The Impossible Bride
The Impossible Bride is apparently a sequel to this author’s first book, The Impossible Texan. Since I didn’t read the first book, I began this one at a loss, and it took me quite a while to recover. Not only did I not know who the heroine was – since much of her background was apparently established in the first book – I wasn’t even certain what time period I was dealing with. I had to find the first book, take that date (which was 1888) and add an estimated number of years to it so I’d know when in history I was. Since this problem could have been solved by the author with a simple notation on the first page, I was already irritated.
The book begins in a bewildering manner; the heroine was confused, and so was I. What happens is not written clearly, and I got frustrated in trying to sort it all out. Deborah Edgerton is on a train headed from Austin to Galveston. She has taken a secretarial position to one Mrs. Pat O’Connor. But her instructions are to leave the train before Galveston, so she does, where she is met by Pat O’Connor, who is in no way a female. Patrick (Trick) O’Connor is Pat’s son, and the one who actually hired Deborah. Except that he didn’t hire her; he has lured her to Galveston under completely false pretenses.
Trick takes Deborah to a hotel where he asks her put on her best outfit, then he drives her to a preacher where he forces her to marry him. He has paid off the waiting witnesses and the preacher, presses a gun into her ribs, and the deed is done. (We discover later that the “gun” was a length of copper piping, but Deborah didn’t know that at the time.)
After the abduction and wedding, he kisses his bride. Okay, now. Here we go. Deborah has been brought to Galveston under false pretenses, has been thoroughly lied to and forced at gunpoint to wed a man she has never seen before in her life, but when he kisses her, she “feels” something. Well, if it had been me, I would have “felt” my knee in direct contact with this jerk’s crotch. Sorry, but romantic fantasy can only take me so far before common sense kicks in.
Trick does not explain why he has done what he has done. He tells Deborah nothing. He feels no explanation is necessary and that she really should be grateful. Deborah is furious and fearful. She sticks her parasol into the spokes of the carriage, busting a wheel, so she and Trick must ride the horse double on into Galveston, thus increasing Trick’s lust factor. He actually thinks about taking his husbandly rights – after all, they are married. When they arrive at his home in Galveston, he tells her that she must go along with the marriage, that she has no choice in the matter, that she can’t get off the Island, and that, in essence, resistance is futile. He then gives her a theatrical kiss for all the town to see. And, again, Deborah “feels” something.
Turns out, Trick is a widower with a son to whom Trick had promised a new mother by his sixth birthday – which is the following day. So, instead of courting a woman and marrying her in the usual manner, he kidnaps one and forces her into marriage without explanation or apology. Apparently, Deborah is a “fallen woman” and therefore should be grateful to get any husband, especially one as hot and handsome as Trick. This premise was so poor, I just about tossed the book at this point. Even when Deborah protested, Trick had no remorse, no guilt, no understanding for Deborah’s feelings whatsoever. He felt the ends justified the means, and Deborah would just have to adjust, although she was prettier and feistier than he had assumed a fallen woman would be.
Trick is an importer/exporter who has always had his eye on a fabulous pearl owned by a remote tribe on an island off the coast of Venezuela. Because he’s a selfish oaf, he takes his young son and new wife with him into peril when he goes to track down the mystical pearl. Now there is no chance for Deborah to escape. She is truly trapped. Yet, when Trick kisses her. . .well, you know.
On board ship, Trick and Deborah can no longer fight their attraction and they have sex. They have been married a week, Deborah still doesn’t know why she in particular was the one Trick chose to abduct, she has discovered his mother and brother went nuts (ah, ’tis the family curse, doncha know), but Deborah cannot resist Trick and they have sex. I don’t think so.
Deborah, who is supposed to be intelligent and educated, doesn’t know they speak Spanish in Havana. This woman is from Austin . . . Texas . . . and she doesn’t know what Spanish sounds like? Other inconsistencies abound, and descriptions are brief. Nineteenth century Galveston never comes alive (for it is never described), and a side trip to Cuba is stated thus: “Havana was a humid, noisy beehive.” This concludes our tour of Havana. One sentence devoted to a very intriguing setting?
Despite my problems with the book, I kept reading and, ultimately, all things were explained and Trick did come around a bit. The loves scenes were actually very nicely done, and some interesting things did happen, but so much of it was too little and too late. Though Trick does redeem himself, it took too long and he was too arrogant and self-serving for too much of the book. Deborah is not a particularly stellar heroine, either, but is more sympathetic even though she “felt” things when common sense would have dictated otherwise.
When all is said and done, I can’t recommend The Impossible Bride, but if you read The Impossible Texan, have been dying to know what happened to Deborah, and this review didn’t answer all your questions, here’s your chance.