Tag: Cathy Maxwell

Guest Review: A Match Made in Bed by Cathy Maxwell

Posted April 20, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: A Match Made in Bed by Cathy MaxwellReviewer: Tracy
A Match Made in Bed (Spinster Heiresses #2) by Cathy Maxwell
Series: Spinster Heiresses #2
Also in this series: If Ever I Should Love You
Published by Avon
Publication Date: April 17th 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-stars

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.

Cassandra is a woman who will inherit a ton of money when she gets married.  Soren, the Earl of Dewsberry needs money so he thinks to marry her.  She doesn’t want to marry a fortune hunter, she wants to marry for love. On top of that, Soren and Cassandra’s families have been enemies for many years so there’s really no chance that her father will let her marry.

Though Cassandra says she doesn’t want to marry Soren she can’t help but be attracted to him.  Despite her thoughts on love she decides that maybe Soren is the man for her.  Unfortunately the life that the two plan together may be very different from the one they end up with.

This was a cute book.  It was a good story, but unfortunately I thought it lacked a certain spark between the H/h.  IDK, maybe it was because Cassandra nay-sayed Soren so often that I didn’t really see the connection between them when she finally capitulated.  Whatever it was it wasn’t good.  That’s not to say that I didn’t like the book.  It was a decent read and an entertaining way to spend an afternoon.

This also gave us a view into the Duke of Camberly, who Cassandra had had her eye one.  It’s pretty obvious that her friend and the Duke will have their book next but frankly I really didn’t like the guy.  He was not the type of man I want as a hero in a romance novel so I’m not at all sure I’ll be reading the next book in the series.

Spinster Heiresses Series

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Guest Review: If Ever I Should Love You by Cathy Maxwell

Posted December 29, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: If Ever I Should Love You by Cathy MaxwellReviewer: Tracy
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)
Published by Avon
Publication Date: December 26th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 368
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-stars

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

three-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Guest Review: The Fairest of Them All by Cathy Maxwell

Posted May 27, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Fairest of Them All by Cathy MaxwellReviewer: Tracy
The Fairest of Them All by Cathy Maxwell
Series: Marrying the Duke #2

Publication Date: May 31st 2016
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

The penniless orphan of a disreputable earl, Lady Charlene Blanchard thrives on the adventure of picking the pockets of unsavory gentlemen to survive. But due to her extraordinary beauty and prized bloodlines, she is hand-chosen as a potential bride for the Duke of Baynton, who is on the hunt for a suitable wife to provide heirs. All Char has to do is act the part she was born to play and charm a duke she’s never laid eyes on into proposing. Except the duke turns out to be the tall, dark and sexy stranger who just caught her red-handed as a thief!

Or is he? Jack Whitridge is the duke’s twin who had “gone missing” over ten years ago. Now back in England, he knows that the supposed Lady who has his brother’s love is hardly duchess material—except he needs her to save his adopted country from war. He is willing to bargain with her heart, until he finds himself falling for Char . . .

The penniless orphan of a disreputable earl, Lady Charlene Blanchard thrives on the adventure of picking the pockets of unsavory gentlemen to survive. But due to her extraordinary beauty and prized bloodlines, she is hand-chosen as a potential bride for the Duke of Baynton, who is on the hunt for a suitable wife to provide heirs. All Char has to do is act the part she was born to play and charm a duke she’s never laid eyes on into proposing. Except the duke turns out to be the tall, dark and sexy stranger who just caught her red-handed as a thief!

Or is he? Jack Whitridge is the duke’s twin who had “gone missing” over ten years ago. Now back in England, he knows that the supposed Lady who has his brother’s love is hardly duchess material—except he needs her to save his adopted country from war. He is willing to bargain with her heart, until he finds himself falling for Char . . .

Charlene is an orphan who lives with her aunt Sarah.  Sarah is an actress and takes as many jobs as possible to make ends meet.  Charlene’s uncle (not related to Sarah) had been paying Charlene’s expenses until a few months prior and then all money just stopped coming.  One of Charlene’s good friends (her deceased mother’s godmother) taught her how to pick pockets and Charlene had been doing that and telling Sarah that the money had come from her uncle.  On one of the days she is out picking pockets she decides on a gentleman to rob but doesn’t plan on his friend chasing her when he sees she’s escaping.

