Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Duke That I Marry by Cathy Maxwell

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!

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