Rating: ★★★ | 352 pages | Avon | Historical | Spinster Heiresses #3 | Release Date: 11/27/2018
Miss Willa Reverly, the last spinster heiress, is tying the knot and she’s got the prize of the season–Matthew Addison, the recently named Duke of Camberly. Their arranged marriage is a solution to financial and status problems for their respective families but they aren’t sure what they mean to each other. Matt’s always believed in a love marriage and sheltered Willa isn’t sure she wants to be the next best thing to true love.
This book fell flat for me, there isn’t a whole lot of plot or external conflict and it I really felt like this could have been a better novella. It’s mostly Willa and Matt struggling to figure out how to make this marriage work and if they can fall in love….oh, and um, they solve a crime at about 80% of this book? I noticed each book in this series has a plot turn in the last 20% but this one felt abruptly out of place.
Also, Maxwell is still not great at writing marginalized characters–this time it’s sex workers. The epilogue tries to bring together a theme about female friendship and women being empowered but it doesn’t work if the only women who get to be seen as deserving of these things are wealthy married ones.
I happened to listen to part of this on audio and it is done by Mary Jane Wells–who also did the Duke Meets Girl series. I am really coming around to her voice. I was reading along with the audio to find my place and her narration just sparkles as she adds a bit of flair into every word. I see she does some Lisa Kleypas books, so maybe I’ll finally get to those on audio!