US iBooks Excerpt HER heart beating like a drum, Rosie crept into the church when the rush was over, sliding into a pew near the back to listen to the memorial service from a safe distance. Anton Estrada had been well-known in the city of London. The dim interior was crammed to capacity with those who wished to pay their last respects. A black gold-embroidered scarf covering her bowed head, Rosie shivered, lost in the dark well of her grief. As far back as she could remember she had been alone, but for a few agonisingly brief months she had had Anton.
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Shelves: wtf , trainwreck-with-an-avalance-on-top , fell-off-my-chair-laughing , they-are-soo-unusual , nicely-done , just-a-bit-wrecky , best-h-smackdown-ever , be-happy-the-h-is-happy , bickery-bickerfest-temper-temper , cuddlesome-h This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Re The Secret Wife - Lynne Graham puts a nice twist on the mistaken for a mistress trope in this one.
The h is named Rosie and when the story starts, she is twenty years old and has just lost her newly discovered father. Rosie was the product of a brief affair. Rosie met her current BFF, Maurice, when he saved her from some abusive nematodes at the foster home they lived in. Now Rosie shares a house with Maurice and flogs various items at local markets. Rosie wants to open an antique store and has a thing for collecting Sylvac Bunnies.
Rosie is pretty independent and very pragmatic. Her father was definitely the very patriarchal type, so he and Rosie had some huge adjustments to make to be able to reconnect.
Rosie is just grateful she finally got to meet her father, but she is also very honest with herself about how much she resents his inability to understand what her life was like and there is also some resentment about Constantine being adopted and raised in what should have been her place. She fires right back that Con is a sewer slurping gutter snarfing toe rag and he has no right to think anything about her.
Just to be clear, Constantine is an idiot. He leaps to every negative thing he can think about Rosie on little to no evidence. The nasty names and the tart shaming are massive in this and really, Constantine brings it all on himself, so I had no mercy for him.
Rosie smacks him down repeatedly over the course of this one and he totally deserves it. Rosie decides that while meeting her father was great, life must go on. Rosie and Con part ways, with Rosie sorry to have maybe hurt Thespina, but vowing never to talk to Con again, cause he is a slime pustule in a flash suit. Rosie goes to her home and has a row with Maurice, her housemate, for messing things up while she was gone. Rosie is shocked, she got the family ring and is happy doing her own thing, but when Con leaps to the conclusion that she must be preggers from her father - whom Con still believes was her lover- Rosie is gobsmacked.
Constantine makes some more nasty comments, this time about Maurice and Rosie and Rosie smacks his face. Then Con gets nasty. He tells Rosie she will either marry him or he will force her and Maurice to find another place to live.
We get another confrontation between Con and Rosie, when he deliberately breaks a very pricey Sylvac bunny and Rosie is disgusted and appalled. Rosie only sells her Sylvac bunnies to good homes, so while Con did pay for it, he was deliberately harmful to it and Rosie decides to sort the situation out once and for all.
Instead he makes more tarty gold digger harlot comments and Rosie pretty much gives up. She tells Con off in excellent style, because while he is calling her all manner of nasty names and being ugly, he has been in a long term affair with a married woman and he has no room to to judge.
The wedding is not spectacular and Rosie has no intentions of even living with Con. She envisions a quick registry office wedding and then separate lives and then a discrete divorce. Con forces Rosie to spend the night with him and Maurice, wheeler dealer that he is, leaks news of the marriage to the press, or at least his mouthy sister does. Rosie gets a few more stabs in at Constantine when she plays the Bimbo in the Bar to the utmost hilt and manages to get his bodyguard totally plastered on one drink.
Rosie gets hauled off to Greece, because Constantine reveals that her father spent almost all of his money buying back his family estate and Con was waiting for him to ask him to bail him out. Which kinda negates the reason Constantine married Rosie, if the house was all there was to the inheritance, but Rosie is too upset and to overwhelmed to think about that.
So we all go to Greece and Con is at his nematode slime swilling best, he treats Rosie horribly and parades her around like a bimbo. Then he tells her she has to act like his wife when Rosie is all about ignoring him. So Rosie does indeed act like his wife, especially when his latest fling shows up and is jumping on him in the downstairs reception room.
Then Con tries to force an experiment in the lurve force mojo and Rosie freezes up. Constantine is shocked that Rosie reacts like he is going to attack her. Constantine is now determined to win Rosie over and get some bonus tower of power rides.
