Who shall it be who will marry me?
Duke, Earl, a powerful marquess?
When my heart is given to Fyclan Morris…
In New York Times bestselling author Cathy Maxwell’s new novella, beautiful Jennifer Tarleton has no lack of noble suitors, but the only man who captures her attention is the one her father will never let her marry: Fyclan Morris. He’s a brash adventurer, witty, courageous…and Irish! Even worse, her father blames her for their reversal of fortune…
And it’s a fortune—or rather his grandmother the fortune teller—who foretold that Fyclan would meet “the one”, a love prophesied in the stars. He vows nothing will stand in the way of making Jennifer his bride, but is the price too high? Or is a thing called love worth every challenge?
“Have you taken leave of your senses, man? Do you know who she is?”
Fyclan Morris shrugged off his friend John Bishard’s astonished questions. “She’s a goddess,” he replied, moving after the heavenly creature who had passed them as they had come out of the watchmaker’s shop.
The young woman, a vision in blue ribbons and lace from the top of her pert brimmed bonnet to the trim of her hems had not noticed him, as a proper young woman should not. Accompanied by a manservant and maid, she’d weaved her way through the crowded street, her attention on a piece of paper in her hand, unaware that she’d changed his life forever.
It was her. Fyclan did not doubt the fact.
“You’ll recognize her immediately,” his Gran had said. “She’ll be fair to your dark, a light to your step, a force you will not deny.”
His Gran had claimed to see the future. She saw it in dreams, she said. The Irish believed in prophecy and accepted what they could not understand, but even among them, his Gran’s gift was special. She was Romany born, a gypsy until the day Fyclan’s Grandfather claimed he’d woven moonbeams into a rope and captured her to keep her.
Fyclan had never doubted the story. There had been something magical about her. She had a knowledge of things that no one could explain. Even the priest claimed to be puzzled, and it was whispered that a few times, he’d asked her a question or two himself.
Fyclan knows from the second he sees Jennifer Tarleton that she’s “the one” his gypsy grandmother told him about. You’ve got to love a hero who takes his gran so seriously! Fyclan immediately sets about pursuing Jenny with a single-mindedness that is to be admired–nothing will stop him from making her his bride.
Jenny’s feeling the pressure of her family’s expectations–her father’s gambled away their fortune, so it’s up to her to marry well and provide a dowry for one older sister and a promotion for the husband of the other. None of the noble suitors suit her, though, and she can’t help but feel like she’s deceiving them all, since doctors believe her weak heart means she’ll never be able to have children. Everything changes when she meets Fyclan–but is she willing to defy her family to marry him?
I loved the forbidden courtship via notes in this book–so appropriate for those two! I would have liked to have seen even more of them, making it more of an epistolary novel–but there love story was satisfying even though it was a very quick read.
The only part of the story that didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me is that two people who did everything they could to marry for love were so willing to marry their infant daughter off to a neighbor and future duke. What about a love match for her? Arranging a marriage just to fulfill a grandmother’s prophecy didn’t really seem in character. Of course she’s the heroine of book one in the series and there’s excerpt at the end of this novella that indicates she’s going to go in her own direction, but still…what were they thinking?
But Fyclan and Jenny’s story? Just lovely.
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
THE MATCH OF THE CENTURY
Marrying the Duke #1
Coming November 24th
New York Times Bestselling Author Cathy Maxwell spends hours in front of her computer pondering the question, “Why do people fall in love?” It remains for her the great mystery of life and the secret to happiness. She lives in beautiful Virginia with children, horses, dogs, and cats.