I basically bought this book because of Holly. I kept bothering her for suggestion and she told me she enjoyed Three Nights by Debra Mullins. Yes, if you look at the title of the post, this is a review for Two Weeks with a Stranger. See, I couldn't remember the title when I was at the UBS. All I could remember was the author's name and that it was a time frame... So I bought Two Weeks instead of Three Days (in my defense, they didn't have Three Days, LOL).
I was picking up my books when I came across Two Weeks with a Stranger again. I decided to give it a go :)
Two Weeks with a Stranger by Debra Mullins
published by Avon in January 2007
The stranger in her bed...
Wedded and bedded, Lucy is devastated when she's abandoned by her new husband the very next day. Though it was a marriage of convenience, their heated wedding night gave her hope that it would turn into something more. But she refuses to be the demure bride left behind on a country estate while the stranger she married goes gailvanting about London--even if she has to create a scandal of her own.
Simon, the Earl of Devingham, would prefer his exquisite young bride rermain at home where he left her. Instead, she follows him to London... seducing him with her fiery kisses, enchanting him with her scorching touches, and awakening in him an insatiable hunger. His duty to the Crown demands that he remain in town, but Lucy has entered a most perilous game--and she will not forfeit without Simon's total surrender.
Genre: historical romance
The Story: The storyline is pretty much as described in the synopsis. Simon married a country lady, hoping that she would stay in the country and raise their children while he'd be in London, working to protect his country. He didn't expect to be so attracted to his wife or to enjoy her as much in bed as outside. Unfortunately, duty calls and he has to be back in London where his new mission awaits. His new mission consists of seducing some information away from an Italian widow. Simon has no desires to seduce anyone besides his wife, but he doesn't have a choice. However, he never expected his wife to show up at the doorstep for their London house.
Having heard rumors of her husband with another woman, Lucy rushes to London hoping to turn their marriage of convenience into something more. What awaits her is a husband whose emotions confuse her, her husband's best friend's open hostility and an American heiress...
My Opinion: I'd like to start by stating that I enjoyed the overall idea. I thought it was quite clever and refreshing. First, you have the H/H already married and the whole courting/wooing behind. Then, you have two main characters that do not fit the molds of historical H/H. I guess for lack of better words, I felt that Lucy and Simon were normal people. I also liked the fact that Lucy was the daughter of a squire and although a lady, she was not part of the nobility. I even appreciated the fact that's what Simon was looking for. Lucy's lack of nobility sophistication was refreshing.
So I liked the idea, thought it was refreshing... however, I'm not sure it was as well-written as it could have been.What's frustrating is that I can't put my finger on what exactly didn't work for me. The main characters were okay. I mean, I did like Lucy and Simon, but I didn't connect with them. I liked how they each tried to communicate with each other and learn to know each other... I do think that Lucy fold at the end a bit too quickly to my taste. First, her reaction to Simon's profession was quite unexpected to me. Then, if you're going to be so cold and bothered by the truth, you don't forgive your husband so quickly.
I think that what bothers me the most is that everyone thought Simon couldn't handle his mission and his wife at the same time. Even Simon didn't believe in himself and so he didn't bother. He tried to make his wife returns to the countryside. Then, he went on with his mission even though he did not want to seduce another woman than his wife... even though he knew it could ruin his marriage. Wasn't there any other option? Couldn't he find another way to get the information he wanted? I did like the fact that he acknowledged the consequences of his actions instead of brushing it aside as most heroes would have done.
In addition, I thought the truth was revealed to Lucy way too easily. It was really anti-climatic ^_^; Other thing I didn't like, the two secondary characters, Simon and Lucy's friends - Fox and Gin respectively. Actually, Gin was all right I guess... but Fox, oh man. Talk about bitter man. I was annoyed by his character, angry at the world and still resenting his best friend. I mean, yes, he limped and he had some scars... but he wasn't disfigured or anything. I thought he gave up on himself too easily and the fact that he still resented Simon for it was annoying. Also, I don't know how I felt about Gin and Fox together. It seems that Ms Mullins stopped at an awkward moment. Either she should have developed more and give them a complete story or less and give them their own book.
Overall, not a bad book, but not a great book either. I enjoyed the storyline and the newness of the characters... but I definitively thought it could have been better.
My Grade: C+.