When Strangers Marry Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of When Strangers Marry

Beautiful Lysette Kersaint flees from her affluent fiancée to seek sanctuary in Maximillien Vallerand's house, not knowing that both he and her fiancée are enemies. She welcomes the protection even risking her reputation. She later finds out that her protector is a cold-hearted man scarred by his cheating first wife. It has also been rumored that Max killed his first wife out of jealous rage. True as predicted, Lysette's fiancée withdrew his marriage offer as she continues to enjoy Max's sanctuary. Lysette decides to go to her sister and take a job as a governess. However when Max offers her marriage to salvage her virtue and to protect her from her abusive stepfather, she sees no reason not to accept.
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When Lysette comes into his house, Max Vallerand is instantly enchanted. Her innocence and vulnerability is completely different from his worldly and adulterous fist wife. He is also surprised that she is the fiancée of his enemy, Etienne Sagasse, who has been one of the men who has slept with his late wife. He keeps the girl to ruin her reputation so that Etienne will be forced to withdraw his marriage offer and challenge him to a duel. However as Lysette becomes more involved with his life and household, his ulterior motive of revenge melts away to be replaced by a need to protect her from anyone who might wish to cause her harm and that includes, Etienne and her family.
Within the marriage, Lysette finds Max to be a demanding yet attentive and considerate husband. Her earlier misgivings about Max's fidelity melts away as Max showers her his complete devotion and love. She can't believe that people even his sons believe that Max has killed his first wife. Lysette sets to find out the real murder to restore her husband's honor. But her desire to find out the truth costs her her safety when Etienne accosted her in a party. Max is furious with Etienne and wants a duel as revenge for his wife. However the duel has been refused by Etienne's family. Despite that, when Etienne turns up dead the following day, Max becomes the prime suspect. Only with the help of his wife and his son, they search for the real killer before the Max is charged and imprisoned for murder.

The review of this Book prepared by Katrina Lo

Chapter Analysis of When Strangers Marry

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of story    -   Regency era Love Triangles/Polygons    -   Yes What kind:    -   one woman-two men Marriage/Married    -   Yes Marriage subplot:    -   marriage of convenience spurring real love

Main Male Character

Profession/status:    -   wealthy Age/status:    -   20's-30's

Main Female Character

   -   20's-30's Unusual characteristics:    -   Very shy


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Deep South Farm/Ranch:    -   lot of descript of crop raising

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment What % of story is romance related?    -   nearly 100% Focus of story    -   Her How much dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog How much sexing?    -   3-4 sex acts

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Lisa Kleypas Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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