First in a series, The Marriage Wager by Candace Camp is a delightful tale that is very Heyer-esque in its uncomplicated plot and simple character driven storyline.
Here’s the skinny: Constance Woodley is of an advanced age as a result of tending to an ailing father during her “marriageable” years. Her uncle inherits after her father’s demise, sticking Constance with the unhappy duty of playing lady’s maid to her Aunt and cousins–simpering young debutantes primed for a London Season. Although she briefly flirted with romance, Constance has been pretty sheltered and is now resigned to her status as a spinster. Although she saves her pin money away for her future, lurking behind her practicality is a passion all readers will love.
Francesca is a widow of considerable fashion and reputation who makes a naughty wager over her matchmaking skills–the unlikely challenge is Miss Woodley herself. I love Francesca because she still has flair in light of financial struggle–what a unique character who knows how to make her money stretch!
I am sucker for the Cinderalla makeover story, and we get a taste of that (of course with some practical economizing!) along with a lot of fun Regency House Party. I don’t want to spoil to much of the story–but needless to say we have an unlikely match in the making.
Its a beautiful and true love story that reminds us of what hist-ro is really about. Beyond the ball gowns and on dit (and the steamy love scenes which we do get at least a chapter of here) its about the infalliability of humans and why we fall in love.
Candace Camp is definitely a new author for me and one I will be looking out for.