Series: An American Heiress in London #1
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Avon on 29 October 2013
When the Marquess Met His Match was delectable. Nicholas Stirling, Marquess of Trubridge finds himself financially embarrassed when his father who he is estranged from cuts him off. Nicholas decides the fastest way to resolve his predicament is to marry for money and approaches Lady Belinda Featherstone, society’s number one matchmaker for assistance. She is some what recalcitrant however having been the victim of a playboy earl who married her for her dowry and sets out to ruin his chances.
A very naive Belinda married a handsome, titled man in haste and soon came to repent her actions. He spent her fortune on gambling, alcohol and women before doing her and the world a great service by removing himself from it. Now a respected widow, Belinda is determined to protect other wide-eyed American ‘new money’ girls looking to make a match. Belinda is pressured into helping Nicholas but she takes advantage of the fact that he fails to detail exactly what he wants in a wife and sets up with some very unsuitable ladies. She is fairly petty and priggish in her initial dealings with Nicholas primarily because of his reputation but when her back story is revealed, her attitude starts to make more sense.
Nicholas’ playboy lifestyle comes to a crashing hold when his estranged father interferes in his life. He might own an estate but he can’t live off its revenue as much of the money it generates is funnelled back into maintaining it. Despite his devil-may-care attitude, Nicholas is quite sensitive and he comes across as a lost boy who cannot channel his feelings for his controlling father into anything positive. He is so determined to do the opposite of what his father wants that he hasn’t focussed on what he actually wants out of life. Belinda helps him realise that he is capable of acting independently rather than just reacting to his father’s demands.
The interactions between Belinda and Nicholas play out like a very complicated dance with each jockeying to control the relationship. The witty repartee never failed to amuse or delight. Both have clearly been scarred by former relationships and although the chemistry between them sizzles, it takes quite a while for them to fully open up to each other. Belinda has to let go of the bitterness she has nursed over the years and he has to allow her to see the decent intelligent chap that he is beneath his rakish exterior. Nicholas’ need for finances looms over the couple but his pride and her prejudice are the biggest barriers to their happiness.
I had lots of fun reading this book and the teaser for the next in the series is suitably tempting. I’m going to have to track down Guhrke’s earlier books as I don’t think I can wait for #2 to come out.