The action is slow as a snail

The Spring Bride - Anne Gracie

This one is the weakest of this author’s novels I’ve read so far. Like her other books, it is a regency romance. The heroes are the most interesting. Jane, beautiful and headstrong, had a childhood riddled with poverty. Now, at eighteen, she is making her come-out and she makes the decision to marry for money. Love doesn’t conquer all in her opinion. Her parents loved each other, and both died in squalor, leaving Jane at six and her older sister Abbie at twelve to fend for themselves, without a penny to their names.

Kindhearted but sensible, Jane is determined that nothing like that will ever happen to her children. Love is transitory, and she doesn’t want it. She wants security, stability, and her own home, so her children would never suffer from hunger and cold as she did. Marriage of convenience is what she wants, and she almost gets it, when the dashing, disheveled hero Zachary Black appears on her horizon. And steals her heart, no matter how much she resisted the foolish notion of love.

Zachary has been a spy for the British government for the last eight years, living in the shadows, courting danger, but now his father is dead, and his cousin wants to declare him dead too and inherit his father’s estate. Zachary must come out of the shadows to claim his inheritance. There is only one problem: he is wanted for murder. He should be lying low, waiting for his friends to clear him of the false murder charges – he didn’t kill anyone, of course – but after meeting Jane, he can’t hide. He knows he must have her.

Despite the fascinating protagonists, the plot moved with the speed of a snail. For the first half of the book, nothing happened. Jane and Zach met in the park a few times. They talked. They contemplated. They pondered their meetings, the meaning of love, Jane’s dog and each other, while the page count mounted. Only after half the pages were already gone, the story started moving, and events started happening towards the happy ending.

It was okay but faintly disappointing, especially compared with her other novels I’ve read. It was also the latest of this author’s books. I already ordered several of her earlier books from Book Depository. I hope they will be better.