Dell, Sep 2002, 6.99, 352 pp.
In 1885 Chelsea, England, by accident Lord Justin Powell finds himself in a potentially compromising situation with an underage teenager. Though nothing happened, he cuts a deal with Evelyn Cummings Whyte that if she keeps silent about their unfortunate unplanned “rendezvous”, he owes her a future favor. She agrees.
Ten years later, Evelyn has taken charge of her aunt's wedding planning business, but each event that she has hosted has been a catastrophe. Desperate to succeed before she runs the business into the ground, Evelyn calls in the debt by asking Justin if she can use his estate for the next matrimonial celebration. Though a nuisance, Justin agrees not because of honoring a debt, but as an opportunity to uncover enemy spies in his role as a secret agent. No doubt he would have reconsidered if he knew how much danger the woman he loves would place herself in as somehow Evelyn is in the middle of every peril.
BRIDAL FAVORS is an amusing late Victorian romantic intrigue that spoofs espionage historical intrigue tales. The story line never takes itself too seriously even as the lead couple tries to do the right thing that seems to just place them in one precarious situation after another. Connie Brockway's novel succeeds because the audience cares what happens to Evelyn and Justin at the same time enjoying a jocular farce.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner