by Deeanne Gist

July 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0408-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Bethany House Publishers
Trade Paperback

Tillie Reese is a parlor maid at the Biltmore Estate. Sheís just found out she is in the running to be the ladyís maid for Mrs. Vanderbilt. Tillie is happy and determines to do everything she can to earn the job. It is what she has dreamed of from the beginning. It is what she has trained for all her life. Tillie shares the dream with her mother, the person who started Tillieís training. When the Biltmore was built and the Vanderbilts arrived, Tillieís mother knew it was meant to be. Tillie hopes she is right.

Mack is not on his best behavior the first time he meets Tillie. She and Mrs. Vanderbilt are returning from shopping when they come upon the director of the local orphanage being beaten. Mack is the one doing the punching. His little sister, a resident of the orphanage, is sporting a bruise courtesy of the director. When Mrs. Vanderbilt sees Mack is a twin of her current footman, she wants him to work at the Biltmore. At first, Mack refuses. The increase in wages and the ability to free his sister from the orphanage turns Mackís no into a yes.

Tillie knew the reason for Mrs. Vanderbiltís job offer. The novelty of having handsome, twin brothers in her employ will amuse and enchant her society acquaintances. But first, Mack has to be trained in etiquette and it falls on Tillie to be the trainer. This doesnít sit well with her. She already has extra duties added to her normal job in order to prove she can be a ladyís maid. Not to mention the close proximity to Mack gives Tillie ideas she is better off without. Besides, Mack doesnít plan on staying after he saves enough money to bring his siblings home.

Mack didnít expect to fall in love when he began working at Biltmore. Tillieís strength, her loyalty, and her faith are a beacon to him. She is everything he admires in a person, but it is her heart that knocks him head over heels in love with her. While Tillie teaches Mack the proper ways of a servant, Mack in turn tries to teach her titles are merely words. What good is life if one doesnít live it to the fullest?

I donít like giving too much information in a review, thereby ruining the readerís personal adventure. Never has it been more difficult to achieve the goal as it has been reviewing Maid to Match. I loved this book. It grabbed my attention on the first page and still has not let go of me. The well-rounded plot, lovable, and some not-so-lovable, characters provided hours of enjoyment. Tillie and Mack definitely have chemistry together. During the turn of the century it was a firing offense for servants to dally. That was more reason for Tillie to refuse Mack. Being a servant was her whole life. When Mack discovers a cover up at the orphanage it is Tillieís servant heart that brings her by his side. Both of them realize making plans is fine, but always be prepared for Godís will to take precedence.

Deeanne Gist is a new-to-me author. She is now on my auto-buy list. While searching for her backlist, I found her delightful website. I envy those who will join her at the Biltmore Estate to experience the behind-the-scenes of her latest inspirational, Maid to Match.

Reviewed in August 2010 by Rho.

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