Title: Kiss Me, Annabel
Author: Eloisa James
Published: 2005, Avon
Category: Historical Romance
This is my first Eloisa James. I'd heard good things about her, so I picked up this, which I think is her most recent book.
Annabel Essex is a girl on the prowl for a rich husband. She's been poor all her life and has decided that all she really wants from marriage is security and wealth. She's disappointed in this dream when she is compromised (yes, the age-old plot staple of romances) and is forced to marry Ewan Poley, a Scottish Earl who appears to be poor. Most of the book covers their journey to Scotland when the two, who are basically strangers to each other, get to know each other. And kiss a lot.
I liked this book very much. The characters were lovely and interesting, and the writing quite nice. Very smooth with witty dialogue. My only problem, and it was a pretty big one, was that there really wasn't much conflict in the book. Annabel wants to marry money. Ewan, turns out, is rich. Annabel thinks Ewan doesn't love her. Of course he does. I kept waiting for the problem that these two people were going to have to overcome, and it just didn't come. It made for a very meandering kind of book.
And the scene in the middle of the book where they stay at the farmer's cottage didn't seem to have a point or add anything to the story. It was almost like she needed to add an extra 20 pages, so she just stuck it in.
That said, I did like James's writing style, so I think I'll go ahead and order Much Ado About You from the library. It's the previous book in this series about Annabel's sister, Tess.