Title: If Ever I Should Love You
Author: Cathy Maxwell
Series: Spinster Heiresses #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romance, Regency romance
Dates read: 7th January 2020
5th sentence, 74th page: She just didn’t want the handsome Lord Dewsberry to be crestfallen on her account.
Once upon a time there were threee young ladies who, despite their fortunes, had been on the Marriage Mart a bit too long. They were known as the “Spinster Heiresses”…
He’s inherited a title, but not a penny to speak of, so the Earl of Rochdale knows he must find a wife – preferably one tolerably pretty and good-tempered, but definitely wealthy, and who will exchange her fortune for his family name.
His choice: Leonie Charnock, one of the season’s “Spinster Heiresses”. Years before, the earl had saved the dark-eyed beauty’s reputation, and she is still breahttakingly lovely, leading Rochdale to hope that their marriage will be more than in name only.
However, Leonie doesn’t want to be anyone’s wife. Nearly destroyed by the secrets in her past, Leonie agrees to their union with one condition: there will be a wedding but no bedding. But it’s a condition the new Countess Rochdale isn’t sure even she can keep…
Late last year, I read a novella by Cathy Maxwell and I loved it. So, the other day when I decided I wanted to buy a random guilty pleasure and saw one of her books on the shelves… I succumbed. And then, I read it very, very quickly in a period of about 24 hours. To the point that I didn’t even spend the last hour with my partner before he went away for a week because I really wanted to finish this amazing novel!
I love the Leonie is incredibly flawed. Unlike most heroines, particularly within Regency romances, she has a pretty big and serious flaw. There is no sweetness of voice of reason to her actions. Instead, she’s a lot more relatable. Actually, since her flaw (alcoholism) is one that my family has… it was a little too easy to relate to this aspect of her character. The fact that Roman then is incapable of dealing with her flaws like a semi-normal person. I love that both of these characters make you want to reach through the pages and smack them around. Normally I kind of feel like that about the men, but the fact that I wanted to do it to the woman as well… it somehow made her that much more real!
I’ve definitely decided in the last month that Regency romances are my new obsession. There is just something about them that captures the imagination and takes you away. An extra level of innocence which make the story so much sweeter and impossible to put down. There is just something that makes it more intense and fun. They’re a little reminiscent of Jane Austen, but the modern day writers add in a lot more sex, and this is something that I thoroughly enjoy in my romances… that turning of innocence.
One of the parts of Leonie that I love is that instead of focusing on becoming a better woman for Roman, she finds a way to just become a better person. A way to love herself again. The use of roses and gardening is a great way to do this. And it acted as a little bit of a reminder that it’s important to love yourself before finding a way to be what your partner needs. Feeling worthy of love is one of the most important things. Which is an amazing message – although this is a romance, Leonie doesn’t rely on a man to make her complete, she finds a way to do it herself.