Series: The Cavanaughs #4
Publication Date: 7/16/20
Number of Pages: 332
The final book in The Cavanaughs series is finally here. I have really been looking forward to Godfrey’s book because he always seemed to be on the outside looking in. It wasn’t that he didn’t love his siblings and their families, it was just that with their horrendous upbringing, he had learned to hold himself apart. The love was there, it was just more ‘formal’. I wanted to see the woman who could get through that aloofness. I met her – I liked her – but, it was all sort of — meh. The story was neither exciting nor steamy. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the read, it was a nice story, it just didn’t raise my pulse rate in the least. It seems I’ve been all over the place with this series – 4-stars for the first book, The Designs of Lord Randolph Cavanaugh – 5-stars for the second book, The Pursuits of Lord Kit Cavanaugh – and, 3-stars for the third book, The Beguilement of Lady Eustacia Cavanaugh. Now, I’m at 3.5-stars for this book and will round it to 3.
Given his family history, Lord Godfrey Cavanaugh learned very early in life to spot fake from real. While that applied mostly to people, he quickly learned he could do the same with art – especially paintings. He studied and honed his skills until he became the sought-after authority for authenticating paintings. The National Gallery asked him to travel to North Yorkshire, the home of Mr. Hinkley, who had offered to sell the museum a rare High Renaissance painting by Mariotto Albertinelli.
Godfrey runs afoul of a nasty winter storm and is nearly frozen when he finally arrives at Hinckley Hall – where he promptly falls over, totally unconscious. Between nearly freezing and then developing lung fever, he was confined to bed for over a week before he could begin his authentication. During that time, he got to know and became smitten with Hinckley’s daughter, Ellie.
Elinor (Ellie) Hinckley is a caregiver by nature. She always puts others first and herself last. That is why she is eight-and-twenty, unmarried, in the middle of cold Yorkshire, caring for her invalid father and her two siblings. Life has passed her by, but she is happy with her life – really, she is. She’s also contending with two suitors who want to marry her (or her family name/prestige/money) and don’t seem to want to take no for an answer.
When Godfrey can finally begin his work, he’s entranced with the documentation the family has kept over the years. Goodness – if the provenance is that good, he can’t wait to see the painting!
There is a villain afoot, and when Godfrey is attacked, it could be the end of his life. He’s shocked to learn who the villain is and when Ellie tries to save Godfrey, she’s in danger as well. The villain had panicked when he discovered the plans to sell the painting and made plans to act to thwart them. He nearly succeeded.
This is an enjoyable read and I am glad I finally got to see Godfrey’s HEA. However, it wasn’t particularly exciting nor passionate. I wouldn’t read it a second time, but I am glad I have read it.