to his bedside. He recognizes Cecelia almost immediately, after all her brother carried her miniature with him during their travels, but he doesn’t remember proposing marriage. He doesn’t remember anything of the last three months. But surely he’d remember proposing marriage?
Let me just get this out there, this wasn’t my favorite Julia Quinn. The first half of the book dragged and it was hard for me to stay engaged. Cecelia wasn’t my favorite heroine. While I understood why she lied in the first place I just couldn’t get it out of my head that her entire relationship going forward with Edward would be based on the assumption that they had a prior relationship other than a few letters between her and Thomas that Edward and she briefly corresponded within. And poor Edward, already feeling confused and less than himself because he doesn’t know if his memories would ever return. Edward is a good man, a good friend, and believes the Cecelia when she tells him that they agreed to a proxy marriage arranged by her brother.
The second half picks up after Edward and Cecelia get to know each other a little better and consummate the marriage. But that’s also when Edward regains his memories and the truth of Cecelia’s deceptions are revealed. Not by Cecelia, she doesn’t admit to her lies until almost the very end and even then it’s only in a letter, but at least Edward knows what is really going on. While I did enjoy the ending, I kind of wish the truth had come out sooner and this couple had spent more time together in a more truthful, honest way.
While not my favorite book by this author, she still remains on my auto-buy list and I can honestly say I am looking forward to the next book in the series, which I believe will be Edward’s younger brother Andrew’s. Final Grade-C
Suddenly he thought about how much he hated opening the door to the room, how he never seemed to be prepared for the burst of light.
What a fool he’d been. What a damned fool.