When Laurel Herbert left her husband of a year, she did it without looking back. Having witnessed her husband kill a man in front of her was just too much for the young and morally strict lady to take. Regardless of the reason, she feels there is no excuse for what he has done. Not able to return home to her parents, who basically shun her for leaving her rich and titled husband, she opens a home for wayward women and begin to give work at making their lives better. Her brother is now the local doctor and Laurel nurses for him and keeps his life and business managed.
Lord James Kirkland has spent the last ten years alone. When Laurel left him, he didn't go after her, didn't fight for his marriage because he knew he was to blame, even if killing the man was justifiable, he still allows Laurel to go without a fight. In his time alone, James has built himself quite a legacy in the shipping industry and all the while, he still makes sure that his estranged wife is financially secure, if nothing else.
One night changes everything for both Kirkland and Laurel, when Kirkland is attacked and brought to her bruised and somewhat out of it, he doesn't know where he is. Laurel is stunned to see her husband after ten years apart but still, she must tend to him like any other patient in need, since her brother is unable to. In his delirium, James dreams he has his beloved Laurel back and is making love to her, but when he awakens and finds Laurel there and no hint of the intimacy of the dream, he thinks it was all in his head.
Laurel tries to go on as if nothing happened between her and Kirkland, but when she realizes she is pregnant, the rules are about to change. When she informs Kirkland, he sees his chance back into Laurel's life, but can she get over those memories of him killing or will this still tear them apart?
NOT QUITE A WIFE by Mary Jo Putney is the 6th installment in the LOST LORDS series . I always enjoyed Kirkland in the previous books and I was eager to read his tale. I have to say though, this is not my favorite as I found Laurel's moral righteousness to be distracting and a bit much. It was a solid story and I really enjoyed Kirkland's character, finding him to be extremely generous and caring in all aspects of his life. he is probably one of my favorite characters in this series. I just found Laurel to be way too stubborn and her disapproval of James' deeds took away from the tale for me. As a fan of this series, I absolutely will continue to read it. My feelings here are you can't win them all, not every book in a series will get the same reaction. NOT QUITE A WIFE is still a good read and essential to he series.