Time for a cleansing breath
So, it's time to pull out some old books which I gave a high grade when I read them yearsssss ago. The first one I chose to give another try was Something about Emmaline. My memory is really hazy when it comes to this book. All I remember is the first time I read it, it made me smile - maybe even laugh. I think I always give a higher nod to books that make me laugh. This story has an amusing set-up. Our hero, Alexander Denford, Baron Sedgwick, is tired of marriage minded people. Everywhere he turns he’s tripping over some nubile girl with wedding bells on her mind. And, if she doesn't have them, her mother and even his grandmother has plans to see him wed. What's a fella to do? Well, he and his drink-too-much buddy Jack come up with a foolproof plan that will stop all of these women from bothering him. He pretends to have a wife, Emmaline. He makes up a story about his sickly wife who can never make an appearance in society - why she's almost at death's door. But not completely because he has to keep her alive to keep all the women away. And, it works - or at least he thinks it works. Little does he know that he and Jack were overheard when they were coming up with their grandiose scheme.
Just when Alex is all comfy in his no-women-bothering-me-dream-world, he starts getting bills. Bills from carpenters, drapers, painters and dressmakers. It seems that his fake wife Emmaline is spending his money. It's not long before he's off to London to confront the imposter and the fun begins.
This story is mostly light fare, with some pretty funny dialogue. Not only is the banter between Emmaline and Alex fun, but there are also some pretty humorous scenes between Alex and Jack the moocher. In fact Jack has a book of his own, This Rake of Mine. I should also mention that Something About Emmaline is the first book in the Bachelor Chronicles, although I felt as if I was supposed to know one of the couples in this book - Malvina and her husband - but I didn't.
I loved Emmaline. She was a strong woman and had quite an interesting past. She's a liar, a thief, a highwayman, a con artist - but even with all those devious secrets she's keeping from Alex, I found myself rooting for her. I also was on the edge of my seat wondering how Ms. Boyle was going to resolve all of Emmaline's problems so that she and Alex could have their HEA.
There were a couple of surprises in this book which I didn't see coming and a maybe just a little bit toooo pat of a solution to some of Emmaline's problems. But here's what there wasn't - there wasn't any over-the-top villain, just two unpleasant people who are put in their places. There's no kidnapping, no evil father, no tying to a bedpost to gain trust, no long I'm-not-worthy moments. The book is full of some great supporting characters and while this book is not as hysterically funny as I remember it, it still made me feel pretty good.
So, if you are in the mood to smile I suggest you go out and find a copy of Something About Emmaline. I think it just might make you grin.
Time/Place: Regency England