The Match of The Century by Cathy Maxwell (Marrying The Duke #1)

The Match of The Century by Cathy MaxwellAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Historical Romance

Publisher: Avon

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

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?

I truly enjoyed this story, the first in a new series by a wonderful author. I usually stay away from this trope, a romantic triangle, but once I started, I did not want to put it down as the author drew me in with engaging characters and a plot that kept me intrigued until the end.

Elin Morris is expected to marry Gavin, the Duke of Baynton, the marriage has been arranged since they were children and the date is soon approaching. Elin was good friends with Gavin’s brother Ben when they were young, however it all changed one night when they were caught up in young love, but the next day he was gone, off to join the army as many third sons do without so much as a goodbye. She was confused and unhappy but carried on with her life and is now about to fulfill the wishes of both her parents and Gavin’s.

Gavin Baynton is the model of a perfect duke, he can handle any crisis, is there whenever his people need him and is about to marry a beautiful woman. Yet he is never quite there for Elin, they have not spent much time together and he is easily distracted by business. He is also thinking of the future and since his twin brother Jack is missing, he calls Benedict home as he feels his job in the army is dangerous, but this angers Ben and he does not stay long.

Gavin and Elin’s marriage is put on hold when tragedy strikes and Elin goes into mourning for a year, but when a date is again set she travels home only to almost die at the hands of assassins. On the run she finds Ben and they make their way home finding danger at every turn, yet as they travel the back roads, they realize how much they love each other and are determined to find a way to be together.

I was very happy I picked this one up, I enjoyed the fast read with romance and danger that kept be interested throughout the story.

Elin is a wonderful heroine, she wants to do the right thing and is ready to go into this marriage, albeit reluctantly, she prefers a quiet life, and is not sure she is ready to be a duchess. And when Ben is back in her life, her love for him is rekindled.

Ben is a great hero; he sets off early in life to join the army knowing he will never be the duke, as he has two older brothers. He left unfinished business with many when he went into the army, especially Elin but he always knew she belonged to Gavin, it is only when they are back together trying to stay alive that they realize how much they love each other. They share some very hot, sizzling scenes together while on the run, their chemistry is electric.

On the surface the story seems like a typical love triangle, but it is different and that is what I liked about it. Gavin, Ben and Elin all think with their heads and hearts, know what they want and do not try to destroy each other. The relationship between Ben and Gavin is strained in the beginning and it goes through tougher times before things get better but Ms. Maxwell works wonders with this storyline. I think what was amazing is that I really like Gavin and look forward to his story. The only issue I have was that things were tidied up quite quickly, it is a fast, light read but there are times I need these stories. All in all a wonderful start to a new series and I am excited to read the next story, the teaser is very interesting.

I give The Match of the Century by Cathy Maxwell 4 stars!

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