Friday, January 5, 2018

Review - - If Ever I Should Love You


If Ever I Should Love You
By Cathy Maxwell
Publisher: Avon Books
Release Date:
Reviewed by PJ
  

Unexpectedly inheriting an old and respected title is all well and good unless, of course, the title inherited comes with a pile of debts and no funds. Such is the case for former Captain Roman Gilchrist, now the Earl of Rochdale. It's becoming increasingly clear that there is only one way to pay the debts, restore the estate, and support his family. As distasteful as it is to him, Roman must marry money. When his attorney presents him with the names of society's Spinster Heiresses, "three young women, all marriageable, very attractive, and wealthy beyond your dreams," Roman is startled to realize he already knows one of them. Several years earlier, while serving in India, Roman met and was captivated by Miss Leonie Charnock but their association did not end well. When Roman, an honorable man, acted to save Leonie's reputation his actions cost him any hope of advancement in his career as well as the regard of his peers while Leonie, with her parents, flitted off to London with no stain whatsoever upon her reputation. Leonie and her money were going to save the earldom. She owed him.

Leonie Charnock is a woman who is haunted by the events of her past and has found her own way of dealing with them. She's worked hard to come to terms with her actions and their consequences but, with one dance, they all come rushing back. She knows well what Roman did for her but, as a young woman at the time, she didn't realize the extent of the price he paid. Leonie knows she owes him but has no desire to be anyone's wife. On the other hand, if she can convince him to agree to a marriage in name only, living in separate places, he can have the money he needs and she can finally have the independence she craves. When it becomes clear that's not going to be the case, Leonie reacts in a way that creates a chasm between them that may never be breached.

In this first book of her new Spinster Heiresses series, Cathy Maxwell takes a familiar romance convention and turns it on its head. Readers are used to seeing tormented heroes who turn to gambling, sex, or drink to quell their demons. Rarely, is it the heroine who wages this battle while the hero is the proper, responsible half of the relationship. Leonie and Roman have several obstacles to overcome if they have any hope of a happy ending, many of their own creation. Yes, Leonie's addiction plays a large role in their relationship but so too does Roman's reaction to it and to her. There are times in the book when neither of them is very likeable but if you've ever self-medicated or lived with someone who has you know there are always peaks and valleys to navigate. Kudos to Maxwell for not giving them any easy answers. This makes Leonie and Roman more realistic, their actions more believable, and the evolution of their relationship more satisfying. 

If you're looking for something a little different, with real-life issues, flawed yet resilient characters, deep emotion, and a hard-won happy ending, give this one a try.

Do you enjoy romances that are a bit out of the ordinary?

Are you fond of settings other than London ballrooms?

Do you have a favorite Cathy Maxwell novel?

One randomly chosen person leaving a comment before 11:00 PM, January 6 (Eastern), will receive a print copy of If Ever I Should Love You. (U.S. / Canadian addresses only) 


25 comments:

  1. Cathy is one of my auto buy authors. I loved her Cameron Sisters series! This book sounds intriguing. I like the idea of flipping the script.

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  2. This book sounds unique and special. Romances that are different are always appealing as are other settings which make to book fascinating.

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    1. I enjoy London ballrooms as much as the next historical reader but it's fun to change things up sometimes.

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  3. I haven't read this author yet, but I think reinventing a plot/trope can be interesting. Sherry Thomas does this and I think Lisa Kleypas did something similar in Then Came You. The heroine was out of control due to a tragic past.

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    1. Cathy Maxwell is a terrific author, Kim. You have a lot of great stories ahead if you start reading her books.

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  4. This book is getting a lot of buzz--all of it I'm hearing is good. I look forward to reading it.

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  5. I enjoy Cathy Maxwell's novels which are memorable. The locale can be a countryside haven, a city townhouse or a pastoral area.

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  6. My favorite Cathy Maxwell novel is The Groom Says Yes. Thanks for the contest. This one is on my TBR list.

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    1. Oh, that was a good one! I enjoyed that entire trilogy.

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  7. All Things Beautiful is my favorite

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    1. I haven't read that one in years. It may be time for a reread. I noticed it's only $2.24 on Kindle today.

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  8. I loved the Chatten Curse series

    denise

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  9. This sounds like a great read. I always like something out of the ordinary. A lot of books that I've read lately have been so predictable. I enjoy anything that Cathy writes. I've got this on my wish list.

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    1. Hope you enjoy this one, Diane. Predictable, it is not!

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  10. Janette GryniewiczJanuary 5, 2018 at 5:15 PM

    This sounds really interesting. I like to have varied settings and characters in my romances and get to see places and situations I may not have seen before.

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    1. Me too, Janette. It's like I'm traveling the world through the pages of my books. :)

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  11. Ms Maxwell has written many books I have enjoyed. I do appreciate the idea of a story which steps away from the expected plots. I also like stories that take me out of London into areas which are more likely to be populated by people who are not all of the nobility.

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  12. I just finished reading this one yesterday - so exclude me from the giveaway.
    Totally agree with your review - it does have unusual themes for a regency romance - now I wonder what issues will be dealt with in the next books of the series.

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  13. I like it when authors switch up the normal story lines and the character roles and characteristics. Having the story set somewhere other than London and the normal Ton settings is nice. The rules are a bit different and we get to see more of the world they inhabited. I especially like books set in Scotland and British Colonial India. I have enjoyed Kathy Maxwell's books and have more on my TBR shelves. No real favorite yet.

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  14. Yes and yes. Love variety. And I've enjoyed all of Kathy's stories that I've read so far!

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