Charlene gets away from her pursuer but not before they get a good look at each other.  Though Charlene is dressed as a boy the man, Jack Whitridge, sees that she is a woman and from that point on cannot get her out of his head.

Charlene, though penniless, has impeccable bloodlines and her aunt arranges for her to attend a ball where she can meet the Duke of Baynton who is looking for a wife.  She doesn’t believe anything will come of it but she attends anyway and the duke is completely taken with her.  Unfortunately, the ball is interrupted when the duke’s long lost brother, Jack, shows up.  Charlene manages to hide from him but soon he discovers that his twin is courting her.

Jack left England when he was press-ganged into service.  He managed to leave the ship eventually and landed in America where he has lived and worked since that time.  He’s now a lawyer and is back in England to try to talk to the powers-that-be to try to stop a war between England and America (which would eventually become the War of 1812) but no one wants to talk.  No one takes the American’s seriously and they even look at Jack as a bit of a turncoat as it seems he’s turning his back on England by defending America. Jack knows that he must do his best for his adopted country but his duties don’t stop him from confronting Charlene and then falling for her.  Despite how much he likes her, however, he can’t take her from his twin – or can he?

This was a sweet story that was a bit different.  At first I wasn’t sure who I wanted to win Charlene – Jack or his twin, Gavin the duke. I liked them both at first but Gavin proved to be a stick in the mud, which I didn’t really care fore.  Also, once he found out about Charlene and Jack he did some pretty rotten things to his twin and I really didn’t like that.

Charlene was a great heroine.  She was very responsible and though she went about finding fund for their household the wrong way I had to admire her for trying.  She really did want to make her family happy and if that meant marrying the duke then she would do it.  Unfortunately, she had had met Jack before the duke and had already started liking him and that put the big kibosh on any feelings she might have had for Gavin in the future.

I very much liked Jack’s character.  He was trying to do the right thing for his adopted country and though I could see how he was troubled by people thinking of him as a traitor I was happy that he stood his ground and continued on his original goal.  He was a good man and I liked that he stood up for what he believed in.

I have to say that I would have liked to have seen more of a romance between Charlene and Jack.  It seemed like there was infatuation and that it was starting to turn into more and then boom!  They were in love and nothing could tear them apart.  I was more than a bit surprised by the progression of the relationship as it just didn’t seem like the pair had spent enough time in each others company to feel the way they did.  IDK, maybe it’s just me, but I really needed more in the build-up between the two of them.

The story overall is romantic and a good read but was lacking a bit in that relationship build-up that I needed.  Even though Gavin was a bit of an ass in this story I’m curious to see what happens with this conservative fuddy-duddy when it’s time for his romance.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Review: The Bride Says No by Cathy Maxwell

Posted May 9, 2014 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Published by Avon, Harper Collins

Rowena’s review of The Bride Says No (Brides of Wishmore #1) by Cathy Maxwell.

Lady Aileen never thought she’d be in this position—falling in love with her sister’s betrothed! Of course, her sister did run away rather than marry him, and he doesn’t seem to be all that interested in her sister either, but even so, such a match is impossible…isn’t it?

Aileen is certain she must turn away from the man she loves in order to protect her sister’s reputation. However, he’s not one to give up without a fight, and now that he’s met a woman he wants to marry, nothing on earth could convince him to let Aileen go.

This is the first book in the Brides of Wishmore series by Cathy Maxwell.  I’ve enjoyed Maxwell’s books in the past so I was pretty stoked to get this book for review.

The story starts off with Lady Aileen leaving home to get married.  She’s naive in the way that she is adamant that her life is going to be full of hearts and roses, and love.  She’s going to have a fairy tale ending and when that doesn’t seem to be the case, she comes back home as a divorced woman.  She left behind her younger sister, Lady Tara who grows up to be quite the beauty.

Now that’s back at home, she’s got time to reflect on her life and she’s a whole lot of regretful for a lot of things.  One of those regrets is becoming a virtual stranger to her sister.  Now, her sister is engaged to be married to the bastard son of a Duke and she wasn’t invited to the wedding.  While she’s trying to come to terms with her new life (the scandal of being a divorced woman), her sister returns home dressed as a boy with no intention of marrying her fiance.

