by Kathryn Caskie

May 2004
ISBN: 0-446-61438-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Warner Books
Mass Market Paperback

Magnus MacKinnon, the new Earl of Somerton, is in need of a rich wife, and fast. Especially if his investment in a shipping venture does not pay off. Miss Eliza Merriweather doesnít want a husband; she wants to leave for Italy and study art. Only her promise to help see her sister Grace married keeps her in London for one more season.

Magnus is intrigued by Elizaís charm and frankness and disappointed that she is an unsuitable match due to her lack of a substantial dowry. When Elizaís aunts consult a military text to map out the best strategy to catch a husband and donít stop with just Grace, Eliza jumps at the opportunity to provide Magnus with a list of potential wives. He in return pretends to court her and fends off any would be suitors and thus they thwart her auntsí matchmaking plans. Even with her growing attraction for Magnus and the difficulties of finding the perfect wife for him, Eliza wonít admit her feelings and thus bury her lifelong dreams of becoming a renowned artist.

There was and is a huge hype surrounding Katryn Caskieís debut release. I had very much looked forward to reading it. Maybe I expected too much, but I had problems appreciating and enjoying Eliza and Magnusí story. Here, less definitely would have been more. The spinster aunts are eccentric and wonderful to behold, but their antics tend to turn ridiculous. And as they are always underfoot I got distracted from the romance that was supposed to happen. As soon I finished the book, I forgot all of the other characters. I missed the sparkle and the wit, something more than just an original premise to recommend this book.

As Iím interested in seeing what else the Featherton aunts can get up to consulting the Rules Of Engagement Iíll be sure to watch out for Lady In Waiting. And this time expecting less, I hope not to be disappointed again.

Reviewed in May 2004 by Kris Alice.

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