Perfect Stranger

Title: The Perfect Stranger
Author: Anne Gracie
Genre: Historical, Romance
Copyright: 2006
Ranking: Poor
LibraryThing: Title:Perfect Stranger ISBN:0-425-21052-9 (Add Book)
Read: 2009-12-30

They vow to love, honor, cherish... and then get to know one another.

With her signature spirit, Faith Merridew has left everything she's ever known for the man she thought was the love of her life. Instead he leaves her name - and dreams - in the dust. That is, until she crosses paths with Nicholas Blacklock, a Waterloo veteran, who offers to save her reputation with a marriage of convenience.

A hardened soldier, Nick hides a deadly secret - and tries to keep Faith at arm's length. But even though Nick can command legions of men with a word, his orders go sweetly ignored by his convenient bride. And as they come to know one another more deeply, she brings out in him things he thought dead: gentleness, laughter... and love.


I think I'd better give up on historical romances written by anyone younger than Heyer; apparently the modern idea of "romance" is soft porn, even when set in the Regency era. True, this was wedded lust, but even so, I would have preferred it to be fade-to-black. Fortunately, the character development of the romantic pair was not replaced by the lust; there was actually some character there too. The supporting characters weren't ciphers either.

The opening was good; we are introduced to the heroine in the middle of the action, and the reasons behind it come out later, and not all at once, either. I figured out the majority of the Hero's "dark secret" fairly early on, but that didn't matter; I assumed that it would all work out in the end. While it did work out in the end, the means by which it did so was IMHO too silly and cliche-ridden, and I could see it coming a mile off. Sure, one doesn't read books like this for the plot, but they are better when they have a good plot.

Stylewise, the author is fond of switching point-of-view in the middle of a scene (and then switching it back again). Maybe I am overly fussy about this, but I do not like it; it makes me dizzy.