The fiance’ shows up and things really pick up.

There was a lot going on in this book and thought it was an enjoyable story but there were some things that disappointed me.  One of my main gripes was that there was far too much page time dedicated to Aileen’s sister, Tara.  She was not a likable person and the more page time she got, the more I wanted to punch her freaking throat in.  I wasn’t a fan of hers at all, so much so that I’m not sure I can pick up the next book, considering it’s her story.  I felt like Aileen and Blake’s story (which this story was supposed to be) took a back seat (in the third row of the SUV, back seat) to freaking Tara.

Their story was an interesting one though.  Aileen left home once before, with thoughts of rainbows and butterflies and instead got a mean husband who put his hands on her.  After escaping his clutches, she now has to live with the fact that she’ll probably never marry again with the scandal from her divorce on the tongue of everyone in town.  But none of that matters because she’s free.  She’s free from the abuse and when Blake comes storming into her life, he brings on a whole new set of drama into her life.  He’s engaged to her sister.  But the heart wants what it wants and hers wants Blake.

What I liked about this book was that the romance between Blake and Aileen wasn’t this drawn out affair.  It happens and it blossoms into something so completely out of what either of them were expecting and I ate that part up.  I just wished we got more for them.  A part of me feels a bit cheated from all the page time that Tara got.

Overall, the set up for this series was pretty solid.  Despite the things that I wasn’t too much a fan of, the story itself was still good.  Though, I’m up in the air about reading the next book, I’m not mad that I read this one.

Grade: 3 out of 5

This book is available from Sourcebooks Fire.  You can purchase it here or here in e-format.  This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Review: The Bride Says No by Cathy Maxwell

Posted January 23, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 4 Comments

Published by Avon, Harper Collins

Lady Aileen never thought she’d be in this position—falling in love with her sister’s betrothed! Of course, her sister did run away rather than marry him, and he doesn’t seem to be all that interested in her sister either, but even so, such a match is impossible…isn’t it?

Aileen is certain she must turn away from the man she loves in order to protect her sister’s reputation. However, he’s not one to give up without a fight, and now that he’s met a woman he wants to marry, nothing on earth could convince him to let Aileen go.
 
Lady Tara fell in love with the Horse Master when she was younger. She left him, however, to go to London to see the greater world and have a season, leaving her love, Ruary, devastated. Now it’s 3 years later and Tara is engaged to marry the bastard son of a duke. She decides 3 days before the wedding that it’s really Ruary she wants and escapes London to head to her hometown in Scotland. Unfortunately things don’t work out like she planned. She gets home only to find Ruary engaged to another woman but she feels sure that he will choose her over the other woman. Then there’s her fiance, Blake Stephens, who follows her to Scotland along with her father. The father insists on the marriage taking place but Tara just wants Ruary.

Her sister, Aileen, is a divorced woman who lives at home. She’s happy she’s divorced as her husband was a angry man and beat her regularly. When Tara shows up at home she’s upset but determined to force their father to to let Tara be and get her out of the marriage contract. Unfortunately Tara changes her mind suddenly and now the wedding’s on again. Another unfortunate is Blake and Aileen falling in love and Tara not willing to let Blake off the hook. Yowza.

I’ve only read a few of Maxwell’s books but I’ve liked what I’ve read so far. This one was on par with the others but I did have some issues with it.

First what I liked: I really liked the characters. They were well written and I enjoyed reading about almost all of them. The story about Ruary and his fiance, Jane Sawyer was a good addition to the overall story and I very much liked that portion of the book.

What I didn’t like: Tara I really didn’t like. The next book is hers and I’m not sure that I liked her enough by the end of this book to read her story. I also didn’t really care for the romance between Aileen and Blake. While it was great that they fell in love it almost took a back seat to everything that was going on with Ruary and Tara. I didn’t feel like we got enough of their falling in love to feel the true emotion of their predicament. This felt more like Tara’s book than Aileen’s.

Despite my issues with the book I thought it was a good read overall. I’ll have to see how about Tara when it comes time for her romance.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Cathy Maxwell


Tagged: , , , ,