Series: Unshakable Faith,
Length: 338 pages
Reviewing eBook Rating:
Knowing he was about to die, Sarah Anne’s beloved father had arranged for her to marry Alexander Swyndhurst II. Alexander, a recent widower, had no intention of taking another wife; but after learning the young woman’s situation—that she had been the object of at least one man’s unwanted attentions, and that she would soon be left alone and unprotected—he had agreed to the marriage. He had one stipulation, however: He and Sarah Anne would live separately—he in Bristol, England, and she in Amesbury, Massachusetts Bay Colony. Sarah Anne had agreed wholeheartedly with this arrangement.
Will Alexander have a change of heart? What of the dangerous man from her past? What will happen while her husband is away—leaving her alone with only the servants?
Even though there are connections, each novel in the series may be read as a stand-alone.
I really struggled with Sarah Anne’s Expedient Marriage which is a shame! Any of you that have followed the blog for any length of time knows that I have a soft spot for historical fiction. I love it, can’t get enough of it, and usually try to squeeze in a few a month. But this book was a struggle to finish. The authors attempted to write in a formal style, befitting the era the book takes place in, however it just made the story hard to follow, the characters bland, and the plot drag.
The book begins with the arranged marriage of Sarah Anne to Alexander Swyndhurst II. This marriage is really just a show. Alexander is a recent widower, still grieving for his late wife. Sarah Anne is grieving her recently passed father who arranged the marriage for protection for his daughter. After the wedding is over, Alexander hops a boat back to England and leaves Sarah Anne at his estate in Massachusetts. Fast forward two years, Alexander feels he should return to get to know his wife and Lord willing have a true marriage, but will Sarah Anne accept him?
Sarah Anne is a kind, generous young woman. She works herself to the bone, volunteering to visit the sick of the church, helping out the town’s widow with her 3 children, and finding reasons to stay out of the house. She’s a work horse really, never staying long enough at the estate to meet any callers or live the life her new husband can afford for her. She never wanted to marry, but knew she had too. And then there is the man who followed her, the man that her father was trying to protect her from. She’s fearful of what he might do and so staying busy abates this fear.
Alexander is a grieving man when he is first introduced. My heart breaks for him over and over again throughout the story, first as he grieves his first wife and then as he tries to woo his new one. He’s kind and generous, allowing the Lord to direct his actions, praying before he decides anything. Really he is the picture of what the Bible lays out as a Godly husband. His biggest mistake, in my opinion, is leaving out communication with his wife. He makes decisions for her, most of the time with her best interest at heart, but in not communicating with her he opens the door for her leaving.
The plot of this story takes place over a couple of years, really time flowed oddly in this book…at least it did for me…and is told from multiple POV which for me was hard to follow. There was a lot of head hopping and it was hard to figure out whose perspective it was before it switched again. It kept me on my toes at least! The romance is really lacking in this story. Sarah Anne and Alexander build a friendship and then circumstances (which I will not elaborate on because SPOILERS!!!) separate them. It was a sweet romance and I really did enjoy watching it blossom.
Overall I didn’t care for this book. The writing really got to me. I understand what the authors were trying to accomplish with the formal style but it bored me and didn’t add anything to the story. The premise of the book intrigued me and I enjoyed following Sarah Anne’s and Alexander’s romance but honestly I was glad when I reached the last page. If you enjoy historical fiction, Christian romance, and the old formal style of writing (think late 1700s, early 1800s style) than give this book a try. If you do, come back and let me know how you liked it!