A surprisingly wholesome historical romance
A big thank you to Paullett Golden for inviting me to this tour in exchange for an honest review! Keep reading for a special book excerpt and giveaway!
Maid to Marchioness…
Trevor Gaines, the Marquess of Pickering, falls in love with his wife. The catch? The woman is an impostor. Desperate for money, he arranges a fast marriage with the wealthiest dowry in England. Not until after the wedding does he realize he married the wrong woman.
J’non Butler is a maid accompanying her mistress for an arranged marriage. When her mistress elopes with another man, J’non marries the marquess, posing as the man’s contracted bride.
This is the love story of Trevor and J’non as they defy convention and find passion in their bed of lies.
Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, tropes, and representation found in this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com!
Purchase this book (affiliate link): Amazon
About the Author
Paullett Golden is a Texas native who divides her time between Northumberland, England and her hometown. She has been a university professor for over 25 years. When an oncologist told her she had three months to live, she decided it was time to fulfill her dream of being a novelist. As a survivor, she focuses her attention on writing. Her novels have hit the Top 10 Amazon bestseller lists and won a multitude of literary awards. She loves historical fiction of all kinds as a way to transport us to a different time and place. All research comes from authentic resources of the era and from scholarly and peer-reviewed articles from researchers specializing in the time period. Though she may take liberties with the fictional aspects, she does aim for the fiction to reflect the mores, culture, laws, and environment of the time. When not writing, she can be found in the gyn, in her butterfly garden, or on a racetrack.
Review (No Spoilers)
Paullett Golden is such a lovely person, so I was extremely happy when she offered me the chance to participate in this blog tour. The book that we’re talking about today is a historical romance with fake identity and marriage of convenience tropes.
The premise of the story—if you haven’t read it above—is that a maid named J’non is asked by her mistress, Phoebe, to marry the man to whom Phoebe is betrothed (Trevor). You see, Phoebe already has a man she’s in love with and doesn’t want to go along with the pre-planned marriage. When J’non tries to say no, Phoebe runs away, leaving J’non with little left to do than go through with the hastily-made plan. When J’non and Trevor (now married) begin to fall for each other, J’non finds herself stuck between a rock and a hard place. Does she tell Trevor who she really is or does she try to pass as Phoebe for the remainder of their marriage?
Before I get started, I want to start off with the disclaimer that I don’t typically enjoy historical fiction, romance or otherwise, so don’t let the 3.5 rating put you off if you do. I actually consider 3 stars a decent rating, but I know that some people think of it as “bad”. Okay, on to the review!
For me, the greatest strength of this novel was the characters. Trevor and J’non were both kind and thoughtful people, and their scenes together really showed how well they got along. Even when they had disagreements, they were quick to put themselves in the others shoes to look at the issue from another perspective. I thought that aspect of their personalities was beautiful and is something many of us could work to be better at.
In regards to the plot/writing in the book, I personally felt like the novel could have either been shorter or have showed more “action”. There were several scenes of characters simply sitting around and talking about random things, be it politics, town gossip, or the weather, and these pages didn’t interest me as much as the chapters that took place at events or in town. For instance, there is a passage. in the book that talks about how Trevor and J’non celebrated Christmas and a birthday together, but neither of these events were ever shown in the book. I would have loved to see these scenes because I really enjoyed their relationship and banter, so I was disappointed when I realized they weren’t going to be included. I think in general, I wanted there to be more scenes showing Trevor and J’non falling for each other. If you even threw in a sex scene here and there, I wouldn’t complain 😜.
The part of the book that really stood out to me—in a good way—was the conflict resolution at the very end. The entire premise revolves around a woman lying to her husband about who she is, and I was 100% prepared for everything to blow up into a horrible mess of a third act breakup, but Golden took a really interesting route in getting to the conclusion of this love story. I’m not going to say what she did exactly because you’re going to have to read the book to find out.
If you’re looking for a clean Georgian/regency romance with a cute couple and some borderline hilarious misunderstandings, this is the book for you!
Both Trevor and Mr. Barmby rose when they saw her.
Trevor came around the desk and arrived at her side in a few strides. “I can see from your expression Hawkins has spoiled the surprise. No matter. May I introduce my childhood friend turned solicitor? Mr. Lloyd Barmby.”
J’non inclined her head, unable to keep the smile from her lips. The solicitor had rushed to Yorkshire upon receiving Trevor’s letter. This must be good news. “Welcome to our home, Mr. Barmby. I hope you’ll be staying for dinner.”
Trevor said, “This, dear friend, is my wife.”
Mr. Barmby’s quizzical expression transformed to one of what J’non could only describe as dissatisfaction tinged with anger. Her smile faltered.
Rather than bowing, nodding, extending a hand, or otherwise, Mr. Barmby pulled his shoulders back and said, “You are not Phoebe Whittington.”
Paullett Golden is running a special giveaway throughout this blog tour! The giveaway is being hosted through Rafflecopter, and you can either click here or on the picture to the right to enter.
The winner will get to choose amongst the following prize options:
- An eBook or autographed paperback of A Counterfeit Wife
- Book Swag for A Counterfeit Wife
- An eBook, autographed paperback, or audiobook of any book by Paullett Golden
Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.