Tuesday, December 26, 2017

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

Series:     Spinster Heiresses #1
Pub. Date:Dec 26, 2017
Length:368 pages

If Ever I Should Love You kicks off a new series, the Spinster Heiresses, by renowned historical romance author, Cathy Maxwell. The premise of the series involves three heiresses whose blood is just not quite blue enough for the bon ton, and who are each quite picky in their prospects for marital bliss. Unfortunately for our girls, their fathers are determined to sell them off in exchange for a title.

Our first spinster heiress is Leonie Charnock, whose name you might recognize as the chit who was jilted by the Duke of Baynton in A Date at the Altar. Although Leonie wasn't all that upset at being overthrown for an actress, as she harbors guilt, shame and fear over what was wrought by a foolish decision in her past, and it has caused an aversion to marriage and "man things." I had a hard time with Leonie at first. I did not like how she treated our hero and seemed not to think about the consequences her actions had on his life. However, I did try to make allowances for her past, and then I grew to like her flawed character. I got wrapped up in her turmoil and tippling, and I felt sorry for her. I also loved the cover of this book, and it fits our heroine perfectly.

Roman is the newly (and unexpectedly) inherited Earl of Rochdale. Having come from modest means, Roman was not quite prepared to be the bearer of such an old and respected title. So when he finds himself indebted and in possession of a crumbling manse, Roman learns his only choice is to marry an heiress. And when he discovers that Leonie is back in London and her father is shopping her around in exchange for a title, he knows that he will have her. I liked Roman as a hero. I liked that he went after Leonie and was determined to have her and protect her, and could see that she was in need of protection. There were a few times when I felt he could have been more understanding with her, but I also felt his turmoil over providing for his family and being saddled with a wife who might be trouble. 

The relationship between Leonie and Roman was somewhat tumultuous due to their complicated past and Leonie's lingering issues. There were times when it seemed Roman would not stick it out, and that is where you really connected to Leonie's character because you could see that she needed help and he wasn't being as supportive as you might hope. So this was a good ride on the roller coaster along with our couple.

I liked the secondary characters as well, I only wished there would have been more time with them. I would have loved to see more of the friendship and interaction between our spinster heiresses, so hopefully we will get more of that in the future installments. I also really liked Roman's family and would have liked to know more about them. I kind of believe they may be the subject of some previous books that I have not yet read, as I felt like the references to their lives and past were made in a  way that the reader should know who they are.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, Avon.

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