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Marriage of Mercy by Carla Kelly
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Marriage of Mercy

by Carla Kelly

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573315,660 (3.59)3
From riches to rags, Grace has had to swallow her pride and get a job as a baker. But everything changes when she's the beneficiary of a surprise inheritance. Her benefactor's deal comes with a catch: give up her life of toil and live in luxury only if she marries his illegitimate son, a prisoner of war. It's an offer she can't afford to refuse. But her husband-to-be is dying, and he begs her to take one of his men instead, to marry purely out of mercy. A marriage of convenience with a complete stranger? Could this arrangement ever work?… (more)

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Unlike the description she isn't asked to marry the illegitimate son. More like be his parole officer, which a much more reasonable request. the description on the cover says: But her husband-to-be is dying, and he begs her to take one of his men instead-to marry purely out of mercy.... A marriage of convenience with a complete stranger.. It's not her husband to be. And it is not a marriage, merely a guardian ship. But I did like the relation ship between Grace and Robert. the book compares America favorably to the class bound Britain. I looked up the Dartmoor massacre. ( )
  nx74defiant | Feb 11, 2017 |
Characters were interesting, but the plot, especially the ending was really out in left field.

There also seemed to be more backstory than we ever saw. The hero's character arc made sense, but not some of the heroines, although the resolution worked for me. ( )
  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
I am a long-time Carla Kelly fan, so it was a sure bet that I would enjoy this book. And I did. What works for me in these books is that the characters are not flat. They are usually older (though not always), and they are generally working people (in this case, the main character, Grace, works as a baker because of her father's mismanagement of the family funds). Rob Inman is an American sailing master trapped in England in 1813 when his ship is captured. He is paroled to Grace. What the book does, in part, is educate us about the conditions for American POWs at this time--Rob and his shipmates are incarcerated in Dartmoor, one of the worst prisons in England, comparable to the notorious Newgate.

Rob finds himself torn between his affection and respect for Grace, and his desire to escape England and head for the nearest port. Grace finds in Rob companionship, friendship, and love, but she is also keeping a dangerous secret.

Both characters show a humanity that is rare in literature. They are by no means perfect people (Grace is still bitter towards her father, though she tries to hide it even from herself).

One reviewer complained that the "bad guy" in the book isn't punished, and indeed, he isn't, and I can understand why a reader might object to such an ending. And there's a terrible betrayal in the book, and no reckoning for it. But to me, it added to the realism of the book in that men of power often aren't punished for their misdeeds--people who suffer at their hands sometimes have to just go on anyway without seeing justice done. Perhaps just living with themselves is a kind of justice.

The important thing in this book is that Rob and Grace are able to begin to create a life together despite the ills done to them. And that's a powerful lesson for all of us to learn. ( )
  Denise701 | May 30, 2012 |
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added by AoifeT | editDear Author, Jayne (Jun 4, 2012)
 
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