by Theresa Romain
Series: Matchmaker Trilogy #1
Genres: Historical Romance
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
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
I don’t know if I would want a clueless hero as an MC but it sounds like he was funny rather than disappointing. Poor Frances! Wanting to be seen but unable too. I’m sure I would be rooting for her the whole way. I love how she’s witty especially since the setting is in a historical time. You could get in trouble for that wit in those times which makes her more of a heroine to me. Great review (:
thanks Adriana 🙂
I fell in love with Theresa’s first two books, but I just could not enjoy this one. I really did not like the hero at all. And in the end, I could not write a review about it either. Now I am just looking forward to the third book in her first series.
Aww, I liked how original they were, he was a sorry sap and totally clueless but charming in his own way..he was a victim of his sister-in-law’s match making scheme 🙂
The title had me. The book sounds refreshing and fun. 🙂
Agreed, and isn’t that cover beautiful 🙂
Here I am again, Theresa! I’m soooo glad you’ve come out with a new book that I can start reading right away. I’ve caught up with your backlist and have pre-ordered the next one coming up…but don’t have this one yet. You know my Mom always told me “It takes two to tango,” rather than “tangle.” I like the connotations of that “tangle.” Makes me think this will be a doozy of a romance! 🙂
I like the twist on two to tango and hope you enjoy this as much as I did Janice 🙂
Another good one. I like sweet historicals and I’m glad you mentioned that this one’s characters really drive the story. Great review 🙂
It was Kim and I love where characters create their own trouble, and boy does she!
This is the second review I’ve read of this one today, and now I’m super excited to read it! I love historicals and this just sounds charming. I do hope Caroline gets her HEA too though!
thanks Lauren, I enjoyed this and love when characters get themselves in a pickle..LOL
Ooo he sounds like a hero I’ll love! I really enjoy the ones that are a bit imperfect and dealing with challenges like that. and yeah stunning cover. Goodness.
Isn’t the cover breathtaking 🙂 This was a great start to the series, with just a touch of heat, but unique characters 🙂
I seriously love this cover..its all red and pretty. I find that now I even like my historical romances a little hotter in the sexxy department, but I also love a fiesty female. I like that he was little clueless and she had to court him.
Great review 🙂
The back and forth was fun, and yes I love the cover too!
Sounds interesting! Thanks for the review!
welcome Dani 🙂
I just want to say … I want that dress! I love the covers of historical romance books, now I just need to start reading them again. 🙂
Ha, I love the dress too 🙂
Hi Kimba, I’m not a big fan of historical romance usually the hero and heroine are too young for my tastes but this one sounds really good.
thanks for your thoughts Debbie 🙂
I like the sound of the romance. I always enjoy slow building romances that build on friendship. I am sure Henry has lots of emotional baggage to explore! The cover is just stunning 🙂
This was fun, and yes I agree the cover is stunning 🙂
Sometimes I just love feel good books – I feel like I need them to balance some of the darker things I like to read. With your last few reviews I think you may be converting me to read more historical romance! Great review!
I like mixing my genres between dark and light, and this was perfect after a darker read 🙂
Hihi, I wish she had screamed that 😀
me too,..but I am a trouble maker …LOL
Felicia The Geeky Blogger
This is one of those that is high on my maybe list 🙂 Had another friend read and she enjoyed it too!
This was a solid read, and the characters were refreshing 🙂
Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf
Sounds like a fun historical romance…maybe one day I’ll start reading these again…I went through a phase in HS where this was all I read!
I did that too, and then for five years banned them…I am finally back reading one or two a month and loving it 🙂
You always seem to get me in the mood for a good HF after reading your reviews of them! Hopefully I can get my must read NOW pile whittled down a bit as I have one (er, two) I’ve been eager to pick up. This one sounds like it has some fun characters!
I understand that “must read now” pile all too well!
Great review! I am looking forward to reading this! 🙂
thanks Sharlene 🙂
It seems this couple is not the typical of many historical romances, and I love that, especially the vulnerable hero.
This cover is beyond gorgeous. I’m so glad you enjoyed this , Kim!
thanks Andrea, the characters were unique and I appreciated that.
I think you are fueling my historical romance addiction… LOL 🙂 This book looks and sounds good. Might grab me a copy!
Sarah @ Kitties Like Books Too
Ha..I hope that is a good thing *blushes*
Good review, Kimba! I like the sound of this book: well-developed characters, humor, and enough originality to make it fresh. I’ll keep an eye out for it!
thanks Lark, this was enjoyable
I love stories where the characters are your typical conventional ones. I think I would like this one as well.
Great review Kim!
Thanks Ali, I like unique characters too, have a wonderful day 🙂
When I think of it I haven’t read any romantic book in a while so I guess I should change that. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one and it sounds like your kind of book 🙂 Great review 🙂
Thanks Tanja 🙂
It is so hard to find refreshingly unique storylines in historical romance, but this one definitely seems to fit that bill! I love witty character interactions and the idea of the hero and heroine beginning as friends is very appealing to me. I’ll definitely give this novel a try as soon as I get the chance!
Wendy @ Escape Into Fiction
Sounds like Henry is a great guy who has been some pretty awful things, and Frances sounds good for him. Glad you enjoyed it. Great review.
thanks Jenea this was sweet 🙂
This sounds like a really cute historical romance, Kim. I like how Henry isn’t the typical arrogant rake that you usually get. The poor man seems to have gone through a lot. I think I would really like his relationship with Frances. It sounds very sweet.
Lovely review, Kim! 🙂
This was sweet Nick, thanks 🙂
Sounds like a cute read 🙂 The part that caught my attention with this review was: “I laughed because Henry is the most clueless hero I have ever encountered and watching Frances try to woo him was delightful”
I love it when authors come up with original stuff for their stories 🙂