Friday, November 20, 2015

Aloha to Cathy Maxwell and THE MATCH OF THE CENTURY - Book Review


In New York Times bestselling author Cathy Maxwell's glittering new series, wedding bells are ringing… until the return of a rake throws a bride's plans—and heart—into a tailspin...

Every debutante aspires to snag a duke. Elin Morris just happens to have had one reserved since birth. But postponements of her marriage to London's most powerful peer give Elin time to wonder how she will marry Gavin Baynton when she cannot forget his brother, Benedict.

Already exasperated at being yanked from the military to meet "family obligations," now Ben must suffer watching his arrogant sibling squire the only woman he has ever loved. Joining the army saved Ben from sinking into bitterness, but seeing Elin again takes him back to the day they surrendered to their intoxicating desire.

As the wedding draws near, Elin tries to push Ben far from her thoughts. When danger brings them together, there is no denying their feelings. But can Elin choose love over duty?

Life is so constructed, that the event does not, cannot, will not, match the expectation. - Charlotte Bronte

Elin Morris is expected to marry a duke - a marriage constructed by her self made father to fulfill a prophecy.  Yet Elin has spent little time with her fiance as he fulfills his duties among the ton. When Gavin calls his brother Ben home from the army to help with these duties, Ben's abrupt arrival sends the entire family in to a tailspin. Ben resents his brother's interference in his military career. Elin resents Ben for abandoning her after their indiscretion as teens.  Both mothers worry over the rekindled attraction between Elin and Ben. Gavin remains oblivious to the his family's turmoil.  

Each character brings emotional baggage to the story.   Elin loves her parents, and wants to be a dutiful daughter, but she prefers her family's country home.  She does not fit in with London's hustle, bustle, and gossip among the ton.  Elin knows her parents are a love match and resents that her own marriage is a business deal.  She is no wilting flower when faced with a challenge ... and the smoldering eyes of her lost love, Ben.

Maxwell often features a military hero in her novels.  A Navy veteran herself, her heroes are both honorable and jaded.  As the younger son in an aristocrat family, Ben was sent off to the Army to make his own way.   He rose to the challenge, only to be as the heir apparent to the new duke, his brother.  Ben resents that his brother received attention from his father ... and was betrothed to his childhood friend, Elin.  He arrives disheveled at the engagement party, disregards his mother's instructions to keep out of trouble, and challenges Elin to be true to her heart.  He is a rogue to cheer.

Maxwell delivers an emotional story which ventures outside the London ballroom to the pastoral countryside.  Yet danger lurks over them hills, giving Ben and Elin the opportunity to test their mantle, trust each other, and recognize their love.   Maxwell explores peer pressure, family relationships, and discovering self worth.  She adds a dash of Regency pageantry, Gothic mystery, and her own trademark humor for a page turning adventure.  What started as the "Match of the Century" between two powerhouse families ends as the "match of the century" between two fated lovers.   Maxwell whet my appetite for the books to come in this new series ... alas, there are two more brothers to marry off!

I received a print copy from the author for an honest review.

I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about wildflowers (likes those on the book cover) - do you have a favorite?  I loved EVERY flower in Hawaii, including the "bridal bouquet" above.

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, 

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, 


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Learn more about Cathy and her books at

The prequel to


  1. I love bluebells and snowdrops. Love the cover, and really like Cathy's books.

  2. Although I love them all, black-eyed susans come to mind. Love her books!

  3. Every spring, Texas is full of beautiful wildflowers. I especially love bluebonnets.

  4. I like any purple and blue wild flowers. I see some here when we used to go hiking.

  5. I remember seeing some called johnny-jump-ups

  6. Bougainvillea is not actually a wildflower, but if you don't keep it under control it does goes wild. It's stunning.

  7. Poppies are such beautiful wildflowers. Their bright red delicate petals give such a vibrant touch to a field of grain. Also love cornflowers, but the poppy is my absolute favorite!

  8. I like Foxgloves, the shape and color is so pretty

  9. I'm not a big flower person but I do live poppies.

  10. I am not sure what constitutes wild flowers; but love the smell and appearance of lilacs.


  11. I do enjoy wild flowers. I do not have a favorite though.

  12. I don't really have a fave however I like dandelions ( I know they are weeds) but my 3 year old son loves to bring me, what he calls, dandelion flowers ;) I think they're precious.

  13. I love the lily of the valley in weddings!!

  14. While in Hawaii in 1985, I asked a tour guide what the blooming plants were all along the mountainside going up to the old volcano in bright pink and orange together. I was told it was lantana and that it grows splendidly in almost any climate condition. So I planted it in central California and it has grown wonderfully even in our hot, drought-ridden climate! Of course, I watered it by hand to keep it alive during the worst of times. :-) I just love the vibrant colors of that plant! Thanks for asking, Kim.

  15. My favorites are the array of Texas wildflowers including bluebonnets, Mexican hats, and Indian blankets.

  16. I love wildflower a. My favorite is Queen Anne's Lace.

  17. I like a lot of different wildflowers, including the poppy, daisy, and black-eyed susan.

  18. I don't think I have a favorite. Love them all.