Synopsis from Goodreads: Northumberland, 1815
At long last, Britain is at peace, and General Jack Armstrong is coming home to the wife he barely knows. Wed for mutual convenience, their union unconsummated, the couple has exchanged only cold, dutiful letters. With no more wars to fight, Jack is ready to attempt a peace treaty of his own.
Elizabeth Armstrong is on the warpath. She never expected fidelity from the husband she knew for only a week, but his scandalous exploits have made her the object of pity for years. Now that he’s back, she has no intention of sharing her bed with him—or providing him with an heir—unless he can earn her forgiveness. No matter what feelings he ignites within her…
Jack is not expecting a spirited, confident woman in place of the meek girl he left behind. As his desire intensifies, he wants much more than a marriage in name only. But winning his wife’s love may be the greatest battle he’s faced yet.
My Rating: 4/5 stars
My Review: General Jack Armstrong’s life is planned; he will live and die as a member of the military and there will be no one to get in his way. If only the universe had been aware of Jack’s plans then he wouldn’t find himself returning home to a woman he hasn’t seen in five years and only married as a means of fulfilling a death-bed promise made to his best friend. Elizabeth Armstrong never thought she would find herself married, widowed, married again, and the mistress of a large farm all within two weeks’ time. Yet here she is the widow of a man she dearly loved, the new wife of a man who not only doesn’t want her or the marriage but is leaving for a long campaign in Canada at the behest of the British military. Oh, and she knows virtually nothing about running a farm that specializes in fine horses. Though Elizabeth is not happy with her situation she is bound and determined to make the most of her lot and life.
For five years Jack and Elizabeth exchange polite letters all the while living totally separate lives – a fact which will most assuredly come back to bite Jack quite firmly on the butt and absolutely enrage Elizabeth. Despite his feelings about marriage and Elizabeth, when Jack returns to England he finds Elizabeth to be strong, confident, capable, and attractive – the complete opposite of the woman he left behind. Elizabeth’s appearance and attitude are more than enough to entice Jack and he finds himself more than eager to finally consummate his marriage. As Jack quickly discovers, his wife not only knows about his extracurricular activities but is quite prepared to kick his ass to the curb if he can’t find a way to make matters right.
The bottom line: I truly enjoyed this novel and reading about the path Jack and Elizabeth travel to find one another. As you might expect the path is neither smooth nor easy but it is one the two must travel in order to find one another and make a go of their marriage. While there are no great surprises as far as the plot is concerned, the novel is full of interesting characters, good dialogue, richly described environments, and a fair amount of naughty bits which certainly spice up the read. I found An Infamous Marriage quite easy to become absorbed in and easy to get through. I would certainly recommend this adult read to lovers of period pieces and romances.