St. Martin's, Jan 2004, 6.99, 384 pp.
In 1875 Savannah, Victoria Redmond was found in a comprised position with the wrong person so her wealthy upper crust family ships her to England to marry an aristocrat. Duke Spencer Whitfield is broke and at risk of losing his estate. He makes up his mind that he will wed the heiress.
Victoria becomes pregnant rather quickly, but cynically Spencer doubts that the child is his. He informs his wife that if the infant fails to have his family birthmark, he will divorce her and send her back to Georgia with someone else's kid. When she learns her family is in trouble, Victoria flees for the states to help them and to forget the man she now loves who her hurt her very badly. He follows her across the Atlantic because his pride is hurt, but soon finds he loves his wife with the only way to prove it being recognizing the infant with or without his birthmark.
TO MAKE A MARRIAGE is a fun Victorian romance though many modern day readers will find Spencer's position stiff and difficult though it fits the society he grew up in. Victoria is an intrepid heroine who knows her family needs her and though her spouse said to stay, she shows the temerity by ignoring him and venturing back to Georgia. Fans of the period will enjoy Cheryl Anne Porter's solid tale of two individuals who have nothing in common except love.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner