My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing
Mary Buchanan has bigger worries than the radical journalist moving in next door who’s spoiling her father’s digestion: unrequited love for a footman, a fractious aunt, patiently awaiting her destiny…
Already she’s nearly eighteen. No sign of destiny yet, but Mary’s certain he’ll be handsome.
Then she meets the reformer, this Mr. Samuel Brown. Destiny is closer at hand than Mary has supposed—if she can just get Mr. Brown to realize it.
Another favorite from the Power of the Matchmaker series, and a new-to-me author discovered! I really enjoyed the writing style, the way the author protrayed the mundane and repressed life of Mary without it being boring, and her transformation into somewhat of a rebel. Mary's one passion she is allowed to have is drawing, and the descriptions of the caricatures she draws of those around her reveal a wry and cynical part of her personality, which make some of her later choices understandable. She develops a romantic obsession with Samuel, a man she hardly knows but finds herself attracted to, which brings with it an association with Samuel's good friend and protector, Niall. He isn't pleasant to her in an effort to scare her off his friend, but it backfires by helping her find her spine and he becomes an outlet for her before-hidden sassiness. I loved their interactions!!! Poor Niall finds himself shifting from defender of Samuel to self-appointed protector of Mary, and the twists in the plot were angst-inducing. I enjoyed the historical setting and learning more about the reform movement in England, which also provided some action when the riots start. The matchmaker's role in the story as Mary's neighbor Mrs. Chin is an integral one which I liked since it didn't make her seem random. Her love for gardening, long talks with Niall, and appreciation of Mary's drawing skills are endearing and I felt like she was more well-rounded in this story than in some of the others. I'm looking forward to reading the other books written by this author!
(I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher; all opinions in this review are my own)