Type: Historical Romance
My Copy: Sent
It’s all fun and games until someone falls in love… Independent heiress Louisa Stratton is going home to Rosemont for the holidays, and at the family’s request, she’s bringing her new husband—Maximillian Norwich, art connoisseur and artful lover, the man she’s written of so glowingly. There’s one hitch—he doesn’t exist. Louisa needs a fake husband, and fast, to make the proper impression.
Charles Cooper, captain of the Boer War and far from silver spoons or gilded cages, is so hard up that even this crazy scheme appeals to him. It’s only thirty days, not till death do them part. What’s so difficult about impersonating a husband, even if he doesn’t know a Rembrandt from a Rousseau? The true difficulty is keeping his hands off Louisa once there’s nobody around to see their ruse. And then there’s the small problem of someone at Rosemont trying to kill him. Keeping his wits about him and protecting Louisa brings out the honor he thought he’d left on the battlefield. But when Louisa tries to protect him, Charles knows he’s found a way to face his future—in the arms of his heiress.
I really enjoyed this story; it is witty, intriguing and fun. I love the main characters, Charles the tortured soul and Louisa who seems to be a spoiled rich girl but has her own demons to deal with. I also enjoyed reading about this time period, 1903, when the world was going through so many changes.
As soon as Louisa turned twenty-five and received her inheritance she left on a motor trip across the continent with just Kathleen, her maid and best friend. Her aunt Grace was less than thrilled so to help appease her, Louisa invented a husband. Both Louisa’s parents have been dead since she was very little and her aunt raised her. It was a loveless childhood that turned to a jail sentence when she was caught in a compromising position with a neighbor. Maximillian Norwich is her perfect husband; they have been married for a few months and are deeply in love, it is unfortunate her aunt wants to meet him.
Louisa has employed Mary Eversong, owner of The Eversong Agency to hire a husband to take home. Mrs. Eversong believes she has found the perfect man, Captain Charles Cooper, who is twenty-seven and even though he looks and smells beyond hope she sees something in him. He was in the army in South Africa and saw some horrifying things, not only did he loose an eye but he has also lost his faith in others. Louisa and Charles help heal each other as they try to find answers to what is happening at her estate and who, all the sudden, wants Charles dead.
This is such a wonderful story, a young independent woman, on her own for a year, she spreads her wings and travels all over the continent in defiance of her aunt who tried to clip her wings when she was younger. I love Louisa, she wants to live her life independent of others and at the turn of the century she is able to experience some of the freedom she craves. Louisa comes across as someone without a care in the world, yet on closer inspection we see that she has her share of problems she must deal with when she goes home, as her past is not that far behind.
Kathleen is a great friend, she is a little headstrong and her poor fiancé Robertson will probably always be doing her bidding, however she does have Louisa’s best interest at heart. Unfortunately she just goes about it wrong and I was a bit put off by her antics, but she is apologetic in the end. A reappearance of Mrs. Eversong is a welcome event as she is such an interesting character. She is asked to come help straighten out the bank problems and maybe find out who is trying to kill Charles.
Oh Charles, what to say about him, I loved him as soon as I met him, he is so down and depressed yet a good person at heart, willing to do the right thing. Even from the start he is protective of Louisa. The chemistry between them is amazing and the witty dialect they share is just right. I also love how Louisa shocks him with her boldness several times yet he could not say no.
The premise of the story is clever and interesting; I like the whole fake husband trope which accounts for several humorous situations. The ending is satisfying with several characters surprising me as they are not what I was expecting. A delightful story and I am excited to see Mrs. Eversong will be featured in the next book as I truly enjoyed her character.
I give In the Arms of the Heiress by Maggie Robinson 4.5 stars!