My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Series: Spinster Heiresses #3
Publication Date: 11/27/18
Willa Reverly is one of the wealthiest heiresses on the marriage mart and she is the last unmarried Spinster Heiress. At the beginning of the season, in order to make standing around at balls more tolerable, the heiresses came up with a game. They chose the most eligible bachelor of the season and then devised a point system for interactions with him. They ALL wanted to win the game and to win the Duke of Camberly – but – Willa won both the game and the man.
Willa hasn’t seen her betrothed since the night of their betrothal party – quite some time ago. He left London without a word to her. She hardly knows the man since they’ve only spoken two or three times. She’d hoped for a kiss (at least) at the betrothal party, but that didn’t happen either. She knows they aren’t a love match, but she’d at least like to know that he has some respect and regard for her since they’d be spending their lives together. She definitely doesn’t want a marriage like her parents have. Since she is tired of stewing at home by herself, she sends Camberly a note to tell him that she is releasing him from their betrothal because they just will not suit.
Matthew Addision, Duke of Camberly, did NOT want to be the duke. Matt’s father had defied his parents and married the woman he loved – an actress. He was quickly disowned, but he didn’t let that stop him from having several children and raising them in a family filled with love and happiness. When both of Matt’s parents died, his older sisters approached their grandparents and begged them to at least give Matt the education he should have as the grandson of a duke. They did that but totally ignored him personally. Now, he is the duke and is responsible for his grandmother and an impoverished dukedom. Matt always wanted to marry for love just as his parents did, but it appears that he is going to have to sell his title on the marriage mart in order to salvage the dukedom. He’d managed to obtain a betrothal to one of the richest heiresses on the Mart and now all he has to do is sit back and wait for his wedding day. Just imagine his shock when he receives a missive from his betrothed who is releasing him from their betrothal. WHAT!
Matt has discovered that there are some very strange transactions in the estate ledgers. The money came in, but it never went to pay off creditors, repair cottages, purchase seed, etc. Where did it all go? After a confrontation with his grandmother, he learns that the old duke was being blackmailed and the demands had gotten greater and greater until the dukedom was bankrupt.
As soon as Matt gets the letter from Willa he sets out to convince her to change her mind and to give him another chance. He manages to secure her hand and things proceed. Willa wants love and Matt wants love – but can they love each other? The path won’t be smooth or easy if they do manage to fall in love. Their path will include betrayal, kidnapping, and murder.
The entirety of Chapter 8 could have been left out of this book and I would have been much happier. I really bothers me when someone uses the excuse of ‘losing control’ to excuse despicable behavior. The entire consummation scene was just too ‘over the top’ and not well done.
One thing that bothered me in this book was the use of American terms rather than British. I could see one slip-up with something that wasn’t particularly obvious, but when you use the American term ‘feet’ for height measurement rather than the British metric term that is very obvious. An even greater offense is using the term ‘lawyer’ throughout the book. In England, you either have a solicitor or a barrister, depending on your legal needs, but you don’t have a lawyer. Another term is when the author refers to him putting on his socks and boots – in that time period both men and women wore ‘stockings’.
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“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”