The Blackguard's Bride
by Melynda Beth Skinner
This book is sure to cause controversy in the Regency reader community. We start with the Gretna Green marriage of a young woman who offers half her inheritance to a disgusting blackguard so that she can escape the life her uncle has planned for her. Once the marriage is complete, she returns to her life as the companion to a wealthy, fun-loving lady. Now Lady Griselda has decided that she needs to marry. Towards that end, she has invited her nine most persistent admirers and is planning to use some Gypsy tokens to make the decision for her.
Julie Williams finds herself dealing with a party she didn't know about; and Sir Basil, one of the admirers, has arrived with a young man in tow who has been struck by lightning and has no memory of who he is. Christopher learns to admire Julie and her commonsense as he recovers. When he sees all that she has to do, he sets out to help her to the best of his ability. They are both doing their best to help a houseful of aging servants cope with the demands of a large house party.
Julie and Christopher learn to appreciate each other. But now, Christopher must set out to learn about his background. What he learns is stunning and causes him to doubt his own worth. Julie has a hidden marriage to explain. The resolution will leave the reader awestruck.
I admire the difficult task the author has taken with this story. It has much to recommend it. The characters are well written and enjoyable. The story has a great many unexpected twists. Some readers will decry it as an unbelievable tale. Others will join me in admiring the courage of a writer who has set such a challenging task for herself.
“Julie Fitz and Christopher fall in love but their situation makes marriage impossible.”
July 2003, 252 pages
As companion to a lively spinster, Miss Julie Fitz has learned to expect the unexpected. Yet she hardly knows what to make of the confused young man who suddenly appears on her elderly employer's doorstep. He calls himself “Christopher,” because he cannot recall his own name, much less anything that preceded the accident that erased his memory. He is certainly a gentle soul, and his limited household skills indicate that he is, most likely, a gentleman. But why hasn't his disappearance been reported in the London newspapers? Surely, someone as kind and sweet-natured-not to mention handsome-as Christopher would be sorely missed…
As far as Chris is concerned, he new home must surely be better than whence he came. After all, in his previous life, he didn't know Julie-and now it is difficult to imagine existing in a world without her. Somehow, he cannot shake the nagging suspicion that the events of his past were a great deal less pleasant than his current circumstances. But he knows that he must uncover his true identity, for Julie's sake as well as his own. How else to know whether he is worthy of her hand… or her heart?