Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage -  Jennifer Ashley There were moments where I thought this one would do good to pull out a "2" rating.

Maybe I'm an unsympathetic old grouch but... she knew who and what he was and still chose to elope with him. There comes a point where one must realize that one has made thy bed, now lie in it. Instead, she...left. That he chose to allow for a separation instead of divorcing her for abandonment (which would have ruined her) was a testament to the person he could be. Oh, I'm not entirely cutting him slack here but...

She was 19 when they married. It's been 6 years. He was the third son and probably not too many years older than her. Like many spare sons, he reflected a lack of direction - he wasn't needed, so he had no responsibilities. He was also an artist and really didn't relate with the sperm donor errr father. So they were both young, and I suspect her first and foremost goal was to try to change him. Meanwhile he's trying to change her, so they're at cross-purposes. And their routine was fight a lot, he takes off - to give her a break, comes home, they make mad whoopee, fight some more, etc.

They both needed a kick in the arse IOW. They had a fight, he gave her space, she lost a baby, resented that he was gone (although it does take two to fight. That part apparently escapes her notice), and left him. Kick delivered. Unfortunately, while the kick made one heck of an impression on him, it appeared to slide off her teflon behind; she continues her lifestyle of balls, etc., while he watches from afar (because if she finds out he's in the same hotel as her, she immediately changes hotels.)

So he's decided he's watched from afar long enough. Tries wooing her. Tries lots of things. Finally tells her she's a fool; she didn't like the old him, but she doesn't want him tame either, and she won't even listen to him. She's hurt (this after she'd thrown a fit because he assumed since they were sleeping together that they were reconciled. Huh; I would have thought so too)

Of course, there's the forger who is obsessed with him and wants her.(silly side plot to get them back together). Why should she care that someone is forging his paintings? She dumped him, ergo it's non of her business.

Somewhere near the end (after the blow-up, the fool comment, etc.) she starts facing the fact that she bears fault too. She as much as admitted at one point that she eloped with him because she didn't want the life her father picked out. Why he didn't say something about her using him, I dunno. In any case, it's not quite a *3* star rating because honestly, I thought he should have stopped being nice and acted like the head of the household. Maybe if he'd told her she either reconciled or he divorced her and let her face consequences...