Julia Quinn is one of my favorite authors, and I always look forward to her books. I pre-ordered The Girl With The Make-Believe Husband several months ago, and it was a nice treat to see it in my Kindle this morning.
The Girl With The Make Believe-Husband is the second book in the Bridgerton Prequel series. The first prequel was a departure from Quinn’s usual historical romances because it takes place in the Georgian period rather than the Regency. This second book is even more of a departure; not only is it set in the Georgian era, but it takes place almost entirely in America.
Cecilia Harcourt travels to New York after learning that her only brother has been injured during the war. While this is quite an impulsive thing to do, she is left with few options after her father’s death. Upon her arrival, she can not find her brother, but she does find Captain Edward Rokesby, her brother Thomas’ best friend. Although they have never met, Cecilia looked forward to receiving letters from Thomas because they would always contain a little note from Captain Rokesby. She would include notes of her own when writing to Thomas. So when she sees Captain Rokesby gravely injured, she makes another impulsive decision: she informs the British Army that she is Captain Rokesby’s wife.
When Edward regains consciousness, he is surprised to learn that he is married. He doesn’t remember getting married, but he is glad that he is married to Cecilia because he enjoyed writing to her.
Cecilia and Edward clearly care for each other very much; they have never met before, so there is naturally going to be some awkwardness as they get to know each other, but their connection feels very real. Cecilia wants to tell Edward the truth, but there is never an opportune time. Likewise, Edward struggles to regain his memory; it’s very frustrating that he has no recollection of anything that happened to him when he left New York for Connecticut. And then there is the matter of Thomas Harcourt- there is no word of what has happened to him.
This was a wonderful book. It was an interesting change of pace to have a historical romance novel that uses the amnesia trope as well as being set away from England. I found myself reading quickly because I wanted to find out what was going to happen next- would Cecilia ever tell Edward the truth? How would he react if he ever regained his memory? There is an equal balance of angst and humor- I am still laughing about Cecilia’s encounter with the cantankerous Miss Finch.
I would recommend The Girl With The Make-Believe Husband to fans of historical romance novels. Quinn is a talented writer who has written just over two dozen books, but she always manages to bring something different and special with each new book. Cecilia and Edward are adorable together, and I am looking forward to re-reading this book many times.