by Laura Paquet

September 2004
ISBN: 0-8217-7659-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Lord William Cates is a younger brother. Content with the responsibilities he holds in the diplomatic service, heíd gladly do without having to rescue his older brother the Duke of Cambermere from yet another scandal. The latest mess though might just cost him his job and his good standing with the ton. For while still engaged to Lady Sarah Harrison, the Duke got himself a special license and married his mistress, a Drury Lane actress. And as the Duke couldnít care less about Sarah up in Yorkshire, itís William who needs to inform the jilted fiancťe of her new situation.

William is an honorable man and as such, offering to marry Sarah himself seems to be the only right solution, but Sarah has her pride. She wonít be asked out of pity, and as William doesnít have the necessary funds to save her family from ruin, heíll never be a likely marriage candidate anyway. Sarah is required to marry money and to do this she needs to leave for London. Once arrived though, William proves to be the best friend and advisor. No matter how gruel her reception, how salacious the gossip, heís there to stand by her. If he just had the money to help her family.

An Honorable Match is a book that has found its place on my keeper shelf. Itís not that often that I come across a Regency that is so somber. Laura Paquet shows more than just witty exchanges, sparkling ballrooms and endless rounds of social visits. More than beautiful ladies and elegant gentlemen. She digs deeper, reveals the darker sides, the necessities to survive and to belong. And she adds to that an ever present but not to act on simmering attraction between the main protagonists.

What raises An Honorable Match to the status of a keeper are the characters. Sarah is one intelligent and courageous heroine. Sure she is proud and stubborn, but in the end she learns to accept help when itís freely given, to accept friendship when it comes from the heart and to accept challenges when they are worth it. William instead discovers that even a straight-laced guy like him can approve of instantaneous and scandalous behavior when it allows him to spend his life with the woman he admires and loves. And his admiration for her is obvious from their first encounter. So that when reading about Sarah and William, how their feelings evolve into love and respect and how they overcome the circumstances that stop those two to act on them, one canít help feel for Sarah and William and be extremely satisfied when they achieve their happily ever after.

Reviewed in October 2004 by Kris Alice.

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