A convenient marriage…
…an inconvenient passion
His parents’ loveless relationship has left silk merchant Jonathan Harcourt suspicious of marriage. But in order to expand his mill and have an heir, he must marry his neighbour Aurelia Upford. Even more surprising than finding himself with a clever, beautiful society wife, is the unexpected passion that flares between them, and the unsettling emotions it leads to. Sharing a bed was part of their arrangement, but can Jonathan risk sharing his heart, too?
Elisabeth Hobbes has moved forward in history for her Victorian romance The Silk Merchants Convenient Wife and for me she has also moved a little bit closer to home! Set in the town of Macclesfield which is well known for its silk brings her characters very near to where I live so I was drawn to the storyline immediately. And thankfully everything else fell into place to make this one of my favourite reads of Elizabeth’s so far. She always manages to deliver a great sense of time and place in her books but this time I felt a particular kinship to her gorgeous but commitment phobic hero and his strong minded and intelligent young wife.
When Jonathon moves with his mother to the town of Macclesfield in Cheshire, it is to escape the toxic marriage that his parents relationship has become. Renting a home from Edward, Jonathon shows his determination to succeed in life immediately and starts working for Edward at the bottom of the ladder. He quickly works his way up to junior partner and develops a father/son relationship with his employer who Jonathon looks up to. When Edward suggest he go back on his vow never to take a wife, as an heir will be needed to keep the business going, Jonathon isn’t keen. A chance meeting with his neighbours daughter quickly becomes a marriage of convenience for them both but sharing a bed to produce that much needed heir leads to a hunger for each other that they hadn’t foreseen…
I adored the chemistry between Jonathon and Aurelia especially is they brought out the best and the worst in each other. Their story isn’t an easy one to read at times as there are unexpected obstacles in the way of their “happy ever ever” but they felt realistically portrayed as they faced their married life together. There was a little twist towards the end that I hadn’t seen coming and added a rather shocking revelation for one of our characters to cope with!
Elisabeth Hobbes always writes so beautifully, bringing whatever period she is writing about to life with a passion for her subject that shows that she has researched her book impeccably. I would probably have liked a little more about the silk industry here but that’s just personal taste as I’ve a big interest in how the town of Macclesfield developed due to the manufacturing of such a much sought after product. But I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Silk Merchants Convenient Wife and found it an lovely relaxing book to take me away from the stresses of the real world for a few hours.
Elisabeth’s writing career began when she entered her first novel into Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest in 2013 and finished in third place. She was offered a two-book contract and hasn’t looked back.
Elisabeth also works as a Primary school teacher but she’d rather be writing full time because unlike five year olds, her characters generally do what she tells them. When she isn’t writing, she spends most of her spare time reading and is a pro at cooking one-handed while holding a book. She loves historical fiction and has a fondness for dark haired, bearded heroes.
Elisabeth enjoys skiing, singing, and exploring tourist attractions with her family. Her children are resigned to spending their weekends visiting the past. She loves hot and sour soup and ginger mojitos – but not at the same time!
She lives in Cheshire with her husband, two children and two cats with ridiculous names because the car broke down there in 1999 and she never left.
Elisabeth is on Twitter where she tweets about many more things than writing- most of them geeky, some of them funny @ElisabethHobbes. She spends a lot of time on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ElisabethHobbes?ref=hl and has a blog http://elisabethhobbes.co.uk