Cathy Maxwell comes to the blog today with the second in her Spinster Heiresses series – three women just a touch long on the shelf, but now with fathers set to see them married off with hefty dowries, we get to meet the second in the series: Cassandra.
A Match Made in Bed
Cassandra Howell is a bluestocking and eminently proud (even boastful) of the fact that she’s smart and bookish. She’s also spoilt rotten, often selfish, consistently snobby and has a tendency to look down on those she feels beneath her (and many are as she is quite tall for a woman). In short, while I found Leone (from the first book) perplexing and a bit contrary, Cassandra encouraged few, if any, feelings that were positive, making her character one that needed redemption and some serious growing up to bring her to equal footing with the handsome and quite worldly Duke of Camberly, Soren.
Soren is what one would expect – handsome, a bit more patient with Cassandra’s boorishness and snobbery, and wholly determined to overcome the family history and restore the coffers decimated by Cassandra’s family. He’s far more loyal to her than she deserves, and loyalty to his family and friends, sometimes to his detriment is one of the many things to enjoy about him. He’s also clearly able to communicate his wants, needs and secrets to Cassandra, and after a bit of hesitation and the reveal of the secrets – their communication is solid. But Cassandra! Usually Maxwell is very much able to bring my initial impressions of a character around to positive – but it was a seriously hard slog here.
Totally unsuited for anything than what she was – a spoiled daughter free to pursue her own interests and an often grandiose estimation of her own intelligence and standing, while her family life wasn’t perfect, she’d not really provided a true sense for her own behavior – nor her intelligence. That felt way more told than shown, and while I was able to gather some sympathy for her when shocking truths about her family were revealed, my admiration and enjoyment of Soren in his single-minded determination to have and appreciate this woman are what made the relationship work for me.
Maxwell is one of my favorites when writing a flawed character, and most times they come to be easily understood and their flaws and behavior can be put into context when their secrets are revealed and they start to grow into the person that they were meant to become. I just didn’t find enough change or growth in Cassandra to totally redeem her, and from the first to the last page it was Soren who engendered the empathy, admiration and brought the fun to this story.
Title: A Match Made in Bed
Author: Cathy Maxwell
Series: Spinster Heiresses #2
Also in this series: If Ever I Should Love You
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency, Setting: Britain
Published by: Avon
Published on: 17 April, 2018
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Audio Length: 10 Hours (est)
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google
Once upon a time there were three young ladies who, despite their fortunes, had been on the marriage mart a bit too long. They were known as “the Spinster Heiresses” . . .
Miss Cassandra Howell is too tall, too bookish, and too smart—but she does have money and a father who wants a grand title for her. Cassandra hasn’t felt a desire to marry until she meets the sinfully handsome Duke of Camberly, who captures her imagination . . . until Soren York, Earl of Dewsberry and her family’s sworn enemy, steps in the way.
The Holwells ruined Soren’s family, and he’s lived on the knife’s edge trying to resurrect their fortunes . . . until he considers marrying the Holwell Heiress. Not only would her dowry give him the funds he needs, he has secretly had an eye on the independent-minded bluestocking since they both first realized the differences between men and women.
She likes to read; he has no patience for books. She knows little of sex; he is a man of the world and willing to school her. Her family destroyed his; his offer of marriage may be her only salvation.
Now Cassandra and Soren must learn to love each other for who they are, not what they are—and the lessons are becoming an exercise in absolute pleasure.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.