The topic of this month is Award Nominee or Winner
Published: April 2011
Genre: Historical / 1771
My Rating: 3 stars
I haven’t got the slightest idea why this story ended in my TBR pile. And it’s a paper book, not an e-book, what makes me more buffled.
Perhaps I read an intriguing review and then I went for the blurb and as it sounded quite interesting, I bought it. Look at it -
A single lady
In possession of a good fortune
Must be in want of a suitor
OK, so what, we Austenites have this thing. If you paraphrase Her on the blurb, we'd likely buy the book.
Margaret de Lacey is a middle-aged spinster not particularly attractive that accepts she will not marry. Although she would like to have a husband and children of her own, the thing is that she hasn’t got a good dowry to attract anyone.
Suddenly, her brother inherits a dukedom and he establishes a very high dowry in order to attract suitors.
Rhys Cowen, Earl of Dowling, is in desperate need of funds. While he was a minor, his financial affairs were in the hands of a very neglectful guardian. Therefore, although he has tried to improve his economy in this last decade, a flood has left him in dire straits.
A friend’s mother has made a list of eligible heiresses for her son, and this son gives it to Rhys. He accepts to meet these girls and, if any of them strikes him as somebody he can respect and love, he will marry her. Margaret is the third one in the list and he looks no further.
Of course he considers her because of the money. But he discovers that he loves her backbone, he spirit, her frankness. And there’s the physical attraction, too. But then there it comes, the tricky part, how can she know that he loves her, not only her dowry? In a sense both of them are mercenaries looking for a marriage because of selfish reasons but they want to be loved by themselves, as well.
This is a very short story, 125 pages. It won the 2012 RITA Award for a short story. And it works very well. Nothing particularly ground breaking, but the development is quite nice. She is clever, not a simpleton. And he is respectful of her. Rhys does not make a secret of his need of money, but knows how to intrigue her and make her start thinking about him in a special way, not just like one of those suitors that only want her brother’s money. Someone she can talk about anything, from economics to politics. Kissing and desire are also good perks.
It was quite a fast reading, just an evening, so a good thing to read among other books from different genres, just what I wanted to make my TBR Challenge of this month.
It’s my first Caroline Linden book, and I like her style and the kind of characters she creates. I’m not very sure about the development of the plot itself, and that’s why I give it a 3-stars grade. So I think I’ll try more of her books in the future, but only those that come with a recommendation, because I see how easily she could fall into the pit of triteness.