Review: Any Groom Will Do by Charis Michaels

Reviewed by Jen

I’m going to admit, I had some grave reservations about this book after reading the prologue. It sets up the heroine as barren from an illness she had when she was eight years old, with what seemed like very little evidence to support it. Then, it made it sound like she grew up without ever getting her period. Does this happen from illness? Can it? I felt like this was all an elaborate set-up for a miracle baby after the woman lives to the ripe age of 27 as a spinster. I couldn’t be more happy to report that I was wrong and I could have let myself enjoy this book (even more than I did, which was quite a but) without my suspicions hanging over my head.

So the heroine is Willow, the (really) barren daughter of an earl and all she wants out of life is to go live with her aunt and uncle in London and be an apprentice in their design business. Unfortunately, her aunt is a bit of a pariah in the family and as an unmarried woman, Willow doesn’t get to make any choices about her own life. Add to that, two of her friends are just as desperate for their freedom, and she is sufficiently motivated to come up with a scheme to save them all.

That scheme: put out an advertisement for three “gentlemen sailors” in need of an investor. Assuming they weren’t bottom feeders, Willow and their friends would marry the men, in name only, exchanging their dowries for a life of freedom.

Brent, the Earl of Cassin, needs that money to fund a venture he has going with his friends, which–if successful–could save his tenants from working a dangerous mine to make ends meet. At first, he rejects Willow’s plan out of hand, but he can’t bring himself to walk away from her. There is an attraction between them he can’t deny. The story follows their marriage of convenience as they fall for each other against their best laid plans. All while Cassin’s evil uncle plots to bring the coal operations back to life.

I liked Willow quite a bit. She is smart and self aware. Not only is she willing to fight for her own future, but the futures of her best friends, even when it seems impossible. I also appreciate her honesty, even when it’s painful. She never hid her barrenness and while I kept rolling my eyes thinking it wasn’t real, I should have been applauding her more, because it was a huge thing she had to come to grips with.

Cassin is a good man. Everything he does is for the people who depend on him, which is what makes it even more enjoyable when he can’t fight his own desires for Willow. They make a great pair and there is such a fun dynamic between them. I especially appreciated how much he respected her intelligence and ability to make a sound argument.

If I have any small complaint is that I felt like what happened to Cassin’s brother was a bit of a red herring. I kept waiting for a deeper explanation that never came. But maybe the whole thing was supposed to be a fake-out and give more gravitas to Willow’s situation. Even still, it felt like a hanging thread, even with the explanation given.

Overall, though, I found this to be a very engaging book and one I read in a single sitting. I’ll definitely be back for the author to reveal the secret stories of Willow’s two friends.

Would recommend.

Rating: B/B+

*ARC provided by Avon

Click to purchase: Amazon

Any Groom Will Do
by Charis Michaels
Release Date: February 13, 2018
Publisher: Avon Impulse

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