Back in England, Constantine and Maurice are having fits, cause Rosie has disappeared. Constantine finally shows up three days later and he has a whole new wardrobe for Rosie. Rosie tries to explain about Maurice saving her, but Con still believes that they are lovers and that Rosie is misguided by hero worship.
Constantine is furious all over again, but Rosie tells him it is just setting the stage for the big break up. Con decides that he is going to get his leg over before they are done with each other and Rosie finally gives into the Treacherous Body Syndrome.
Constantine messes things up again when he refuses to recognize that Rosie was grooming unicorns prior to knowing him. Then Maurice shows up and Con gets even crazier.
He chases Maurice and Rosie down in his car and Maurice tells Rosie that since she admits she is in love with Con, she should go back. Con is his usual nematode slime swilling self, as he takes Rosie home. This drives Con crazier and the housekeeper decides that she needs to pimp Rosie out, so she chastises Rosie. Rosie is absolutely correct when she tells Con that he treats her like he treats all of his women and he thought that if he continued to put her down, she would work harder to comply with his wishes and be more eager to please.
But Rosie has more self respect than that and she has nothing more to say to him. Constantine only has his roofie kisses to fall back on at this point and Rosie is definitely feeling the purple passion.
Treacherous body syndrome strikes again and this time, it looks like Con and Rosie might be able to work things out. Rosie quite rightly says she did and that he did not believe her. So Con starts calling her names again and then Con goes and gets paralytically drunk. Rosie takes off while Con is rambling about bunnies and being hung over, but then she decides to go back and sort things out. Thespina explains that she went along with the pretense and she is sorta, maybe a little sorry for it.
Then she tackily throws in a bid for a grandchild when Con says their marriage is real and Rosie claims that it is fake. Thespina takes herself off and Con has his big explanations to get through. Rosie is packing and yelling at Con and he has to say sorry for calling her horrible names and for being a humongous nematode snot snarfer.
He claims to know that she is still in love with Maurice and that he will be patient and not run off the rails with put downs and demands because he is so jealous, cause he is really, truly, seriously in love with her.
Rosie caves and explains that she was never in love with Maurice, he is just her friend and that she loves Constantine. They decide to lurve it up again and Rosie asks why Con was drunk and rambling about bunnies. Constantine admits that he wanted to win Rosie over, so he had his staff go out and buy all the Sylvac bunnies they could get their hands on.
Rosie now has two crates of Sylvac bunnies waiting her for her perusal. But before Rosie goes to look at them, she wants another round of Constantine playing gangster who seduces an innocent bystander and they go back to lurving it up again for another LG HP HEA. This one is not really a four star book, more like a 3. But Rosie and her very quality snark are so endlessly entertaining, that I had to bump it up.
Constantine is more of a problem, because his nastiness and epic stupidity go on for way, way too long. Still, his attitude of idiocy is enough to keep the plot moving and he does a decent enough grovel at the end. I am not sure it was enough for all that he originally said, but I can be happy that Rosie is happy and it is for the most part a believable HEA and a highly entertaining HPlandia outing.
The Secret Wife by Lynne Graham
Shelves: wtf , trainwreck-with-an-avalance-on-top , fell-off-my-chair-laughing , they-are-soo-unusual , nicely-done , just-a-bit-wrecky , best-h-smackdown-ever , be-happy-the-h-is-happy , bickery-bickerfest-temper-temper , cuddlesome-h This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Re The Secret Wife - Lynne Graham puts a nice twist on the mistaken for a mistress trope in this one. The h is named Rosie and when the story starts, she is twenty years old and has just lost her newly discovered father. Rosie was the product of a brief affair. Rosie met her current BFF, Maurice, when he saved her from some abusive nematodes at the foster home they lived in.
The Secret Wife
Rosie held the telephone at a distance from her ear. Hell, Rosie, you might have at least left the poor bloke a note! Last time I saw him he was mobilising the Greek police to look for you! It upset her to be at loggerheads with Maurice but it was time that he appreciated that she was no longer the terrified thirteen-year-old he had once saved from sexual assault. She clambered back onto the motorbike she had hired, trying not to think with miserly regret about the secret rainy-day account she had more than half-emptied in the space of three days. Her sparkling eyes hardened as she rode out of the sleepy little village and back onto the endless mountain road with its perilous bends and truly terrifying drops.