by Theresa Romain
Series: Matchmaker Trilogy #1
Published by: Sourcebooks
Genres: Historical Romance
WOOING THE WRONG WOMAN… Henry Middlebrook is back from fighting Napoleon, ready to re-enter London society where he left it. Wounded and battle weary, he decides that the right wife is all he needs. Selecting the most desirable lady in the ton, Henry turns to her best friend and companion to help him with his suit… IS A TERRIBLE MISTAKE… Young and beautiful, war widow Frances Whittier is no stranger to social intrigue. She finds Henry Middlebrook courageous and manly, unlike the foppish aristocrats she is used to, and is inspired to exercise her considerable wit on his behalf. But she may be too clever for her own good, and Frances discovers that she has set in motion a complicated train of events that’s only going to break her own heart…
Theresa Romain’s new Matchmaker Trilogy starts off with a bang with It Takes Two to Tangle. She offers us unique characters who are drawn to each other in friendship and discover something more. I easily consumed this and was delighted Romain offered a different dish from the usual courses served in this genre. Three word review: warm, enchanting and romantic.
Henry Middlebrook has returned from the war with a useless right arm and is trying to readjust. Prior to the war he was a painter and he attempts to paint with his left hand. He is currently residing with his brother and sister-in-law. It is decided that a wife is exactly what he needs to launch himself back into society and his sister-in-law plays the matchmaker introducing him to society’s gem, Caroline. As he tries to gain her favor he seeks the help of her companion the war widow Frances Whittier. She finds Henry to be enchanting and sets out to befriend him and help him. A serious of misunderstands, and fireside confessions held me captive as I looked for my HEA.
Henry is a most unusual hero as he tries to find himself and deal with issues left over from the war. He is reinventing himself and of course is going about it all wrong but that’s what makes the tale delightful. Frances has guilty over her first marriage and the death of her husband. She owes Caroline the world for taking her in and her life is not an easy one. She is one step above a maid despite her rank before marriage. She is completely attracted to Henry and finds him to be quite fascinating. I laughed because Henry is the most clueless hero I have ever encountered and watching Frances try to woo him was delightful. Frances is witty and can put Henry at ease but for all of her external confidence she is very fearful of rejection. I loved the banter between the two of them and all of the missed signals. At times I wanted them just to confess all, which kept me engaged.
It Takes Two to Tangle was romantic, warm and left you feeling good. I loved that the hero and heroine were refreshingly different. Frances was witty and I loved how she dealt with some of the snobs of the ton. I think at times she wanted to scream, “Look at me, Henry!” and I wish she would have. The romance was sweet, felt genuine and grew out of friendship. The pacing and move towards our HEA was well done, with twists and just enough drama to engage us but not overwhelm our senses. We do get a few heated scenes that are discreetly done and felt natural for the couple. I am anxious to read the next book in the trilogy and hope we continue to see unique, fleshed out characters.
Fans of historical romances, fleshed out characters and a refreshing twist will delight It Takes Two to Tangle’s sweet romance.
Three and half cups of coffee out of five
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