The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck by Kathleen Y’Barbo

Sunday, May 6, 2012

About the book:
Publisher: Water Brook
Publication Date: 2011
Author: Kathleen Y’Barbo
Series: “omen of the West, book 3
Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical

Synopsis: Blessed with wealth but spoiled with anything her heart ever desired, Charlotte Beck is the privileged, only daughter of the wealthy Daniel Beck who foolishly gave in to his daughter’s every whim. Being of English ancestry, Charlotte and her step-mother travel abroad during the London season attending parties and brushing shoulders with the upper-classes most-respected family names prior to Charlotte’s official debut. When Charlotte butts heads with the handsome but pompous Alexander Hambly in the most embarrassing way, she cannot think of anything more interesting than getting away from his company and mocking gaze. As it would happen, the pair of them can help each other.

Charlotte wants to attend college and eventually take over the running of her father’s company, but Daniel wants nothing more than to see her settled in a proper marriage. Alex’s family, on the other hand is broke. The two agree to marry in what will be an advantageous match for the pair: it will give Alex back the financial security he needs to see his recently widowed mother comfortable, and Charlotte will be allowed to attend classes and then they plan a quiet annulment. That was before Alex’s entire world changes and he finds himself falling for his wife… but can he convince his headstrong sweetheart of that?

My thoughts: Anyone who has read this author’s works will know what a fun ride a reader is in for when reading this book, her most recent release. The story takes place in the smaller towns surrounding Denver Colorado in the late 1800’s, and is brimming with hilarity and romance, and with that responsibility some of the typical clichés of the time period follow. Charlotte Beck is a little opinionated spit-fire and for anyone who’s read Kathleen's novels before, you might remember Charlotte as the sassy child from The Confidential Life of Eugina Cooper. Now, Charlotte is all grown-up living in a world where finery isn’t the only thing at her command. At the beginning of the book, she presumes at eighteen that she is an “adult” because of her age – the girl finds nothing above reproach in her behavior and as a result, Charlotte rarely ever admits to faults. The novel spans four years divided into a part one and two before closing a number of months later.

From the opening pages of the first book in this set (which told Ginny’s story), I was charmed by Kathleen’s sweet writing. I loved the humor and characters in equal parts. (Although I’ve seen this categorized as a “series,” the novels do stand on their own and on the books themselves, no where does the publisher list the three books which supposedly made up this “series” as so.) Charlotte’s story is no different. I don’t think it was my favorite out of the three but there is no book that is cuter and the cover art is, likewise sensational. Alex and Charlotte’s love didn’t grow out of necessity but rather a choice to love – a pull towards a relationship that is more than just financial gain or society appearances.

Lessons are learned by each person making Charlotte’s story an endearing one. She learned that she didn’t have to choose between one life and the other; she could fulfill her lifelong dream while letting a new one into her heart. It was the thought that she wouldn’t be able to realize the dream of being a successful businesswoman that frightened her – or rather the thought that she would love and then be left when something or someone “better” came along. The scars of her past were something she was able to overcome to live a life more idyllic than she’d ever expected. 


  1. This looks like an interesting read! =) I might have to try it out.. . although I'll have my hands full with the Classics Club for a bit. This will have to be a break!

  2. wow, this looks great! i'll have to check it out -- literally ;)


  3. Love how you keep me up to date with all the good reads and flicks :)) Thanks girly, will check this one out. Love historical rom-com lit!

    Jeanine :))

  4. AnnaKate - this is such a fun read. The author really knows how to engage the reader and it is full of great wit. Enjoy if you read. =)

    You are way more ambitious than I would be, girl. I don't know that I would make it through all those classics. ;D LOL!

    Jessica - yes, do! It was a great read. It is one I will probably be keeping around on the book shelf.


    Jeanine - aw! Thanks - I enjoy writing them. =)

    Yes, this series was a barrel of laughs. It has some great humor. Despite the fact that western fiction really isn't my thing anymore, this book was great. =)


    Thanks for the comments, girls! I love them all. =)

  5. Hahaha, it is going to be a challenge, but most of them are re-reads of re-reads so it's not too bad. =)

  6. Still... my hat is off to you, girl! (Metaphorically speaking since I am not wearing a hat. ;D)

  7. Overcoming life's scars can be a very tough lesson to learn. Sounds like an entertaing read!
    Thank you for your sweet wishes for my birthday on my blog, Rissi! I had a very, very good one. (:

  8. Well said, Memory. We do have trouble overcoming the sorrow's life may throw our way.

    This novel is a riot - Kathleen has a great way with humor.

    Aw! You are welcome! I am glad you had such an awesome day. You're blog is adorable, and I always enjoy my visits. Thanks for stopping in. =)

  9. I'm unfamiliar with Y'Barbo, but I love a good romantic comedy and this is a book I've been eyeing for a while. To hear you enjoyed it is another reason to buy it. :-)

  10. Really? These novels are so cute, Gwendolyn - you should definitely check them out. =) I think my fave was the first book (The Confidential Life of Eugina Cooper). Charlotte's story is equally endearing but the laughs aren't as frequent.

    Happy reading!


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