Books: The Reluctant Wife by Caroline Warfield

So I've only read one other book by Caroline Warfield, but I can say this one was pretty similar to that so . . . There's something to be said for consistency, I guess. But when I say "similar," this is what I mean:

  1. Both books I've read by her feature a young widow whose first husband was a loser, making the female MC reluctant to trust a man or ever marry again.
  2. Both books feature a soldier living far from England and often under harsh circumstances, by which I mean poverty or ignominy or some combination thereof.
  3. Both books feature a child or children in need of guardians and care. "Custody" seems to be a running theme.

I will say, I enjoyed this book more than Dangerous Secrets. I found the main characters more engaging in this novel, and the attraction more believable. But I do have to wonder at the MMC's lack of sorrow when his mistress—mother of his two daughters—dies. Like, the book starts with a fuss about the funeral and what to do with the girls, and I'm like, "If he's had this mistress long enough to have two daughters with her, he must know he has children? Like, he knew there were times his mistress was pregnant, right? So why is he suddenly confused by all this?" And if it had been presented that he was overcome with grief, I might have bought it. But instead he's just harried. He doesn't want to be bothered with the fact he has daughters, and he doesn't seem too distressed by the fact this woman he spent years with has died. And I'm supposed to like this guy?

To Warfield's credit, we do come to like Fred, but I continue to be troubled by that jumping off point.

A handful of punctuation and formatting errors also distracted me. But overall, this was a quick and enjoyable read.

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