Author: Josi S. Kilpack
Series: Mayfield Family #2
Genres: Historical Romance
Format: Audio, eBook, Print
Date: May 14, 2019
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Timothy Mayfield is ready to marry for love, but since his personal finances are thinner than he’d like, he knows he’ll also need a wife with wealth. After receiving an unexpected inheritance, Timothy’s circumstances change, and he is free to pursue his perfect woman—one with blonde hair, blue eyes, a light laugh, arched eyebrows, elegant fingers, and a dazzling smile, among nearly twenty other characteristics.
Maryann Morrington doesn’t match anything on Timothy’s list except for wealth. An heiress in her own right, she is tired of men pursuing her only for her money. But at nearly twenty-two years old, and not a particularly stunning beauty, she can’t be as picky as her friend Timothy is.
The two friends end up playing matchmaker for each other. Timothy will find a decent gentleman for Maryann, and Maryann will prove to Timothy that his perfect woman doesn’t exist.
Until Miss Shaw comes to London.
Now, with Timothy’s heart captivated by the blonde, blue-eyed beauty, Maryann must decide if she should risk her heart and reveal her true feelings for her friend, or if she should settle for someone else. It’s an up-and-down game of he loves me, he loves me not, with both hearts and friendships on the line.
This was a different kind of plot which made for nice variety in reading clean, regency romance. Maryann recognizes her feelings for Timothy but spends much of the time introducing him to other women. Timothy is a bit of a dunce in figuring out his true feelings and was rather mean on occasion. At one point I called him a jerk out loud because I was disgusted with his behavior but in the end, he was likable, just slow to figure it all out. I liked that in the end he was able to see where he stumbled and own his behavior. I also liked that each time he realized he was being a jerk he was quick to apologize.
I liked that Maryann was forth coming with Timothy and able to speak her mind. Which kind of made me question her behavior at the end. She kind of half stated her thoughts and then hid away to protect her feelings instead of facing everything straight on. I guess she just couldn’t believe it could possibly to true.
I had an unanswered question. Why bring up the discrepancies in household expenses and then never deal with it more? And the missing art etc? I thought it was leading into something and it didn’t go anywhere. Also, it was obvious to us that Maryann was exactly who Timothy needed to help run his estate but Timothy never found that out. It was another part of Maryann being the keeper of the books etc that never went anywhere. Was this set up for a coming book?
Looking at this as part of the series, I found it interesting to see how each of the beneficiaries of the uncle’s generosity responded differently. It will be fun to see how the rest respond as the series goes on, especially the one cousin who is such a louse. He doesn’t seem very redeemable in this book.
Sex: a few kisses
How I love this new series by Josi S. Kilpack! She’s been one of my favorite authors since before there were e-readers. Remember from the previous book that Elliott Mayfield has come up with a “marriage campaign” to help his nephews and nieces make better choices in marriage partners.
Timothy Mayfield is very forthright about needing to marry someone with money, but he also wants to have a marriage of love. He’s described as “fun-loving, overly -optimistic, energetic, engaging, and silly to some” and honest, which is important to Maryann Morrington because it seems as if all of her callers have heard about her inheritance. Maryann is a older (22 years old) than the other young women in London for the Season, and more mature because she’s been running her family’s household since she was 15, when her mother became ill. She’s not what you’d call a beauty, but her inheritance more than makes up for that in the eyes of her suitors.
When Timothy learns of what he’ll inherit from his Uncle Elliott upon making a match he’s thrilled that he no longer need marry for money–he can marry purely for love and sets out to find his perfect mate. He’s got quite the list of requirements–“blonde, tall, graceful, with blue or green eyes, a bow-shaped mouth, dainty fingers, and rosy cheeks. Come from a large family, possess a hearty appetite without being plump, and have a tinkling laugh. Enjoy dogs and riding horses, traveling at a moment’s notice, dancing in the rain, fine wine, and society events. Her mother should think him wonderful. She should speak French and Italian, have musical ability, love babies, and possess an affinity for art, especially watercolor.” Maryanne is quite the opposite of Timothy’s ideal wife.
Timothy seems to take their honesty with each other a bit too far when he tells Maryann Your laugh is very much like the bray of a donkey. Of course he realizes he hurt his feelings and apologizes with daisies again.
In the course of the story Maryann finds someone she thinks she could happily live out her days with, but it turns out he’s not the man she thought he was. I was impressed by how she handled the the news and the aftermath. By the time that relationship has ended Timothy does indeed find his perfect woman.
I loved Timothy and Maryann’s friendship. I liked when she gave him fashion advice and how surprised he was by the compliments he received when he followed it. Silly men don’t think women know what we’re talking about. Timothy had had a difficult upbringing and I found it wonderful that he was such an optimistic person. I thought it funny how he liked to run home after church because he didn’t like sitting still for such a long period of time.
Maryann is a wonderful character–she’s not like the younger debutantes, she knows what she wants and speaks her mind, but she’s kind to others. I felt her pain when she wanted to be more than Timothy’s friend and he couldn’t see it.
When you read a love story the reader already knows the two main characters are going to end up together, but we don’t know how the author’s going to do that. That’s what pulls me into a book. Once Maryann’s relationship with Colonel Berkins ended I thought for sure she and Timothy would get together, but no, but that time he’d found his “perfect woman”! I didn’t see how Maryann and Timothy would get their happily ever after–it didn’t come easily , or quickly, but it finally came.