To Capture His Heart by Nancy Campbell Allen

To Capture His Heart (Matchmakers, #2)Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Series: Matchmakers #2
Publication Date: 10/12/22
Period: Victorian -Seaside, England 1886
Number of Pages: 288

I have been anxiously awaiting this book since I read the first book in the series, The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart. That was my first book by this author and wondered if I’d be as enthralled with the second book as I was with the first. Well – I was. The finely honed mystery and beautiful romance are so finely twined together that you cannot tell where one begins and the other ends. The writing is outstanding; the villain is a murky and twisted individual; the characters are exceptional and you’d love to meet them in real life; there is excitement galore; and did I mention the writing is exceptional?

We met both Eva Caldwell and Detective Inspector Nathaniel Winston in the previous book and since I liked both characters, I was happy to find them together in this book. It seems the two of them have worked together several times since the previous book and they have become good friends. Well – friends – yes – but – it seems each of them harbors stronger feelings, but neither wants to let them be known because they don’t want to mess up the friendship. Oh! My!

Nathaniel has just finished a grueling case when his mother lets him know, in no uncertain terms, that he is expected to attend a 10-day house party she is giving to raise money for charities. He offers excuse after excuse, but she’s having none of it. He knows this party is a way of encouraging him to finally make a match, so he tells her he is already interested in someone else. His mother, being the brilliant tactician she is, promptly calls his bluff and says she’ll invite his lady straightaway. Though he tried not to name a name, she insisted. So, now, he has to convince Eva to attend the house party and pretend they have affection for each other. How will he stand it if she agrees – and how will he make it through 10 days of matchmaking if she doesn’t agree?

Eva Caldwell loves her life. She has people she loves and who love her and she is a very successful photographer who manages to support herself very nicely. She even helps out her friend Nathaniel on occasion by acting as a crime scene photographer when the police unit isn’t available. Ah – Nathaniel – her heart warms when she thinks of him, but she doesn’t want to ruin their friendship by asking for more from it. Yet, when he asks her to attend his mother’s house party as a guest and photographer, she readily accepts.

At the same time his mother’s machinations are occurring, Nathaniel is receiving threats – pretty blatant threats – against his family. He knows immediately who they are from – the lone person to escape punishment from one of his previous cases. The man’s entire family went to prison, but the mastermind escaped. Maybe Nathaniel and his family getting out of town is a good thing.

There is snakes-in-the grass at every turn during the house party and it is a delight to watch Nathaniel and Ava wade through them. With murders, attempted murders, explosions, and deceit happening at a fast pace, Nathaniel and Ava hardly have any time together – yet they manage to find their HEA.

It is a fun, exciting read and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did. Happy Reading!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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