Review: The Earl's Cinderella Countess (Matchmakers of Bath, 1) by Amanda McCabe


Print Length: 233 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Historical (May 26, 2024)

From The Earl of Fleetwood was Eleanor St. Aubin’s first love, but being a mere vicar’s daughter held her back from admitting her feelings. Now she's a successful matchmaker, and the prospect of finding Frederick the wealthy wife he needs to settle his inherited debts is a nightmare come true! But returning from war, Frederick’s facing nightmares of his own. Eleanor feels compelled to help him, but could she ever be his Cinderella countess?

My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

This one started off strong, two young people (one with a schoolgirl crush and the other heading off to war) saying good-bye to one another after a long-standing friendship. Only to come unexpectedly face to face years later when their circumstances are now quite different than they once were. 

However, this one just didn't work for me for a lot of reasons. Now, full disclaimer, I did read an advanced reader copy of this one, so there may have been more editing done to fix the issues that I found, but I can only give an honest review on the copy that I read. 

And my honest opinion is that this one needed a lot more work to really bring it together. 

To begin with there were several instances where things just suddenly changed, or people showed up that didn't make sense. There are two instances that really stick out in my mind. The first being when Eleanor was walking her dog in the park when her sister shows up "hurrying along the pier in the shade of her lacy parasol."  Mary then makes a comment about the weather, but suddenly the pair are no longer outdoors at all, but suddenly stepping "from their door into the sunny morning." It made no sense. The second one was when Miss Muffins (the dog), ended up falling into the river. At first it is said that Eleanor suddenly became aware of Fred's presence at her side before he jumps in to save her dog, but then a few pages later she is thinking about how fast things changed starting off with "one moment she was chatting with Fred and Mary". Again, it would seem as though the author forgot just what was going on within her own story. 

I could also go into detail about how the slow pacing seemed to drag this one down, but I'm not even sure if it was that, or if it was the constant repetitiveness of these characters. They love each other, but he needs to marry and heiress and she cannot marry him knowing she isn't one. I guess it's a tried and true formula with these types of novels for a reason, but man it just got tedious in this one.

Maybe it would have been better had there been something else thrown in, perhaps in an attempt to rid herself of her feelings for Fred, Eleanor agreed to marry the man who made advances towards her. Or perhaps Fred could have began courting Miss Evans at the suggestion of the agency. Something that wasn't just these two constantly kissing and thinking about their feelings and how it could never be (or in the case of Eleanor, crying and/or running off before she started to cry). 

I'm glad these two (as well as two other characters) managed to achieve their happily-ever-after although it was a bit too drawn out for my tastes. All things considered, I don't think I will continue on with this series, although I may give this author another chance down the road. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

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