Set in the late 1800's, Charlotte Beck, at almost eighteen years of age, is pretending at being a woman to convince her father and stepmother that she should be allowed to make her decisions. Given the freedom to make choices, however, time and again she makes the childish one, bringing humiliation to herself and her family. Alex Hambly is trying to be the responsible one in his family, filling in for his brother's shortcomings, and ensuring his family is provided for. Thrown together, the two of them wreak havoc on each others' lives and emotions. Charlotte's father presents them with a potential solution for each of their life's desires: marry each other, and Charlotte gets to go to college, and Alex gets to save his family financially. Not a marriage proposal teeming with the potential for love, or is it?
I really enjoyed Charlotte and Alex as characters - I loved the feisty heroine, and the bemused, unintentional adversary. Their interactions were lively, even with the obvious outcome of them actually falling in love with each other. While in some romance stories, the broadcasting of the "happy ending" becomes annoying, these characters were well-written enough that I found myself wanting them to just give up the charade and admit it already - I wanted them to be together. Nobody else could handle them.
Again, it seems, I was unwittingly roped into a book that was part of a series, without realizing it until too late. Maybe I need to start reading the descriptions more carefully before selecting books for review. There were definitely some questions regarding side characters as I read that, more than likely, would have had fuller answers had I read the previous stories of their pasts.
Overall, I give this book 3 stars. The characters were enjoyable, regardless of the somewhat predictable plot, and I wish I had gotten to know them from their fictional beginnings.
If you want to read an excerpt from the book (although maybe you'd like to find book 1 and book 2 first) go HERE.
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I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing group for this review. I was not required to post a positive review.