Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Wedding Journey by Carla Kelly

This book was a joy to read. It was so well-written and engaging. Jesse is a hero you cannot help but love and admire. His steadfast, deep love for Elinore remains silent for a long time, but when she has need of him, he moves heaven and earth for her. Jesse is considered shy, but he is the perfect example of the shy person who has a core and will of steel. As a doctor, he is not a violent person by nature, but his intellect and strong sense of morality and resourcefulness are much more enjoyable. The sensuality is very subtle but pleasantly evident. When Jesse and Nell consummate their marriage, it's so well-done you want to reread it. It's nice to read a book where the love relationship is evidenced in so many ways in addition to bedroom scenes. This book takes place on the frontlines of the Napoleonic Wars in Spain. Jesse is a doctor in the army, and Elinore is an aid in the army hospital, and the daughter of a ne'er do well officer. When her mother dies, an unscrupulous major calls in her father's debt, asking for her in exchange for the large sum that her father cannot come up with. When push comes to shove, Jesse offers to marry her to save her from ruin. He does it because it's the right thing to do, but also because he truly, deeply loves her. His love for Nell will bring warmth and light to your heart as you read this book. The good news is that his regard is returned. Nell has always thought Jesse to be out of her reach, but she has admired him, and felt deep affection for him. Her affection believably turns into love as she spends time with him, and realizes that he would do just about anything for her. The journey is fraught with danger, but there is also lots of humor, sometimes off-color as you are reading about people who are in the military and face life and death every day. Kelly's writing feels period to me, but also has a warmth, intelligence, and humor that is irresistible. Jesse is mostly the third person narrator, and he has the dry but hilarious Scottish wit that I cannot ever resist in a character or person. He represents the shy person that doesn't speak unless they really have something to say, and when they do, you listen. I cannot recommend this book highly enough for those lovers of romance who want to go back to basics and see the journey that two lovers take as they come to realize their future is together.


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