Gurhrke bucked romance traditions with this novel, and it worked wonderfully. Everything about the characters and the story was refreshing. Daring and unique, the time period (early 20th century) was unusual, since most period romances take place a bit earlier. It lent itself well to the clash of tradition and modern mores; what surprised me more was that it was the woman clinging to tradition, and not the man.
Lady Beatrix expected that her fiance Will would stay home, work the land with his tenants, and continue his fascination with Egypt from afar. Will's travel plans and unknown future are frightening to a woman looking to build a family. Will expected that Beatrix, always daring and following his footsteps, would follow him when he was given the career opportunity of a lifetime. Will's feelings that if Beatrix loved him enough she would have left, and Beatrix's fear that he couldn't support a family are seated in a truth that they must work out.
Years later, Beatrix has moved forward without Will, looking for a companion and a marriage of affection and finding it with Aiden. Will's been holding her engagement notice for months, and finally returns home. For closure? A mad elopement? Money? Even Will isn't sure. And this is when the fun begins. The sparks between these two lit up the pages; they love to clash. He upsets her comfortable world and she rattles him thoroughly. Their love shines through and their honest conversations about what they expected from each other in the past was heart-wrenching. I loved that Will pushed her to be what she was, and not what she thought people wanted. Eating caviar, drinking lemonade when she wants champagne, being SAFE - Will gives her the push to break the boundaries she has allowed others to place on her. And he comes to realize that professional success is worthless without someone to share it with. Does she realize that playing it safe doesn't always lead to happiness?
Much is happening with the secondary characters marriages - Julia and Pete in particular. I'm looking forward to seeing what happened between Julia and Aiden. There are strong hints of a shared past, and I can't wait to read book two in the series. And the follow up to previous books in her other series was done tastefully and made me want to go grab the other books and do some re-reading.
Wedding of the Season is a definite add to my personal and library collection.