Tuesday, 2 April 2013
Book Review: The Spinster's Secret by Emily Larkin
Author: Emily Larkin
Format: E-book (218 pages)
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Scandalous)
Publish Date: February 2013
Penniless spinster, Matilda Chapple, lives at isolated Creed Hall, dependent on the austere charity of unloving relatives and under pressure to marry a man twice her age. In an attempt to earn enough money to escape this miserable existence, she writes a series of titillating 'confessions'. Her secret is safe -- until battle-scarred Waterloo veteran, Edward Kane, reluctantly accepts the commission to uncover the anonymous author's identity.
While staying at bleak Creed Hall, Edward finds himself unaccountably drawn to his host's lonely niece. Can Matilda conceal the secret of her scandalous writings, or will Edward discover that the spinster and the risqué authoress are one and the same person? And when Matilda feels the need to experience sex as her fictional courtesan does--will she lose her heart to Edward, along with her virginity?
I enjoyed this sweet romance by debut author Emily Larkin, although I didn't love it- hence the three heart rating.
Mattie is an endearing character, she lives at Creed Hall with her miserly Uncle. After discovering a diary kept by a countess who previously lived at Creed Hall, Mattie embarks on a secret career as an authoress of racy confessions. All Mattie wants is to have enough money to move out and own her own boarding house. She craves the independence and freedom she's so close to achieving.
Marriage certainly isn't the answer, in the village of Soddy Morton, there's hardly an abundance of suitors. Plus, Mattie's not a beauty, she believes herself plain and a giantess. She's compassionate, friendly and funny. She just needs the right man to take the time to see beyond her initially frumpy exterior.
Edward visits the grim Creed Hall, to see his deceased friend, Toby's, family and to return his belongings. Whilst there he agrees to find Cherie, the author of the confessions, who appears to be a villager of Soddy Morton. Edward is badly scarred from the battle of Waterloo, and is mired in guilt, blaming himself for Toby's death. Despite both the physical and mental scars left on him, he's sweet and friendly and a good match for Mattie.
As Edward's stay extends, the friendship between him and Mattie develops, and starts to grow into desire. The romance was a slow burner, but once they both acknowledged their attraction to each other, it was sweet. It was also quite realistic, there was plenty of awkwardness after, which I liked!
I liked this story, and I ambled through it nicely. But it didn't stir my emotions particularly, and I'll be the first to admit my emotions are stirred frequently! Their relationship was a sweet, slow-burner and I liked reading a romance from this period that wasn't set solely in London. It didn't grab me, but I'll be sure to keep an eye out for future books from this author.
I received a review copy from Entangled Publishing, via NetGalley for an honest review.