As Ariana Forsythe plans her wedding to Philip Mornay, she must adjust to the realization that she is soon to become the wife of an extremely wealthy man. She wonders if it’s wrong to rejoice that her future husband is rich. But she promises herself to use her new position to do what she can to aid the numerous street waifs she sees all too often in London.
During a tour of her future home—the house in Grosvenor Square—Ariana makes plans to redecorate according to her tastes. But when Philip arrives home later, he is informed that an expensive silver candlestick and a miniature portrait of George III have gone missing. Moreover, each time Ariana visits the house, accompanied by a friend or relation, another item disappears.
Shortly thereafter Ariana is abducted as she leaves a performance at Covent Garden Theatre, leaving Philip to unravel the pieces of the mystery. Where has his future bride been taken, and by whom? For what reason? How does Ariana’s faith play a role?
Finally, after the safe return of his intended, how does Philip—a man of intense discrimination in his tastes—find the many alterations in his house? And what on earth is behind the sudden influx of bills from every charity in London, all thanking him profusely for his uncommon generosity? Will he have second thoughts about his future bride?
This book continues right at the point where 'Before the Season Ends' leaves us and has everything that the first one had, and perhaps even more! Adventure, romance, spiritual depth and on top of them all, a wedding!! I loved, loved, loved it!
I think I would have enjoyed it even if i had not read the first book (I mean I wouldn't have much difficulty following the plot), but I am sure I would have missed reading 'Before the Season Ends'.
You know, usually you don't expect the second book in a series to live up to the expectations the first one evoked, but this time, the second book may be even better. If you were charmed by Mr. Mornay before, you could easily fall in love with him now. Admittedly, Ariana may appear a little naive and even irritating at first, with her insistence to redecorate his town home and spend his entire fortune on charities. But then again, one can understand her being inused to all this splendor and extravagance. And on top of that, Mr. Mornay so openly admires her fresh perspective and is so completely devoted to her, that the reader can't help but envy their strong bond.
I was also very pleasantly surprised by this: even though there was some pretty strong evidence against Ariana in the matter of thefts, Mr. Mornay continued firmly in his conviction that she was innocent, even rushing to her rescue in an act that might endanger his own life. Sometimes, authors misguidedly seize the opportunity to let other people's maliciousness come between an otherwise 'loving' couple, perhaps in an effort to add angst to the story. Generally there is nothing that disgusts me more in a a book (and in real life). I was so glad to find that this was not the case here.
Finally, it was very interesting to watch Mr. Mornay's new life as a Christian and how he learned to rely on God for strength in all the trials that filled his and his bride's wasy to the altar. I was truly blessed by this part of the book.