Mattie is a spinster, forced to rely on her uncle’s charity to survive. His home is not a pleasant place. She lives a life of strict economy: no frills. No entertainment. Not even flavor to her food. But she is working to change that. Mattie has been writing erotic stories under the pen name Cherie, and once she finishes her collection, she’ll have enough money to forge out on her own.
A visitor to her uncle’s home ends up putting a crimp her plans. Edward served along with Mattie’s cousin, who was killed at Waterloo. He is scarred on the inside and out. But he had to visit his dear friend’s family to help provide some closure. While he’s there, Mattie’s uncle realizes the infamous Cherie is someone right there in his hometown. And somehow, Edward gets tasked to ferret out her identity.
I liked that Mattie and Edward did not immediately fall into a romance. Neither character is good looking by conventional standards, but that didn’t matter as they became friends. And after that, they began to see things appealing in each other that most people did not. Mattie was never put off by Edward’s scars, nor he by her larger size. I believed in their attraction for each other, though at times I wondered if it had something to do with their limited options.
The love scenes were pretty good, though I think Mattie’s reason for losing her virginity felt a little contrived. I enjoyed reading the excepts from her confessions, even if it was a bit of a stretch that she could artfully re-write another woman’s diary, but not get the language down for just one crucial scene. And I liked simply reading about the time Mattie and Edward spent together. I just wish it didn’t seem like they fell in love with each other because no one else would have them.
I didn’t feel a deep emotional connection to the characters, but overall, I enjoyed the story. And despite a last minute detour, I found the ending satisfying.
*Book provided by publisher for review
Click to purchase: Amazon
The Spinster’s Secret
by Emily Larkin
Release Date: February 20, 2013