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wealhtheow

wealhtheow

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The Theory of the Leisure Class (Modern Library Classics)
Thorstein Veblen, Alan Wolfe
The Trysting Place - Mary Balogh As a teenager, Felicity was married to a wealthy man to save her family from destitution. Now a rich widow of 26, Felicity returns to see the family home she avoided and tried to forget. It's a happy homecoming--and although she'd feared there might be an ugly scene between her and Tom, her childhood sweetheart, both of them behave as though they're just old friends. Felicity is eager to show her sisters the sparkling social scene her new riches entitle them to, and so the girls head off to London for the season, with Tom tagging behind.

Felicity is sure that she wants a life of balls and travel, and she seeks a young, handsome husband to help her make that dream come true. But her attention falls on Lord Waite, who is unofficially promised to a family friend. Lord Waite wants Felicity to become his mistress, but she's sure she can convince him to marry her instead. In hopes of making him jealous, she asks her faithful old friend Tom to pretend to be courting her. Tom, who is secretly still deeply in love with her, agrees and does a very convincing job of it. He's so convincing that eventually Felicity realizes it is this kind farmer, and not the snobbish Lord Waite, that she truly loves.

Balogh does a good job making Tom seem thoughtful and selfless in his love--he doesn't come across as a Nice Guy, but rather, as a truly nice person. Felicity is a less satisfying love interest, because it takes her so long to realize what it obvious to the reader from the very first page. And Felicity's decision to marry Waite after realizing she loves Tom is dumbfounding. She thinks Tom is just marrying her out of friendship, and that he deserves better, but in that case...why marry either of 'em? No one wants you to marry Waite, Felicity--not you, not Tom, not your parents, and not Waite himself. Get a hold of yourself! gah. The book ends abruptly after Tom and Felicity confess their love for each other, leaving out what happens when Lord Waite descends upon them, expecting to marry Felicity as per their plan. A bit unsatisfying!