by Laura Lee Guhrke

July 2005
ISBN: 0-006-077473-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

The marriage of Viola Courtland to Viscount John Hammond was not perfect by any means but it was an arrangement they’d grown accustomed to after eight years. That was about to change, however, because Viscount Hammond was suddenly in need of an heir. When John’s best friend and cousin dies the next in line as the viscount’s heir is a ne'er-do-well whom John cannot bear to see gain the Hammond estate. What is the next best solution? It is to get his wife with child, of course. If only she would speak to him.

People were astonished to see John arrive at the same social function already attended by his wife. Not only was it common practice for gentlemen to avoid the same ball as their wives, but it was public knowledge that the Hammonds didn’t like one another. The two were never seen in public together. It simply wasn’t done. Until that fateful day when the letter arrived and for the first time in their married life John Hammond willingly sought out his wife, Viola.

Love may not have been in the equation for John, but Viola had loved him from the first. Then the truth came out. John had married her for her money and he’d carried on an affair during his and Viola’s engagement. Viola was devastated. She vowed never to give herself to him again, in heart or in body. The unexpected occurrences in John’s life do not waver her resolve to have nothing to do with the man who’d shattered her dreams. He was just out of luck.

Although his affection for her does not run as deeply as Viola’s for him once had, John liked his wife and never wished to hurt her. It is going to take dedication, desire, and loving care to mend the wounds of the past. John finds that a true marriage with Viola is what he wants more than anything else.

Author Laura Lee Gurhke has written a romance that starts with the main characters indifferent and ends in tender passion. The Marriage Bed is a feel good story brimming with hope, redemption, and the resilience of love. The subject of infidelity may be too disheartening for some, but if you decide to give this book a try you will find that true love can survive and it is never too late to hope.

Reviewed in August 2005 by Rho.

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