Miss Arabella Beckett, defender of the downtrodden women of America, is returning from her travels in support of the women’s suffrage movement when she suddenly finds herself in a spot of trouble. Arabella, always loath to accept help, is particularly reluctant to receive assistance from the arrogant, narrow-minded knight in shining armor who shows up just in time.
Private investigator extraordinaire Mr. Theodore Wilder is on an assignment that began as a favor to his good friend Hamilton Beckett but swiftly evolved into a merry chase across the country. When he finally locates Hamilton’s sister, and she turns out to have radical ideas and a fiercely independent streak, he’s at his wit’s end.
Much to their chagrin, Theodore and Arabella’s paths continue to cross when they return to New York. When the trouble Arabella accidentally stirred up in her travels follows her home and threatens her very life, the unlikely couple must face the possibility that they have landed in the most peculiar circumstance of all: love.
Like oil and water. Or fire and gasoline. Arabella and Theodore simply do not mix. When they are together, barbs are traded, fireworks explode, and their conversations are like warring armies leveling their full artillery at each other. It is simply impossible that these two stubborn people could have an even civil conversation.
Much less fall in love.
She is an outspoken suffragette intent on giving women the right to vote, and he is an obstinate man who still believes that women’s purpose in life is to make their husbands happy, clean house, and raise children. While their snide remarks and sharp snippets lofted at each other make their interactions highly amusing, it had me wondering, how on earth would these two ever get along? But as Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy had to lay aside their own initial judgments of each other in the classic Pride and Prejudice, so do Arabella and Theodore have to learn to compromise, and do it without sacrificing their individuality.
While some couples find love in a storybook fashion, where everything is sugary sweet, others, like Arabella and Theodore, find it in a fiery chemistry, and in what soon becomes friendly sparring. They learn to recognize the other’s strengths and weaknesses, and support each other accordingly. As Jen Turano displays so aptly in her novel, there is nothing wrong with general disagreements between couples. It’s how you handle those disagreements that makes or breaks you. And of course, with God’s help, nothing is impossible.
A Most Peculiar Circumstance is another delightfully witty novel by Jen Turano that will be going on my “favourites” list. It is chock full of fun and laughter and some dangerous intrigues to make a really well-rounded novel. I have an inkling of who the next “couple” will be, and I cannot wait to read their story!
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.