The Elusive Wife by Callie Hutton

The Elusive WifeMarriage Mart Mayhem, 1Callie HuttonHistorical RomanceEntangled Publishing, LLCMay 20, 2013eBook200

Jason Cavendish, the Earl of Coventry, is trying to discreetly locate his unwanted and abandoned bride among London society to request an annulment. However, he doesn’t remember what she looks like because he was blind drunk at his arranged wedding and hasn’t seen her since. The fascinating Lady Olivia has captured the Earl’s attention. Newly arrived from the country to stay with her school friend for the Season, she is appalled to discover that her husband, Lord Coventry, doesn’t even recognize her. She’s not about to tell the arrogant arse that she is his wife. Instead, she flirts with him by night and has her modiste send her mounting bills to him by day. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned… Too bad this woman finds her husband nearly irresistible.

This was a fun, light story. The whole premise of the story is pretty amusing to begin with, as is Jason’s reaction to Lady Olivia before and after he realizes she’s the wife he’s trying to divorce to pursue her. I couldn’t even write that last sentence without smiling.

​Lady Olivia’s wit is entertaining, and her cutting remarks are always well merited by Jason, although I don’t exactly blame his mistakes (he was drunk out of his mind when they were married, after all).

Jason Cavendish is an awesome historical romance hero with a lot more humor than some others in the genre. He’s also 100% alpha male. He’s probably the most cad-ish gentleman I’ve read as of yet, but I still found myself rooting for him. It’s clear why Lady Olivia eventually falls for him.

​I also liked Cavendish’s friend, Drake, the Marquess of Stafford. He’s funny, loyal, and just a great character. I hope to see more of him in the future.

The plot was interesting. How could it not be with such an intriguing premise? The best part is  when someone tries to trap Lord Cavendish into marriage, but the final part involving a hastily introduced villain came out of left field and felt as though it had been tacked on just to fulfill a length or plot requirement set out by someone else. Also, there’s an annoying subplot of an ex-mistress who is just vile and that put me off a bit too much. It is these last two aspects that knock 1 star off an otherwise 4-star read.

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