CONFESSIONS OF AN IMPROPER BRIDE - Jennifer Haymore
The Donovan Sisters, Book 1
Grand Central’s Forever
London - 1828
Serena Donovan comes to London from Antigua with her sister, Phoebe, so that both of them can find husbands. This is Serena's second visit. She and her twin sister, Meg, were here six years ago, but Serena left when she caused a horrible scandal. She ended up disgraced and labeled a whore when caught with Jonathan Dane, a man she loved desperately, and who she thought loved her. Meg, true to her loyal and sympathetic nature, left England with Serena. They had always been labeled good twin and bad twin, but during the sea trip home to Antigua, the good twin Meg fell overboard and was lost at sea. Unbeknownst to Serena, her mother informed relatives in England that it was Serena who had died, and she also kept up a correspondence with the man who loved Meg, former navy captain William Langley, and even accepted a proposal from him on Meg's behalf.
Serena arrives in London pretending to be Meg, a switch in identities she will have to live with for the rest of her life. Besides her perilous situation, it's not long before Serena discovers Phoebe is as headstrong and careless of social custom as she had been six years before.
For years after giving the woman he loved more than anything the direct cut in public at his father's behest, Jonathan Dane is now the Sixth Earl of Stratford. He spent years in gambling, drinking, and carousing, but now Serena's twin is coming back to England…to marry his best friend. Upon his first sight of Meg in six years, Jonathan has niggling doubts about her true identity. Everyone says Meg, but his body and soul say Serena.
It's very hard to like Jonathan at first, but gradually Ms. Haymore rehabilitates his tarnished image, and while it is very understated in the story, a reader can't help but be shocked at what Serena's mother has done. However, Serena accepts the situation and tries her best to become Meg because her younger sisters' futures depend upon it. It's a tricky situation filled with emotional upheaval and some very sexually charged scenes. Phoebe adds more drama as she finds a penniless young man with whom to fall head over heels in love. The questions are can Serena maintain her sister's identity, essentially lying to the man who loved Meg, and how can she ever straighten the situation out?
This is the first book in a series that looks to be very entertaining.