Thursday, December 10, 2015

Tasty Book Tours Review + Excerpt + Giveaway: The Match of the Century by Cathy Maxwell

The Match of the Century
Marrying the Duke #1
By: Cathy Maxwell
Releasing  November 24, 2015
Avon Books

In New York Times bestselling author Cathy Maxwell’s glittering new series, wedding bells are ringing… until the return of a rake throws a bride’s plans— and heart—into a tailspin.

Every debutante aspires to snag a duke. Elin Morris just happens to have had one reserved since birth. But postponements of her marriage to London’s most powerful peer give Elin time to wonder how she will marry Gavin Baynton when she cannot forget his brother, Benedict.

Already exasperated at being yanked from the military to meet “family obligations,” now Ben must suffer watching his arrogant sibling squire the only woman he has ever loved. Joining the army saved Ben from sinking into bitterness, but seeing Elin again takes him back to the day they surrendered to their intoxicating desire.

As the wedding draws near, Elin tries to push Ben far from her thoughts. When danger brings them together, there is no denying their feelings. But can Elin choose love over duty…?

My Thoughts:
I was able to finished Cathy Maxwell's latest novel The Match of the Century. If you recall from A Little Thing Called Love meeting Elin's parents Fyclan & Jenny and how they defile all odds to be together and basically made a deal with the Duke of Baynton to unite the two families. Now we jump about 20 years to where Elin and Gavin are about to get engage, but the timing never seems to be right. It continues never to be right, because we have the return of the prodigal son, I mean Ben. 

Okay, we have a couple of power players in the story:
Elin: She's has been groomed to become a duchess since she was born, but she's never felt quite right about the role. She even tried to convince her mother that it didn't seem right. However, she's a dutiful daughter and will carry out her parents wishes, even if it sacrifices what she doesn't know she wants. 
Gavin: Duke of Baynton. He's kind of arrogant and pompous the few times we see him. I didn't like him all that much, because he felt entitled. However, by the end he kind of mellows out, and I think he has potential to be a good hero one day. He just wasn't a right fit for Elin anyways, because she was never first and foremost. I would imagine he would try to be a good husband, but would always fall short. 
Benedict (Ben): Elin's first love and best friend. I adore Ben, because he tried to do the right thing. Yet, his feelings over took him and it didn't help the situation Elin wasn't helping his case. He had a lot a ground to make up to Elin, but I think he did a great job in the story. 
Fyclan: Elin's father. Very domineering and believes what he was doing was right. I think he would have carried out until the bitter end if there wasn't an intervention. 
Kind of the main characters, but the story did focus more on Elin and Ben after all Elin did find herself in a pickle. She definitely needed a hero. 

Overall, I did enjoyed The Match of the Century, because it was a good story. I wasn't sure about it when I started. The first couple of chapters Elin was just going through the motions, and there is a good reason for some of it. However, she was doing that before the tragedy that that strikes the family. We find Elin in danger and she happens to stumble upon Ben and he's doing everything to get her back to his brother unharmed. This is the point where Elin starts to realize she might be making a mistake. I admire her realization, because it was eye opening for her. The Match of the Century I found myself captivated by the adventure, self discovery, and how true love can conquer all. Those who have enjoyed Cathy's before are sure to enjoy The Match of the Century.

Copy provided by Avon 

Excerpt from The Match of the Century:
Her mother led Elin to her dressing table. She gently pushed Elin to sit on the bench and then knelt on the carpet in front of her, taking her hands and holding them.
“My daughter, we have discussed this. I thought you’d forgiven yourself. It was not a good incident in your life but nothing terrible came of it.”
“I have forgiven myself.” Elin’s voice sounded false to her own ears. “I just believe Baynton should know.”
“That his brother took advantage of his betrothed? Is that what you want to tell him?”
“I wouldn’t say who.” Especially since Baynton and his brothers had a turbulent history.
There had been three Whitridge sons residing at Baynton, until Gavin’s younger, Jack, had disappeared one night from Eton. Some claimed he’d had run off. Others believed foul play. No matter what, he was never seen or heard from again.
The disappearance had meant that the old duke had not wanted to let his last and youngest son meet the same end. Or have the same opportunity to escape. The old duke had been an exacting taskmaster. He had high expectations for his heir. Ben often felt he was an after thought. “A spare,” Ben had always claimed, oftentimes bitterly. “Always kept at bay.”
Because of Jack’s disappearance, his father had kept him at Trenton, the family estate, and had him educated by a succession of tutors with only Elin as a companion.
As an only child of parent who were often absent from the country, Elin had valued Ben’s company. She’d trusted him and to this day, could not believe he had taken her innocence to strike out at his oldest brother, as her mother had claimed. Everyone knew the brothers were highly competitive. The old duke liked them that way.
However, to Elin, the loss of her purity was a small thing in the face of the betrayal of a trusted friend. She’d known he’d longed for independence. He’d yearned to buy his commission and set off into the world.
What she hadn’t anticipated was that he would use her in such a deliberate way. That had seemed out of character. Her mother had assured her it was very much the nature of men and one of the reasons that from now on, her parents would protect her more closely.

And so they had.

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Author Info
New York Times Bestselling Author, Cathy Maxwell spends hours in front of her computer pondering the question, “Why do people fall in love?” It remains for her the great mystery of life and the secret to happiness. She lives in beautiful Virginia with children, horses, dogs, and cats.

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