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wealhtheow

wealhtheow

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The Theory of the Leisure Class (Modern Library Classics)
Thorstein Veblen, Alan Wolfe
The Temporary Wife - Mary Balogh The Marquess of Staunton, Anthony Earheart, wants a wife to annoy his dying father (and help him avoid marrying the young lady everyone expects him to marry) so he advertises for a governess and asks the meekest, most desperate one to apply to be his wife. His mother's seventeen pregnancies left him with a near-pathological fear of impregnating anyone, so he doesn't intend to sleep with her, or even live with her, past the week they spend together at his father's house. Charity Duncan is distraught that the idea of marrying for money, but equally horrified at her siblings' desperate financial straits. She signs his contract and they marry the next morning.

But when they arrive at the Duke of Withingsby's estate, nothing is as Anthony expected, least of all his new wife. She is far more beautiful, empathic, and strong-willed than he'd thought. She, in turn, has resolved to bring the estranged Earheart family back together. Her dogged persistance and personal charm begin the process--but the secret of their marriage might not only tear her and her new husband apart, but destroy the fragile relationships between the other Earhearts.

I really enjoyed this. Anthony isn't a rapey asshole like Regency Alpha Heroes often are, and I could understand why Charity was attracted to him. The Earhearts were a tangled bunch, each damaged in their own way by their parents' personalities and conflict. Balogh does an excellent job of portraying their psyches.