Release Date: Dec 26, 2017
Series: The Spinster Heiresses
Heat Level: Warm
Imprint: Avon Books
Ms. Maxwell is an old favourite of mine but I have not read anything from her for many years. This novel is the first installment of her new series – The Spinster Heiresses – and I absolutely had to read it. Ms. Maxwell traditionally creates complex and realistic characters who draw her readers in almost from the first page and I am happy to say that this book did not miss her usual mark.
Roman Gilchrist, the newly minted Earl of Rochdale, is absolutely penniless and has decided that he needs a rich wife. Immediately. His options are few, but one Spinster Heiress (as the ton has taken to calling a group of wealthy spinsters) is the woman who has haunted his dreams for 5 long years… ever since she ruined his life. Leonie Charnock has a complicated history with Roman and the man has basically bullied her into becoming his wife. Neither one of them is going to be able to live a happy, peaceful life until they can move past their traumatic past and learn to build a new future.
Sounds like a basic romance with a common rekindling-an-old-flame theme, but this book is so much more. Without going into too much detail, it is a unique story that held my interest page after page. It is not exactly a ground-breaking romance but the two main characters and their struggle to move on from their past is a great story. I think what kept me interested was the realistic barrier Ms. Maxwell throws at Roman and Leonie instead of the far-fetched and easily eliminated ones I have found in other stories.
The heroine is flawed and broken and must find a way to conquer her demons in order to have a future with the man she has likely loved from the moment they met. I love that she must find her purpose and overcome her vice to get her happy ending and I think that is also what will make any reader invested in her journey. She is matched with a hero who is compassionate enough to have patience with her and give her a fair chance to prove herself. He is also strong enough to forgive her for ruining his military career and mature enough to open his heart to the possibilities they have for a fantastic future together. He isn’t some bull-headed hero who makes illogical decisions and I think I liked him all the more for that.
Overall, I enjoyed this first novel in the Spinster Heiress series. As I mentioned, it is not a heart-stopping romance but more a subtly sweet story with relatable characters and realistic struggles that will draw you in and make you cheer for the lovers to find their happy ending.