Series: Capital Theatre #1
Published by Avon on October 1st 1996
FINAL DECISION: A different type of story about child marriages, a marchioness turned actress and two people who have to learn to compromise. Don’t read this if you are going to nitpick the story.
THE STORY: Julia is an actress who has finally gotten a position in a respectable theater. She is living her dream of independence. Her heart stays her own, and she has a big secret. Damon, Marquess of Savage is searching for the bride his father married him to as a child. The heiress has fled her family. Damon is shocked to find out that the woman he has been married to for years is none other than the actress he wanted for his mistress.
OPINION: I really enjoyed this book. Is it unrealistic? perhaps, but if you regularly read my reviews you should know that I will forgive a lot of historical inaccuracies, plot holes, grammatical errors, etc for a good story with characters that I fall in love with. Does it seem reasonable that a aristocratic woman would abandon her family, become an actress and eventually become a duchess. Maybe not, but this is one great story anyway.
Julia is a woman who wants to make her own independent decisions. If she was born in modern times, she would fit right in, but in her times, she is disinherited by her father and on the run from her “husband”. Is she too obsessed with her independence? Perhaps it seems so to our modern sensibilities, but in her time, when men owned their wives, is it unreasonable to be worried about losing your independence when your husband could control everything that you could do? Or when your father could marry you off when you are a little child. I loved how Kleypas brings the opposing forces of Julia and Damon each wanting control. After both were stripped of control by their parents each wants to be in total control of their lives.
Damon has made himself into a completely responsible predictable gentleman because his father was irresponsible — resulting in Damon being offered in marriage to Julia (when both were small children) in order to save the family coffers. The lesson Damon learned from that was that he needed to control his circumstances. He struggles with Julia who will not submit to his control. Even worse, he ultimately realizes that she would not be the Julia he falls in love with if she did.
The story of how Julia and Damon navigate their desire for control and their trust issues was what kept me turning pages. The characters sparkled off the pages, their pain and struggle and intense attraction to one another kept me interested until the very end.
The secondary characters also were full of life. The best story is one where I could imagine all the relationships and intrigues involved and this one does a great job at that.
I only took of a star because I have read better books by Kleypas, so I know that she has pushed these boundaries even further with even better characters. I can’t wait for the next book about Logan Scott. He’s got some story.
WORTH MENTIONING: I loved the epilogue which was necessary for this book to show how these two adapted to one another and continued to evolve their relationship.
CONNECTED BOOKS: SOMEWHERE I’LL FIND YOU is the first book in the Capital Theatre series.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.