Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Early Review of A Date at the Altar (Marrying the Duke #3) by Cathy Maxwell

Title: A Date at the Altar: Marrying the Duke
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Marrying the Duke
Format: Paperback; 384 pages
Publisher: Avon (October 25, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0062388657
ISBN-13: 978-0062388650
Author's Website:
Notes: I received an eARC loan from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I am also an Avon Addict which means I love the books that Avon publishes enough to volunteer to read as many ARCs and books as they can send my way. So you'll be seeing a lot of books reviewed by me from this publisher. Please note, however, that if I don't like a book, it will be truthfully reflected by a low rating.
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Ms.Sarah Pettijohn is the most sought after woman in all of London, but nobody knows it except for a select few. She made her mark while playing the Siren during the production of the Naughty Review years ago. It's not something she's proud of, but it accomplished what she'd hope to at the time--to earn her enough money to provide a home for her half-sister's orphaned daughter. Keeping her identity a secret is paramount for she is not only an actress but a playwright as well, and she doesn't wish to tinge her credibility. Truth be told, the only reason she agreed to play the Siren again is so that a theater would finally produce on of her plays.

Gavin Whitridge, Duke of Baynton, would be described by most as a stickler for etiquette or, to put it bluntly, a stick in the mud. Attending the Naughty Review is totally out of character for him, but his concern for his friend, overrode his sense of respectability, Over the years he's done everything in his power to help his friend out of financial difficulties even going so far as to help him get elected to a position that would increase both his wealth and prestige. Rumor has it that Rov is once again on the brink of ruin with his latest set of wagers all centering around the woman whom they call the Siren. This latest fiasco by Rov will put their friendship to the ultimate test, and it's not likely to survive. For as Gavin watches the performance, he realizes the voice of the Siren is one he actually knows, and stopping his friend from going down a reckless path will become more dire than ever.
This was a fun tale. Sarah Pettijohn is a woman who has not had an easy life. She's done what she's had to do to survive, but being a woman in the  early 1800's is not easy. Especially if one is not married. She is limited in what she can do, and the men of the era look down their noses at actresses. They also tend to try to take advantage of her at ever turn. Even Gavin, a man known for being very proper, makes her an indecent proposal which she tries to decline, but soon finds herself in a damned if you do and damned if you don't position. I loved watching these two get to know each other and fall in love.

Ms. Maxwell turned the tables in this one by giving Gavin the role that is most often reserved by the female lead--the jilted bridegroom. Being jilted not once, but twice, has made those who'd otherwise seek out a match with him think twice, and his ego has taken a beating. Tired of always doing the right thing, he's decided to take a walk on the wild side and he sees Sarah as just the person to take that walk with. He believes making the most sought after woman in London his mistress will kill two birds with one stone. She'll have someone to protect her from men like Rov, and he'll save face while gaining a bad boy reputation which will make him more appealing. Ms. Sarah Pettijohn, however, is nothing like he expects. In fact, she's not like any woman he's ever met.

I gave this one 4 1/2 out of 5 roses. It was fun, whimsical, charming, and oh so romantic. There was a scene at the end that was swoon worthy. *sigh* I also enjoyed the commentary at the end of the book in the the Author's Note section where Ms. Maxwell listed a couple of examples of unconventional marriages between members of the ton and women who worked on the stage. I always wondered if such matches had ever taken place and it was fun knowing that they had. I love it when an author goes the extra mile and adds some interesting historical facts. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public.

Order of the Marrying the Duke series:


  1. Enjoyed your blog. I took a good look around. I like the way you have fixed your ratings. But I've a question. As you know, ratings on Goodreads is slightly different in meaning to those on Amazon. Then there is your rating. What do you do when posting to these other sites your review? Additionally, would you consider coming to my blog and discuss reviews with me? Perhaps the types of genre you read and what is it you like about it. Perhaps some of your all time favorites and we do a little spotlight on them, would be nice. What say you? If you care to consider it, please message me on FB, Eileen Dandashi. My blog name is Booktalk with Eileen. I'm going to be working on streamlining and improving presentation and should have something up in place early next year. I know, we're heading for 2017 and it's hard to fathom. I hope you'll consider working together on a post.

  2. Thanks for the review! You now have me intrigued with the swoon-worthy scene!


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