Avon, Mar 2003, 5.99, 384 pp.
At the urging of her father, Annabelle Wylde marries a stranger, Miles Croft. Miles wants to clear the bad reputation his mother brought to his family when she got remarried to a scoundrel. Miles believes Annabelle will also assist his sister Camille with her debut. For Annabelle, it is the freedom that marriage provides her amidst the Ton that leads her to agree. That night they have sex, but Annabelle does not enjoy it and Miles feels guilty that he disappointed her.
Annabelle becomes ill as they journey on their honeymoon. Near death, she recovers, but her looks and consequently her confidence are shattered. Miles is nice to his wife as he tries to help her recover, but uses her health to avoid touching her. Annabelle recovers enough to go to London with her husband in order for his sister to debut. As Annabelle faces the Ton that once considered her a beautiful diamond, Miles knows he loves her for her courage and her encouragement of his sibling. However, before the duo can express how they feel, his stepfather, thought deceased, returns to try to blackmail his mother.
TO WED A STRANGER is an entertaining Regency romance due to the metamorphosis of the lead characters from strangers into a loving couple. The secondary cast is a wonderful group with the exception of his cringing mother and his odious stepfather. Though an unnecessary intrigue caused by the stepfather subsequently takes away from the tale, readers will appreciate Edith Layton's beautiful romance.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner