One romance trope I love but don't talk about much is marriage of convenience. So, when I heard that was the premise of To Marry and to Meddle, the latest installment of one of my fave historical romance series, by Martha Waters, I knew I had to pick it up. (You can read my review of the last book here.) Big thanks to the publisher for the copy!
|Pub Date: 4-5-22|
Adult - Historical Romance
After six seasons, Lady Emily Turner should have secured a marriage proposal by now. But thanks to her father's debts, the only man to show her any interest is the loathsome owner of a local gambling hall where those debts were racked up. Emily will do whatever it takes to keep her family's name out of the scandal rags, so she has no choice but to grin and bear the unwanted attention. Despite it all, Emily has never given up hope of finding a love match.Lord Julian Belfry, the second son of a marquess, would rather spend his nights overseeing the plays put on by his theater than standing around ballrooms full of people who look down on him. Julian is aware that his theater doesn't have the best reputation, so he concocts a plan: to show the ton that it's a respectable establishment, he needs a prim and proper wife to boost his standings. When Julian and Emily's paths cross at a house party, they hatch a plan to benefit the both of them. They agree to a marriage of convenience where Emily will use her social connections to promote the theater, and Julian will save her from her father's bad decisions. But, things start to get very inconvenient once real feelings begin to stir.
I loved the other two books in this series, so I was very much looking forward to this one. I don't think the plot was as solid as the previous books, but I still liked it a lot. Emily and Julian are complete opposites-- she's very reserved and he has a rakish reputation--, but they worked so well together. They had great banter, and there were so many times I was either laughing or swooning over their interactions. Waters did a nice job balancing the steamy moments with genuinely adorable moments (aka every moment between Julian and his tiny kitten nemesis), and I loved watching the pair fall for one another. Aside from their relationship, I loved the dynamic between Emily, Violet, and Diana. Their friendship is what truly shines throughout these books. They're so hilarious, and I love how they champion one another so much. If you like historical romances that have a more contemporary feel, I can't recommend this series enough.