This feature is for short reviews, reviews of books in a series where it might feel repetitive, or (as Michelle suggested) books I was too lazy to write a “real” review for. Today’s books were all written by Cathy Maxwell, two from the Spinster Heiresses series.If Ever I Should Love You by Cathy Maxwell
Narrator: Mary Jane Wells
Series: Spinster Heiresses #1
Published by HarperAudio on December 26, 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance
Length: 7 hours 41 minutes
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” . . .
He’s inherited a title, but not a penny to speak of, so the Earl of Rochdale knows he must find a wife—preferably one tolerably pretty and good-tempered, but definitely wealthy, and who will exchange her fortune for his family name.
His choice: Leonie Charnock, one of the season’s “Spinster Heiresses.” Years before, the earl had saved the dark-eyed beauty’s reputation and she is still breathtakingly lovely, leading Rochdale to hope that their marriage will be more than in name only.
However, Leonie doesn’t want to be anyone’s wife. Nearly destroyed by the secrets in her past, Leonie agrees to their union with one condition: there will be a wedding but no bedding. But it’s a condition the new Countess Rochdale isn’t sure even she can keep. . .
So good! I think it says something when a historical romance manages to hit on issues that make it incredibly relevant in our modern world – and this did just that. Beyond being a lovely romance with some interesting twists and fantastic characters, I loved the way If Ever I Should Love You dealt with rape and it’s consequences for all involved. It’s sad, but our world hasn’t progressed much beyond the victim shaming that kept the heroine quiet and the consequences for her mental health are well written. I also enjoyed the battle with alcoholism, which was unexpected and brilliantly done. I cannot wait to read more in this series.
Oh and I should note this was an audio read for me – with really great narration. I will definitely continue on audio.
A Match Made in Bed by Cathy Maxwell
Narrator: Mary Jane Wells
Series: Spinster Heiresses #2
Published by HarperAudio on June 12, 2018
Genres: Historical, Romance
Length: 7 hours 35 minutes
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.
Cathy Maxwell never disappoints and this series is proving to be one of my favorites. I’m really enjoying watching this “spinster heiresses” – beautifully flawed characters – grow into women worth admiring.
In A Match Made in Bed, we have a kind of second-chance romance, in that these characters grew up together and were friends but due to some family rivalries, unfortunate misunderstandings, and hurt feelings Cassandra wants nothing to do with Soren. Soren, on the other hand, needs her wealth to save his inheritance, plus he really prefers her.
Of course, it’s even more complicated than that and when things get tough I loved seeing the characters come together, resolve their differences and find their HEA. I look forward to seeing what twists and turns Cathy threw into the third and final book of the series! (which I can’t believe I still haven’t read more than 2 years later! GAH!)
His Christmas Pleasure by Cathy Maxwell
Narrator: Jamie Birch
Series: Scandals and Seductions #4
Published by HarperAudio on November 30, 2010
Genres: Historical, Holiday, Romance
Length: 8 hours 43 minutes
I sucked this up! The characters were so great. I loved the way their relationship developed from an awkward first encounter to a marriage of convenience to friendship to love. I loved the family dynamics and the struggle to build something of their own. I loved the growth. It was just a great book and I want to go back and read books 1-3 of the series now 🙂 Clearly not reading in order didn’t hurt anything though. The narration was also fantastic, especially at capturing the Spanish accent.
New York Times bestselling author Cathy Maxwell gifts historical romance lovers with a steamy and sensational Christmas present: His Christmas Pleasure, the fourth book in her popular Scandals and Seductions series. The winter holidays have never been hotter than in this delicious tale of a marriage of convenience that becomes an unexpected gift of passionate love in a season of joy and giving.