Lady Belinda Featherstone is a matchmaker; having made a very successful match herself as an American heiress to a British nobleman, she now guides young American heiresses on the social niceties of British society. In short, she teaches them how to make a catch, never mind the fact that her marriage wasn’t a grand success, because she’s determined to marry them off to nice men who will treat them properly. But when Nicholas, Marquess of Trubridge asks her help in finding an American heiress, Belinda is less than keen to help. Nicholas is exactly the kind of man she’d warn her heiresses off. So she sets him up with the most boring possible women, not only because he’s dangerous, but because she might just want him for herself.
I was pleasantly surprised when I first encountered Laura Lee Guhrke a couple of years ago; it’s been a while since she last released a book, but I’ve been catching up on the Girl Bachelor series in the background (typically, not reviewing them at all except for a mini review). I’ve really enjoyed every single book I’ve read by her and When The Marquess Met His Match was no exception to that rule.
One of the things I have enjoyed about the books I’ve read by Guhrke so far is the masterful way she builds the relationship between the characters. Neither Belinda nor Nicholas is precisely ready for their relationship to happen. Belinda has been so scarred by essentially being told she wasn’t wanted by her husband, with whom she’d fallen in love, that she can’t imagine herself ever feeling for a man who might treat her the same way. Similarly, Nicholas doesn’t really want to marry but desperately needs the money, and the last thing he wants is to fall for the matchmaker who apparently doesn’t have much money at all. Because of their misconceptions about one another, they struggle with their attraction, but eventually work it out for themselves. It all works so well and the couple’s interactions genuinely sparkle each and every time.
It’s also very amusing how Belinda works hard to put Nicholas off, particularly at the beginning when she’s determined to set him up with all of the least attractive women available. The balance between humor and more serious, romance-y scenes works really well here, and lightens the book rather than bogging it down with the baggage that both characters have.
A very satisfying read, and well worth it for romance fans in particular. Laura Lee Guhrke is becoming an auto-buy for me (and a very exciting find on Edelweiss in this case). Fortunately, I still have a considerable amount of backlog to get through before I have to wait anxiously for new releases!
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