Someone wrote in another review that this book bogged down in the middle. I never saw a slow moment in the story. Someone also wrote that the story was too incredible to believe. That's why it's called fiction.
Most of us, I believe, enjoy stories like this with situations that would never happen but are fun to imagine. As improbable as it was, it made a good story. Sam and Annabelle were totally opposite in financial situations, background, and in their hearts.
Annabelle's example of unselfish giving of herself taught Sam to begin to empathize with the poor and quietly help them.
Delia Parr will become a new name to add to a list of my favorite authors.
In Hidden Affections, the reader is introduced immediately to two people in the 1830's who are getting married under some strange circumstances: they are in handcuffs.
Annabelle Tyler and Harrison Graymore find themselves forced into marriage after the sheriff of a remote town in Western Pennsylvania finds them in a compromising (although untrue) situation. They plan to quietly have the marriage annulled once they go back home to Philadelphia, but word gets out too quickly. They are left to figure out what to do next in a society that scorns those who are divorced.
In addition to the marriage situation, all is not as it seems with these two. Annabelle has a secret of her own, while Harrison has not dealt with some things from his past. Will this couple reveal their Ã¢â¬ËHidden Affections,' or will they go through with their plans to end their marriage?
From the beginning of this book, I was hooked to the story. I enjoy reading Ã¢â¬Ëmarriage of convenience' plots, and this one was even more interesting since the characters were basically forced to get married. The development that Harrison ended up being the most eligible bachelor in Philadelphia was a huge boost to the story, too. For the most part, I knew where this story was going, but there were a couple of little surprises along the way.
I really enjoyed the character of the housekeeper, Irene, in this novel. She was fun and caring and had a no-nonsense attitude that was endearing. As for the main characters, I thought Annabelle was a little too perfect, but that did kind of Ã¢â¬Ëset up' Harrison's character, who was flirtatious and a little over-bearing.
The thing that bothered me most about this book (and I don't think I have ever said this about a Baker Publishing Group book), but it seemed as if it needed to be edited again. There were so many run-on sentences and misplaced modifiers that it made the book extremely hard to follow.
For me, this book had a great beginning and an interesting ending, but I got a little bogged down in the middle.
It is often said that the truth is more fantastical than fiction. This is true - you should hear the story I heard in the office last week! - but in the case of Delia Parr's Hidden Affections, I have to wonder_
The novel is about two young people from two entirely different walks in life (one filthy rich, the other poor as dirt) who are coerced into marriage. No, not for any of the typical 19th century reasons of morality, but on account of thieves, handcuffs and pay-back. And, I think, because this is Christian fiction. Which is why the heroine has a faith in God that is convenient at best and her womanizing husband she is forced to marry no longer womanizes the moment he's married to this woman who is known to him by name only. Of course both characters have "dark" secrets neither cares to share, and they can't help but change their lives within a few months and fall madly in love.
I have truly enjoyed Delia Parr's Love's First Bloom and Heart's Awakening, but I found the characters in Hidden Affections to be unbelievable and the plot a bit fantastic. But then I like books that are at least somewhat realistic - and being handcuff to a handsome, filthy rich man so I am forced to marry him is NEVER likely to happen!
Annabelle Tyler and Harrison Graymoor are forced at gunpoint into a marriage quite unexpectedly during the year 1831. Both are determined to not fall in love but to endure for the required length of time deemed necessary for the circumstances. Annabelle who carries her own secret of a previous week long marriage to a man who stole her inheritance and ran off to marry another; finds her dependence on her faith in God strengthened by looking at the blessings instead of the trials. Harrison, who has already lost much in his life which has left him distant towards God, must learn how to trust God again.
What a wonderful book! 5 out of 5 stars for Historical Christian Fiction! Delia Parr has put an extensive amount of research into the time period of 1830's as well as the area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and it is evident throughout the book. The characters, both main and supporting characters are well developed. I couldn't put the book down! It was engaging from the very beginning! This is the kind of Historical Christian Fiction that is easy to recommend to a variety of ages, high school through adult, not silly romance but a delight! I am curious to see if Delia other books are just as enjoyable!
I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers
Delia Parr, pen name for Mary Lechleidner, is the author of 10 historical novels and the winner of several awards, including the Laurel Wreath Award for Historical Romance and the Aspen Gold Award for Best Inspirational Book. She is a full-time high school teacher who spends her summer vacations writing and kayaking. The mother of three grown children, she lives in Collingswood, New Jersey. Visitwww.deliaparr.com for more information.