A Perfect Engagement
by Karla Kratovil
Release Date: May 17, 2022
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Book #1 in The Maidens of Marbury series
Number of pages: 284
Source: ARC from publisher
Ages 13 and up
When Charlotte Grisham is saved from an out-of-control carriage by a handsome gentleman, she knows fate has sent her the perfect man. The Marquis of Hawksridge is titled, handsome, and heroic—precisely the kind of gentleman her parents want for her husband. Before Charlotte knows it, she is engaged to be married.
Daniel Weston can’t believe his identical twin brother is marrying a lady he barely knows. Moreover, he’s begging off his own engagement party. Daniel allows his twin to talk him into going to the week-long house party in his stead…just for a few days. They used to pretend to be each other all the time in their youth. What could possibly go wrong?
Charlotte immediately realizes her fiancé has sent in a doppelgänger, but continues the ruse so no one will realize her fiancé has all but abandoned her. Everyone sees her as perfectly behaved. But perfect girls do not share searing kisses with men who are not their betrothed. Charlotte knows her duty, but what about her heart?
I enjoyed this story so much. The immediate and deep connection between Charlotte and Daniel is wonderful. There were aspects of the story, from reading the blurb, that I was afraid wouldn’t work for me. The new-to-me author handled it all so beautifully that it not only worked, but left me looking forward to reading more of her work.
Charlotte is such a great FMC. She is strong of mind, body, and spirit. Yet, the need to be what her parents want her to be and fulfil her perceived obligations to them makes her mute herself in their presence. She finds she is able to be her true self with Daniel, even more than with her closest friends.
The pull between these two gave me all the feels. Where Daniel doesn’t want to betray his brother or put Charlotte in a compromising position, he also knows his brother looks at Charlotte as a convenient wife and will never be what she needs him to be. Charlotte thinks the lack of connection with her betrothed is because she just may not know Miles well enough yet and, even if that’s not the case, it would embarrass her family if she were to call off her engagement. But the yearning between the two is palpable and I was rooting for them the whole time.
There is a very sweet sub-story that isn’t exactly wrapped up at the end of this book. It’s in no way consequential…yet. Charlotte and her friends find some love letters in a few old books and are enthralled with the way the author of the letters speaks of and to the woman he loves. I believe, as this series progresses, we’ll see more of these letters. And I also believe the letters were intended for someone we have met in this book. Just a small yet intriguing little addition to the bigger story that kept me interested to read more.
As I mentioned, I definitely would love to read more by this author. I was fully engrossed with this book and didn’t want to put it down.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**
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