Avon, May 2002, 5,99, 384 pp.
In 1805 London, a very disappointed General Northcott lectures his daughter Lucinda that she has brought shame to their family name that has been above reproach for over two centuries. He insists she will marry the younger son of an earl instead of the older one whom she loves. Harry Devering not her beloved Malcolm becomes her spouse. For the next decade Lucinda is the paragon of proper behavior, which cannot be said of her husband.
In 1816 Lucinda makes her first social appearance since Harry died in the bed of his mistress over a year ago. Only for her charge Meg would she return to the Ton. However, at Meg's debut, her brother, Sea Captain Garrett Lynch, crashes the gala. Ready to declare the third Anglo-American war, Garrett is side tracked by the beauty and calm of Lucinda. He wants her, but Lucinda will give up love before stepping into any scandal, just ask the odious Malcolm who wants her as his mistress.
Though the story line is somewhat typical of a Regency, Debra Mullins keeps it fresh through the relationships of several of her key characters, especially the lead protagonists. Lucinda's vow to never cause harm to her family name after the way her father looked at her in 1805 battles with her desire to make love with the wild Garrett, whose attitude is damn the torpedoes full speed ahead in his quest. Regency readers will find A NECESSARY HUSBAND a charming read that never steps out of the box.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner