Not Quite a Husband
By Sherry Thomas
Some people should never marry. Take Bryony Asquith and Leo Marsden, for example. She was the one to propose, and he had accepted. But hardly a year after their hasty marriage, a union that most people considered ill advised for two people with so little in common, they were barely speaking, and sleeping in separate chambers. Bryony was working long hours at her successful medical practice, though society didn’t appreciate her accomplishment as a woman. Leo was a highly regarded mathematician, an accomplished explorer and playwright…the handsome son of the seventh Earl of Wyden. Everyone knew him, and most women were in love with him. And Bryony despised it.
As much as she loved him, she could no longer pretend to be happy. Bryony sought an annulment and moved away to continue her medical studies. But a couple of years later, when her father falls seriously ill, the Asquith family asks Leo to find Bryony and bring her back to London. Leo manages to locate her in India, delivers the bad news and offers to escort her home. Bryony would never admit it, but her feelings for Leo haven’t changed, and although she refuses him at first, she finally agrees to make the trip with him.
The long journey gives them plenty of time to finally communicate. Leo never stopped loving Bryony and has remained faithful to her. He still considers her to be his wife. Despite her continued stubborn streak, and cold fish attitude, he treats her with infinite patience, hoping to break through the hurt and defiance, and find the warm, loving woman he married. But just as they’re making real progress, their travels take a dangerous turn, and they begin to wonder if they’ll survive the trip.
In this atypical romance, Thomas delivers a story of marital discord and dysfunction that both fascinates and rankles. Bryony seems to be throwing away a perfectly good husband over nothing more than her low self-image and professional jealousy. Leo is a perfect angel, and far more forgiving than Bryony deserves. But as she begins to thaw, and their marriage begins to simmer again, readers will find there’s hope for them after all. Thomas’ chosen setting is also unusual, taking readers through a rebel uprising in 1897 India. A turbulent and enthralling read.
Sandra Van Winkle, ReadertoReader.com