If Ever I Should Love You by Cathy Maxwell
Series: Spinster Heiresses #1
Also in this series: A Match Made in Bed (Spinster Heiresses #2)
Publication Date: December 26th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
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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 willing to 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 . . .
Roman Gilchrist has inherited the title of the Earl of Rochdale. Unfortunately with that title came the debts that his predecessors had racked up and he’s told that he needs to marry quickly in order to pay them off. He’s told that there are three heiresses that are called the Spinster Heiresses and that marrying one of them will get him out of debt. He is more than hesitant as his family has always married for love and he’s a romantic at heart. He wants that love as well.
Roman is shocked and pleased when he hears that Leonie Charnock is one of the heiresses. He thought himself in love with her at one time and lost his army commission because of her. He thinks he has harsh feelings towards her but he may be confusing those with love.
Leonie plans to never marry but her father is insisting. She tries to put him off as much as possible. Her father and mother live separate lives so between them hating each other and an experience from her younger days she’s determined to stay single. That is until Roman comes back into the picture. She never thought to see him again but when she does, feelings that she thought long buried come to the surface. Her mother long ago offered her brandy to “take off the edge” of anything she was feeling. Unfortunately Leonie never stopped taking the edge off and she now can’t live without the alcohol to get through the day. Despite her determination to stay single she soon finds herself married but Roman isn’t thrilled with the woman she’s become.
This was an interesting second chance at love/reunion romance. It wasn’t my favorite of Maxwell’s books but it was good. I can’t say that I loved delving into the topic of alcoholism but it happens, so I applaud Maxwell’s decision to write about it. Unfortunately it turned Roman into a bit of an ass.
The first part of the book was really good and I was highly enjoying it until Roman and Leonie got married. That started a string of events where Roman was just a douche. I wish I could say he dealt with things well but except for when they were having sex, his attitude annoyed the heck out of me. I was happy to see him try to deal with Leonie’s alcoholism rather than cast her out, but the way he went about it just got my hackles up.
Leonie was a nice girl who’d had a shitty life. She was dealing with it the best she could – unfortunately that included alcohol. Despite her alcoholism she was a kind person and I didn’t feel she truly deserved the horrible things that Roman said to her. I guess that was his version of tough love but I didn’t care to read about it in a romance novel.
Despite my issues with the second part of the book I did like it. If you don’t mind delving into a book that might have you wishing you could throw the hero across the room then pick this one up. 🙂
Rating: 3 out of 5