Leigh Michaels is a new author to me although she has published over eighty books. I don’t know how I have missed her all this time. After reading The Wedding Affair, I will certainly be looking into her backlist.This book actually focuses on three separate romances. I originally thought they would be treated as separate stories in an anthology. However, there is a single storyline with the three relationships interwoven together.
The first couple introduced, and to me the primary one, are Lady Olivia Reyne and Simon, the Duke of Somervale. Olivia is a widow with a young daughter. Her husband left her pretty much penniless and her landlord is trying to coerce her into becoming his mistress.
The wedding in the title refers to Simon’s younger sister’s marriage. Their mother has invited numerous eligible young ladies in hopes of finding a bride for Simon as well. Simon makes an arrangement with Olivia to act as his potential bride in order to ward off the debutantes. This arrangement also includes acting as his mistress.
Olivia’s friend and houseguest, Kate Blakely, is the daughter of the late village vicar. The duchess asks her to help with chaperoning and entertaining the young ladies at the manor house. To help distract the ladies, Simon has asked a number of his male friends to join the party. One of these friends, Andrew Carlisle, just happens to be the young man who Kate fell in love with at seventeen. Unfortunately, Andrew does not have a family income either and Kate knows she must support herself.
The final couple are Charles and Penelope, the Earl and Countess of Townsend. Although they have been married for three months, the marriage has never been consummated. Penelope’s father is a commoner who owns a series of breweries and ale houses. He is very wealthy and arranged a marriage with the Earl in order to buy a title for his daughter and future grandchildren. The Earl is determined to thwart his plans by never fathering any children.
Within the first chapter, this book had me hooked and I ended up reading it in just one day. The sex scenes are not numerous, but they are very will handled. While explicit, the scenes are very vanilla. Each couple is true to each other and there are no indications of any infidelity.
All in all, this is an excellent book. The author does a wonderful job of weaving the stories together while maintaining the separate romances. I felt like I was reading three books in one. It was an outstanding introduction to a wonderful author.