Desert Isle Keeper
The Changeling Bride
The moral of this story is: be careful what you wish for. In my case, I wished for a great book to read, and I found it! This book was so much fun, even with some plausibilty problems that weren’t really noticed until after the book was finished. I laughed throughout and even shed a tear at the end. Since this book was published in 1999, I’m claiming it as my Buried Treasure for last year.
Wilhelmina March, Elle to her friends, is bored and unsatisfied with her life. She works at a job she hates but is afraid to leave, is out of shape and slightly overweight, and has zero luck with men. The light in her life is her Samoyed dog, Tatiana. After helping out a strange homeless woman, she is given a “coupon” for one free husband. While walking Tatiana in the park on a particularly bad day, Elle decides to claim her wish, just for fun. She wishes for a civilized man with a big house who won’t ask her to dote on him. She is done with love and thinks it is highly overrated anyway. With some help from fairy magic, Elle is about to receive her wish.
Henry Trevelyan, Earl of Allsbrook, must marry to save his ancestral home. Eleanor, his prospective bride, is a shrew, to say the least. She is not looking forward to the marriage, but her family wants Henry’s title and he needs her fortune. He hopes the marriage will work out well, but wishes for a happy marriage. Both Henry and Elle receive their wishes.
Elle is transported back to 1790, and switches places with Eleanor, who is ill and about to die before she and Henry can be married. It helps that both women look exactly like one another, so no one will notice the switch. Elle is shocked by the change, to say the least. Although the plot line is not new, finally, a modern woman asks some very modern questions when transported to the past. Watching Elle glumly reflect on the growth of her armpit hair, what to do when her period arrives, not to mention the corset, sidesaddle and birth control, is hilarious, and very believable. These are the questions that I would be asking myself. Tatiana provides some fun comic relief as well.
Henry is a normal 18th century male, and is dumbfounded by his new wife. Where does she come up with these questions and ideas, and what about that strange accent? He was not expecting Elle by any stretch of the imagination. Henry, however, listens to Elle. They have actual conversations about Elle’s concerns. He appreciates Elle’s body shape, and is not interested in a wife with bulging muscles and a flat abdomen. Both of those qualities made him a yummy hero for this reviewer.
The fairies attempt to help the relationship develop, although some negative consequences result. The fairies in this story are not sweet and gentle fairies, they have no human emotions, and therefore have no idea about the repercussions of their meddling. Elle also fears grabbing onto her happiness and letting go of her past.
Debut author Lisa Cach has done an excellent job with the characters and the obstacles a modern woman would face living in the past, and dished it up with a large dose of humor and sensuality. While reading this book, I felt as if I knew both Henry and Elle personally, and more importantly, liked them. Brava! Sometimes, wishes do come true.