Something About Emmaline by Elizabeth Boyle
published by Avon in January 2005
Inventing a wife was the perfect solution...
Or so it seemed to Alexander Denford,Baron Sedgwick, when he made up Emmaline for the sole purpose of deterring the ton’s marriage-minded ladies and their infernal matchmaking mothers--thereby enabling him to enjoy his carefully planned life in peace. So imagine his surprise when a stunning stranger appears in his private bedchamber…and brazenly announces that she is "Lady Sedgwick!"
Until a tempting lady turns his life upside down...
This "Emmaline" has been living by her wits her entire life--and dearly desires what the dashing, much chagrined rake can provide: an entry into good society. In the meantime, she is plunging his household into chaos and, worse still, wreaking havoc with his heart. For there’s something about her spirit and fiery sensuality that Alex is finding impossible to resist. But before he can make his perfect love his actual bride, he’ll have to somehow become the ideal husband he never dreamed he could be.
Genre: historical romance
Series: The Bachelor Chronicles, book #1
The Story: For 5 years, Alexander Denford, Baron Sedgwick, has duped his family as well as the ton. Indeed, to deter all those matchmaking mothers and put a halt to his grandmother's nagging, he has invented himself a wife... Lady Emmaline. How does it work? Easy... when Alexander is in London, then his frail wife is in the country, resting and when he is in the country, his wife stays in London... again, resting and recovering from whatever illness ails her. Quite a clever plan... until Lady Emmaline materializes and takes over his home and life. Then, nothing goes right anymore in Sedgwick's ordered, organized, calm... and dull life... and suddenly, Sedgwick doesn't know if he wants to remain... so dull anymore.
My Opinion: Okay, so I've read a lot of books where the hero makes a deal with someone and pretend to be engaged or married to avoid all the matchmakings... but I've never read a book where the hero makes up a wife!! LOL :) That's what made me read Something About Emmaline during the week-end. It sounded like a good book and it was :)
So you have Alexander Denford, Baron Sedgwick, who has basically invented himself a wife. He thinks he is oh so clever, till he reads in the gossip sections about Lady Sedgwick finally appearing in London and when he receives the bag of bills, he immediately rushes to his London residence. Anyway, I thought the whole idea of the book was brilliant and really entertaining. Of course, in such a case, you need a witty heroine and Emmaline certainly is witty. She has a quick mind, a quicker tongue, a strong personality, is not afraid and knows how to bluff her way. Basically, I thought that Emmaline was a great heroine and really entertaining. I enjoyed seeing Alexander and Emmaline interacting with each other and how she always had the upper hand, the right excuse. LOL, it was also funny that everyone thought that Alexander was dull, even his grandmother!! LMAO :P
Of course, the first quarter of the book or so, Alexander spends his time being confused by Emmaline as well as trying to find how she discovered his secret and who sent her. I did think that Alexander fell for Emmaline a bit too quickly... the whole story takes place over a week or a bit more... That was way too quick to me. What I liked though is that Emmaline had already spent a month in Alexander's house and so, all the servants were already on her side. It was fun to see Alexander's staff trying to matchmake Alexander and Emmaline and I understood them... They all wanted Alexander to produce a heir so his cousin wouldn't be the heir anymore. I liked how the butler in this story wasn't so stuffy :)
So I thought the whole storyline was quite enjoyable and Emmaline was really fun to read. She really made the book. I would have liked to know a bit more about Alexander. I thought he wasn't as developed as Emmaline... not that I think I would have enjoyed the book more... Just to satisfy my curiosity. I did think the story took place a bit too quickly and would have preferred if it has taken place on a longer time period... There were quite a few twists at the end that I did not expect - all pretty good and cleverly included and worked in :)
Another complaint I would have though is there were a bit too many characters... and not everyone seemed to be necessary. For example, Templeton... Was he really needed? If I'm not wrong, this book was the first in the series; however, I felt like I missed the first book... Also, there was one or two loose ends in the book... Why did Templeton get Emmaline's father a pardon? However, those are small details and aren't too important to the storyline...
My Grade: B+. Definitively a good read, entertaining and funny :)