“A fun, sweet historical romance.”

~ Under the Covers

A fun, sweet historical romance.

The Earl of Marsden (Mars) is known for being a man about town. Then an ex-mistress shows up and drops of a new baby girl. He doesn’t want his daughter to be abandoned, belittled, or ignored, but he also knows absolutely nothing about babies. Clarissa Taylor, village spinster and matron-in-training, seems like the perfect fit to help out. Clarissa ends up agreeing because she wants to make sure she can take care of herself and isn’t beholden to anyone anymore. Plus, she understands about being a castoff. Some complications come up, resulting in Mars and Clarissa having to marry. But sometimes a marriage of convenience turns into an actual family.

First off, Clarissa is so strong, which I absolutely appreciate. She stands up to Mars in a way that most people don’t and has clear ideas about what she wanted from life. They even have a bit of an enemies-to-lover situation going on, at least at the beginning. Setting clear rules for what she wanted out of a marriage to Mars was a chance for her to grow as a person and also created some tension and angst for the rest of the book. She also wanted to make sure that others orphans/abandoned children like her have good lives. Even when she had her doubts about Mars, she could see that he cared about Dora (his daughter) and wanted to make sure that she never felt censure. I also really enjoyed the matrons of Maidenshop, even though (because?) they were completely ridiculous.

While I enjoyed the story as a whole, it definitely didn’t really go in the direction I expected. The blurb suggested that the focus was all about Dora and teaching Mars how to be a parent. However, that only really applies for the first 20% or so of the book and the rest was really about Mars, Clarissa, and their growing attraction. It’s really a marriage of convenience story, not a growing-up-and-becoming-a-parent story. Although it was interesting to see them each figure out what they wanted out of a relationship, I would have liked to see some more of them working with Dora and getting a chance to see Mars figure out how to be a father.

Overall, if you like sweet historical romance stories, especially with the marriage of convenience trope, I think you’ll enjoy this book. It’s not ground-breaking or super unexpected, but the inclusion of Dora makes for an interesting variation on the usual formula. If you’ve read the other books in this series (The Logical Man’s Guide to Dangerous Women), then this is also an opportunity to finally see Clarissa get her happy ever after!

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[about-author author=”Cathy Maxwell”]

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