Wedding of the Season (Abandoned at the Altar Series #1)

Wedding of the Season (Abandoned at the Altar #1) - Laura Lee Guhrke Wedding of the Season is set in Edwardian England and it was rather surreal seeing an otherwise typical historical romance novel with dialog that took me back to E. Nesbit or P.G. Wodehouse: people calling each other “old bean,” crying pax to make up... I don’t think anyone ever actually said “pip pip,” but I wouldn’t put it past them. Unfortunately, other than the novelty of the setting, the book was not particularly notable.The noise of a passing motorcar causes the Duke of Sutherland’s horse to bolt -- but this symbolic clash of old vs. new is deceptive. Will is the one who left a dukedom behind to make archeological discoveries in Egypt, and the car is driven by his former fiance Beatrix, who refused to leave the safety and respectability of England behind and go with him. Six years later, Beatrix is marrying another Duke -- the respectable, upstanding kind of Duke -- while Will is only back in England to get funding for his expeditions... it has nothing to do with that engagement announcement he cut out from the paper and just can’t seem to throw away...The first half of this story was nothing special but enjoyable. The pain the characters felt about their estrangement, and the way their lives hadn’t gone as they hoped, was strong. Beatrix seemed a little unfeeling towards someone she had once loved, but I liked how Will’s feelings are drawn:“He’d forgotten, he realized in astonishment. He’d been gone so long, he’d forgotten just how beautiful her smiles were. How could he have let that happen?Slowly, however, another feeling came to the fore, an uneasy sense that something was wrong... She was smiling at whoever had just entered the shop. ‘Aidan,’ she said as a man approached the counter where she stood, and Will realized what was wrong. Her smile seemed different to him because it was not for him. It was for another man.”Around midway, I started feeling dissatisfied. The tone of the book became oddly jocular in feeling, as if the emotions involved were trivial; Beatrix is the only one who still seems to have a sense of what went wrong, and everyone, including Will, treats her like she’s being silly. Add in a fairly ridiculous hymen scene -- in a book written in 2010? Seriously? -- and I could not feel really thrilled with this book, even if it did start out somewhat like “The Philadelphia Story” and ended like “The Harvey Girls.” Three stars for keeping me engaged throughout, and I will definitely read the next book in the series, because that involves the respectable Duke Aidan and there’s nothing I love more than a stuffed shirt hero.