A Most Inconvenient Marriage

Bethany House. Dec. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780764211409. pap. $14.99; ebk. ISBN 9781441264800. CF
When Union nurse Abigail Stuart befriends a gravely injured Confederate soldier named Jeremiah Calhoun, she learns about his sister's illness and his Missouri horse farm. Realizing that he is dying, Jeremiah proposes to Abigail, ensuring that his sister will be cared for and that Abigail, who fled a troubled home life, will have a place to go to after the war. Reluctantly, Abigail accepts his proposal, and as a widow heads to Missouri to keep her part of the bargain. Just as she begins to forge a relationship with her husband's family, the real Jeremiah, wounded from the war, returns home. He's shocked to see a stranger who claims to be his wife, and Abigail is equally taken aback.
VERDICT What starts out as a case of mistaken identity turns into a compelling love story between two people who are wary of each other and trying to rebuild their lives in the tense atmosphere of the Reconstruction South. Jennings (Love in the Balance) does a good job of charting the emotional and spiritual growth of her engaging protagonists. Her fresh take will please readers who prefer their historical romances set in the Civil War period.
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