Posted by: Jennifer | February 23, 2008

No Ordinary Groom – Gayle Callen

Callen, Gayle. No Ordinary Groom. (New York: Avon, 2004). ISBN – 0060543949.

Main Characters: Miss Jane Whittington and Lord William Chadwick

Date: 1844 

Related Works: This is part of Gayle Callen’s “Spies and Lover” series. No Ordinary Groom is the first in the series. The second book is The Beauty and The Spy. The second book is the story of Charlotte Sinclair (Jane’s sister) and Nicholas Wright. A Woman’s Innocence is the third book in the series and is the story of Miss Julia Reed and Sam Sherryngton.

Description from book:

No ordinary engagement

Miss Jane Whittington’s hopes have been dashed. She’d always imagined herself marrying someone daring, adventurous, exciting. Instead, the man her father has betrothed her to is . . . a fop! Certainly William Chadwick is devastatingly handsome, but Jane could never love a dandy who cares for nothing save the lates fashions. So why does his heated gaze enflame a desire in her that she’s never known?

No Ordinary Love

His work as a British spy has kept William apart from proper society for years – and he has no idea that his latest “disguise” is anything less than appropriate. Now that he longs for a simpler, safer lot, he believes he’s found his ideal bride in this irresistible beauty. But it will take a special sort of seduction to win Jane’s heart. And when the Crown calls him back into service, how can William refuse – even if it costs him back into service, how can William refuse – even if it costs him the peace he covets . . . and the woman he can no longer live without?

My Thoughts:

In this story, Jane’s father, Colonel Whittington secures a betrothal for her to one of his former spies, William Chadwick. Jane finds out about the match in a letter from her father – who she hasn’t seen in several years. Needless to say, Jane isn’t happy with the betrothal and is quite determined not to marry William. She believes him to be a fop who cares for nothing besides his fashion statement. As part of his efforts to get to know Jane, William promises to take Jane to visit her father.

During the trip, Jane sees things in William that don’t add up. While he claims that he doesn’t know how to play cards, he always wins. Despite his apparent clumsiness, he always comes out the winner in a fight. He is more complicated than dandy persona might suggest. She knows that he is hiding things from her. To complicate matters, William’s old partner, Nick, asks for his help on a current case. This gets Jane and William embroiled in a dangerous plot (I was a bit glad that I had already read A Woman’s Innocence and knew the resolution of the overall plot of the series).

I thought this was a good story. Jane is an interesting woman who doesn’t want to settle for something just because her father says so. I like the way that she handles things with William. They had a very different courtship, since they spent so much of the story alone and unchaperoned. I definitely need to get my hands on The Beauty and The Spy. Charlotte and Nick appeared in No Ordinary Groom, and I can’t wait to read their story.

Read first February 2008

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