James, Lord Kirkland is in Bristol on business when he suffers a malaria attack and is attacked and robbed. He is brought to the local infirmary run by Laurel Herbert. Laurel Herbert is the wife that left him ten years ago.
James and Laurel met through her brother, Daniel. Daniel had been sent to the Westerfield Academy due to being deemed too religious by his parents. They met when Daniel invited James to visit his home. After proposing to her the night they met, they are married three weeks later when Laurel turned eighteen. They spend the next year traveling to James’s various properties and holdings. When they finally reach London, James’ spy business intrudes on their bliss. He is almost attacked in his study and kills the assassin as Laurel watches. Horrified, she leaves her husband and seeks refuge with her parents. Her parents tell her that her place is with her husband.
Ten years later, Daniel is now an ordained minister and physician. Daniel and Laurel set up an infirmary and a mission to help the poor in Bristol. Because James had had two malaria attacks during their year marriage, Laurel knows what will happen and what to do. During the fever, James and Laurel make love. And, of course, Laurel ends up pregnant.
They reunite for the sake of the child. But, not before Laurel attracts the attention of a local evil ship owner by rescuing the Jamaican slave he has just bought and is attempting to take on his ship.
“Not Quite a Wife” is part of the “Lost Lords” series. There are parts about this novel that I really liked and parts that I really hated to the point that I had to put it down and read something else. I liked James. He has been in the other “Lost Lords” as the spy master and I was thrilled to see that he got his own book. I did not like Laurel. She was married to the man for a year. She knew what he did. When he is being attacked and she yells for him to look out what does she expect James to do? Not defend himself, tell the bad guy to stop? Laurel at some points was just too much of a prig. There was just too much of the religious in this book for my cup of tea. I hope if Daniel gets his own book that it is toned down.
After reading this novel, I have to give it 3.5 stars because I should not dislike a heroine as much as I disliked Laurel in parts of this novel.