Book Three in the Long Beginnings Series
Review copy from the author/publisher
My rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
About the Book:
Cara Bernay has never fit in. At loose ends in 1881 London after a near tragedy costs her a job, she befriends a rising young artist. With his help, she begins planning a new life and developing her own artistic talent. But soon Cara finds herself at odds with the artist’s brother—a handsome but serious-minded earl who wants to force his brother back to a “respectable” life.
Henry Burke, the Earl of Morestowe, feels the weight of growing financial burdens. His profligate and emotionally unstable brother is making matters worse, and Henry needs him back home. Despite misgivings about Cara’s mysterious background, Henry sees she’s a positive influence on his brother and on Henry’s unruly young ward, and he strikes a deal with her to return with them to their estate.
But the family has their own secrets, and when Cara, drawn ever closer to Henry, stumbles onto the truth, she must choose between following her heart and pursuing a bold plan that could bring disaster.
I had the pleasure of reading the first book in this series, but ended up missing the second when it came out. I wanted to know what was happening to these sisters, so I gladly accepted the opportunity to read this third one. In the beginning few chapters, I felt like I was missing something from the second book, but I don’t think it made it too hard to understand on its own, and I think this book can be read as a stand-alone if need be. Of course, as with many series, it is best read in order, but they are not so intricately woven together that you are lost when missing one. :)
“The Artful Match” is a sweet story of Cara finding her own way in life. Having the misfortune of losing her job, she moves to London, nearly destitute. But then she meets a man who shares her love of art. As she gets to know him, he helps her get on her feet. She is feeling confident in her new adventure until she meets the man’s brother, and eventually, his ward. Life seems to be changing once again, but in good ways that she learns to grow along with.
At times I found this book to be rather slow going, and so it took me a while to get through it. The story was good, and I enjoyed it, but the pace was slow and sometimes typical. I did get frustrated toward the end when the usual misunderstanding/drama happened that occurs in every book, but I’ve come to expect that in most novels.
The characters were well-written, and I especially loved Amelia – she was a spirited little girl who, yes, needed instruction and guidance, but had a sweet heart and loving attitude once given room to bloom.
Overall, it was an enjoyable story, and a good conclusion to the series!
“Once it’s all done, the setbacks you’ve had along the way won’t seem so bad. Sometimes what we make of bad situations leaves us better off than we ever expected.”
*I received a review copy of this book from the author/publisher; all opinions in my review are my own.