And Then Comes Marriage
From some of the reviews I have read about this book on Amazon and other sites, I may get a little flack for mine here at All About Romance. I liked this book. I read this book from cover to cover in one sitting. There are a few problems with the book, but they were minor and not enough to interfere with the enjoyability of the story in my opinion.
Miranda Talbot is a widow just out of half mourning and infatuated for the first time in her life. After twelve years of being married to an oblivious scholar and being controlled by his uptight sister Constance, Miranda is finally free to be herself. She just has not yet discovered who that self might be. When Pollux Worthington rescues her from a runaway wagon, she begins a mild flirtation with the handsome hero. Years of being timid and in control start to slip as she “just happens” to find herself in his neighborhood hoping to catch a glimpse of Poll Worthington. She is a little shocked to see him right after stepping down from her rented hack, rushing into a nearby alley. Against her better judgment, she follows.
Castor Worthington and his twin Pollux are frustrated inventors from a decidedly eccentric family. While attempting to test their latest invention in an alleyway near their home, the invention gets away from them and an explosion seems imminent. As he is running out of the alley to escape the blast, he sees a lady directly in harm’s way. Cas immediately wraps her in his arms to protect her from the blast and they end up in each other’s arms on the ground. He takes her home and not knowing that Poll also has an interest in the pretty widow, steals a kiss before leaving. Confusion ensues for just a little while before Miranda discovers that Poll and Cas are twins. Both are determined to have her, but neither really wants to keep her in the end. A wager begins and the competition threatens to tear the brothers apart. It is not long before Miranda finds her heart is fixed on one of the twins.
This book is high drama. Emotions from every corner are involved, from Cas and Poll to their twelve year old sister Atalanta (whom I loved). Wounds that have been scabbed over for years are lanced and the draining of those emotions is hard to bear. At times Cas and Poll’s behavior toward one another slides into viciousness and for most of the book Miranda is clueless to this undercurrent. While Miranda is ostensibly the catalyst for this breach between the twins, the problem goes deeper and further back into Castor’s teenage years. This is where the book gets a little off course for some. There is a slight resemblance to a theme in 50 Shades of Gray that delves into S & M territory. For some readers, this was a deal breaker. It was not for me, but I felt the author could have avoided the reference without compromising the book. It just felt like this “borrowed” theme was a little too easy to utilize.
I really liked Miranda a lot. Although she was 31 years old, this was a coming of age book for her. Ms. Bradley does an excellent job of describing Miranda; a lady who has just been floating through life while bits of herself flake away until the possibility of disappearing altogether is a very real concern. When the Worthington men come into her life, she makes a valiant attempt to glue herself back together. But just like gluing together a broken cup, once broken the refashioned cup is never quite the same. Cas is in some ways a mirror to Miranda. I liked Cas, but felt frustration in his character at times. At the beginning of the book and throughout most of it, the twins could have no claim to maturity. There were times when their behavior was almost adolescent and while I understood the behavior from brothers, it made it more difficult to warm up to the hero. But by the end of the book, I was in love as well.
If readers disliked 50 Shades of Gray they will probably not like this book either. I have read enough commentary of that book to know that any type of rough sex scenes are a negative trigger for many women and this book does contain some sexual domination scenes. However, Celeste Bradley is in my opinion a much better writer than E. L. James and I felt she handled these scenes well despite the resemblance to James’ trilogy. Whatever a reader thinks of this book, there will be emotions involved. From my perspective, those emotions were positive. Whether you like or hate this book, you will remember that you read it.