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Sadly ever after . . . unless some dreams really do come true?
Elinor Burkenstock never believed in fairy tales. Sure, she’s always been a fool for love—what woman isn’t? But Elinor knows the difference between fiction and truth. Daydreams and reality. True love and false promises. . . . Until the unthinkable happens, and Elinor’s engagement is suddenly terminated and no one, least of all her fiancé, will tell her why.
Sir Michael Rollins’s war-hero days seem far behind him when, after one last hurrah before his wedding, he gets shot and his injuries leave him in dire shape. He wants nothing more than to marry Elinor, the woman of his wildest dreams. But Elinor’s father forbids it . . . and soon Michael is faced with a desperate choice: Spare Elinor a life with a broken man or risk everything to win her heart—until death do they part?
~~Reviewed by Bonnie~~
Elinor Burkenstock and Sir Michael Rollins are wildly in love and engaged to be married. Michael wants to hold Elinor’s dowry in trust for their future children, and not use it to benefit his estate. So when he has an opportunity to perform one more mission for the government, he chooses to go ahead with the assignment, planning to use those funds instead. Unfortunately, the assignment doesn’t go as planned, and Michael is severely injured. A month before their planned wedding date, Elinor’s father calls it off, only telling Elinor that Michael was injured and is no longer capable of fathering children.
Michael is still weak when Elinor’s father visits to break the news that the engagement is off. Though he initially questions it, Michael finally agrees that Elinor is better off without him since the doctors feel that his sexuality is a thing of the past. On what was to be their wedding day, Elinor sneaks out to visit Michael in his home, seeking more answers than she’s been given. Michael reaffirms that he deeply regrets taking the assignment, but it’s better that they don’t marry, leaving Elinor more heartbroken than ever.
Eventually, Michael does start to recover and to return to society, where, naturally he and Elinor meet on occasion. Though Michael is determined to win Elinor back, many circumstances have changed. Elinor can’t seem to forgive Michael, and she’s now being courted by a duke. Her father has been awarded an earldom, and feels that Elinor can make a much better marriage than Michael, though he’s also been awarded a title because of his service to the crown.
FOOLISH BRIDE felt like two books to me. The first part of the book felt somewhat uneven, as both protagonists declared they still loved each other but vacillated between wanting to be together and resolving to stay apart. I didn’t find Elinor very strong in this part of the story, though the other characters seemed to think she was. When this confused couple finally decides that they must marry, and focus all their attention on the outside forces working against them, the action really picks up and I began to enjoy the story. On their way to happily ever after, this couple has to deal with scandal, kidnapping, murder, opposition to their marriage, and a deranged villain. But all is resolved in a very sweet and satisfying manner that let me believe theirs was a genuine and lasting love.