Hidden Affections by Delia Parr was sent to me as a review copy by Bethany House Publishers (Baker Publishing Group).
In Hidden Affections, the reader is introduced immediately to two people in the 1830’s who are getting married under some strange circumstances: they are in handcuffs.
Annabelle Tyler and Harrison Graymore find themselves forced into marriage after the sheriff of a remote town in Western Pennsylvania finds them in a compromising (although untrue) situation. They plan to quietly have the marriage annulled once they go back home to Philadelphia, but word gets out too quickly. They are left to figure out what to do next in a society that scorns those who are divorced.
In addition to the marriage situation, all is not as it seems with these two. Annabelle has a secret of her own, while Harrison has not dealt with some things from his past. Will this couple reveal their ‘Hidden Affections,’ or will they go through with their plans to end their marriage?
At the beginning of this book, I was hooked to the story. I enjoy reading ‘marriage of convenience’ plots, and this one was even more interesting since the characters were basically forced to get married. The development that Harrison ended up being the most eligible bachelor in Philadelphia was a huge boost to the story, too. Towards the middle of the book the story dragged, but then there were a couple of little surprises that helped the story along. For the most part, I knew where this story was going, but that is not always a bad thing.
I really enjoyed the character of the housekeeper, Irene, in this novel. She was fun and caring and had a no-nonsense attitude that was endearing. As for the main characters, I thought Annabelle was a little too perfect, but that did kind of ‘set up’ Harrison’s character, who was flirtatious and a little over-bearing.
The thing that bothered me most about this book (and I don’t think I have ever said this about a Baker Publishing Group book) is that it seemed as if it needed to be edited again. There were so many run-on sentences and misplaced modifiers that it made the book extremely hard to follow. I found myself rewording some of these sentences in my head so that they would sound better and make more sense. I have read several ARC’s (Advanced Review Copies) of books that have had better sentence structure than this finished book did. Now, I admit, I am not an editor. I am not even an English major (I have a degree in Health Sciences), but I know a well-written sentence when I see one, and this book struggled with that.
For me, this book had a great beginning and an interesting ending, but I got a little bogged down in the middle.
I will give Hidden Affections by Delia Parr … 3 BookWorms.
(My apologies to the author…this book would have gotten a higher rating if the editing had been better…)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers/Baker Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."