Title: A Most Inconvenient Marriage by Regina Jennings
Ozark Mountain Romance Book One
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Genre: Historical, Christian, Romance
Length: 336 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Abigail Stuart Thought She was Jeremiah Calhoun’s Widow.
But Jeremiah Calhoun Is Very Handsome, Very Alive, and Very Perplexed.
Most Inconvenient Indeed.
With few options of her own, nurse Abigail Stuart agrees to marry her patient, a gravely wounded soldier calling himself Jeremiah Calhoun. They arrange a quick ceremony before he dies, giving Abigail the rights to his Ozark farm and giving Jeremiah the peace of knowing someone will care for his ailing sister after he’s gone–a practical solution for both of them.
After the war, Abigail fulfills her side of the bargain–until the real Jeremiah Calhoun shows up, injured but definitely alive, and wastes no time in challenging Abigail’s story. Abigail is flummoxed. After months of claiming to be his widow, how can she explain that she’s never seen this Jeremiah Calhoun before? How can she convince him that she isn’t trying to steal his farm? And will she find a way to stay, even though this practical arrangement has turned into a most inconvenient marriage?
A Most Inconvenient Marriage is a heartfelt and entertaining historical romance by Regina Jennings. It is an engaging story of love and healing and while it is mostly a light-hearted read, it is also very realistic depiction of the aftereffects of the Civil War.
With no home to return to after the war’s end, Abigail Stuart accepts a dying soldier’s offer of marriage and agrees to care for his mother and ailing sister. Following Jeremiah Calhoun’s death, Abigail journeys to his family farm in the Ozark mountains where she eagerly accepted into the family by his mother. Abigail is slowly making a new life for herself when the real Jeremiah Calhoun shows up expecting to pick up his life where he left it before joining the war.
Abigail is a strong, no nonsense woman who made the most of her life following a family betrayal and she is not willing to give up her new life without a fight. Her nursing skills come in handy in the mountain community, but it is not easy for her to overcome the suspicions and hostility from some her new neighbors.
Jeremiah’s kind and caring heart takes a while to see since he is so distrusting of Abigail when he first returns home. Once the mystery of who Abigail married is cleared up, the two enter into an uneasy agreement as he tries to resume his old life. But Jeremiah must contend with the fact that life went on in his absence and that the changes wrought by the passage of time might make it impossible for him to honor his previous commitments.
A secondary story arc centers around the unsavory aspects of the war’s end and adds a little suspense to the main storyline. Not all of the newcomers have honorable intentions and Abigail falls under suspicion when some neighbor’s livestock goes missing.
A Most Inconvenient Marriage is a well-written historical novel with an engaging cast of characters. The plot is well executed and realistic while the growth of the characters is believable. The romance between Jeremiah and Abigail is understated, but of the depth of their emotions always rings true. It is an absolutely beautiful story of faith and healing by Regina Jennings that I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys inspirational love stories.