The marriage was supposed to be a business arrangement.
Oliver has no illusions concerning his upcoming marriage to Arabella. It is a simple arranged marriage. Oliver needs an heir, and Arabella’s brother has his own reasons for needing Arabella to marry well.
Oliver won me over immediately. Even though Oliver has never met Arabella, I like that he makes an effort to find out about her before meeting her. He is not expecting his future wife to love him, but he is determined to show her kindness and respect. When he discovers Arabella’s love of horses, he selects the perfect Christmas present for her. However, their first meeting doesn’t go quite as he planned. After stumbling upon each other in a stable, Arabella believes he is a commoner and Oliver suddenly sees an opportunity to get really get to know Arabella without all the pressure of their impending marriage. Though he is technically lying to Arabella, I really couldn’t blame him for wanting her to know him rather than his title.
I completely understand Arabella’s reluctance to marry a stranger, especially since she had her upcoming marriage sprung on her mere days before the event is to take place. Anyone in her position would need some time and space to clear their head. As Arabella’s flight from the house illustrates, she does tend to be a bit impulsive. After Arabella calmed down, I found her to be an intelligent and caring woman. The tender way she cares for her horse speaks volumes about her personality. Arabella does come off as a bit arrogant at times, but I think this is mainly a defense mechanism. Oliver’s behavior confuses her and her arrogance is an effort to put some distance between them as well as a way to dampen the small flames of desire she’s beginning to feel for him.
I truly enjoyed reading The Earl’s Christmas Colt. Arabella and Oliver are nicely rounded characters and the unusual circumstances surrounding their initial meeting are very entertaining. Looking for a short, sweet, historical romance? Pick up a copy of The Earl’s Christmas Colt today.
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