Sunday, November 13, 2011

Because of You by Cathy Maxwell

ABOUT THE BOOKBECAUSE OF YOU calls upon the traditions of historical romance, bringing readers a vicar's daughter, a disinherited rakehell son of a duke and a forced marriage in her story of Samantha Northrup, a young woman alone in the world. Following the death of her father, Samantha leads a neat and orderly life in the Village of Sproule. A seductive stranger arrives at her door one stormy night and, suddenly, her world is turned upside down. Discovered in a compromising position, she is forced to marry a man she barely knows. Her groom is Lord Yale, who has returned to England after being banished by his father. Now married to a cad who has been outcast by society, Samantha must abandon the life she's known for a loveless marriage and a husband who may never be able to change his ways.

Samantha's life is a mess. Her father, the village vicar, passed away a year ago and Samantha has nowhere else to go except to live with two dotty old sisters that will be the bane of her existence. When a handsome stranger arrives in town and they end up in what appears to be a compromising position, Samantha is given a clean exit. Is marriage to this stranger the answer though?

Despite plot holes that were never filled, I found this to be an amusing and entertaining tale. I was quickly drawn in and read straight through. Even though this is the age old tale of 'romance buds in a marriage of convenience', there are a few things that set it apart. I found myself loving the back stage characters and wanting to know them more intimately. I'd love to see another book set in the same original town. Yale, the leading male character, has led an interesting life and his family's influence spices things up as well. Witty banter between characters kept me smiling throughout most of the book.

ABOUT THE AUTHORBorn in Olathe, Kansas, Cathy Maxwell's family roots go back to the Mayflower and the Revolutionary War. She has long called Virginia home, noting she is "a Virginian by choice, but a Kansan by nature." She worked in television news as a broadcaster before spending six years in the Navy. She attended Air Force intelligence school, worked in the Pentagon and did a tour with Naval Intelligence.

Cathy began her writing career in 1991 while her children were still small. "It wasn't easy," she says. "I worked full time, my husband travelled, we had three kids, I volunteered and I was writing from four until seven every morning." Now, twenty years later, she is the author of seventeen national bestsellers and her novels appear regularly on The New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. A rarity in the book world, Cathy has published every one of her novels with the same publisher, Harper Collins/Avon Books.

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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