I received this book for free from Sourcebooks Casablanca in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Lady Meets Her Match by Gina Conkle
Series: Midnight Meetings #2
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on April 7th 2015
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Era
Source: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Locating Her Is Only Half The Battle...
Cyrus Ryland didn't become England's wealthiest bachelor by being a pushover, but the mysterious beauty he discovers sneaking around at his grand ball enflames his curiosity. When the clock chimes midnight, and she's nowhere to be found, Cyrus vows to scour all of London to uncover who she is. Little does he know that not only does Claire Mayhew not want to be found, but she wants nothing to do with him at all...
Claire, needs to find a way to make her own way as a business woman, where there is disapproval everywhere she goes. She is on the hunt, she needs to attend a ball, and the host, Cyrus Ryland, the most richest and renown bachelor in all of London. So she goes searching for something of his, something that will help gain her what she needs for her coffee and pastry shop. But then she runs across the infamous Cyrys Ryland himself, they engage on some harmless flirtation and dance, but at midnight when there is the unmasking, Claire knows he can never know her true identity and flees when a opportuity arises. Cyrus must find Claire, the mysterious woman who made him feel bright and alive with excitement, a woman that almost had him kissing her on the dance floor in front of all of London society, all he has left of her is a worn shoe and a cloak of hers. But he is driven to find her, but what he doesn’t know is that she doesn’t want to be found. Claire has worked hard to make a life for herself, a life above being a servant, and having her own establishment, but when Cyrus finds her again, she doesn’t know if she can hide her true feelings, or the desire she feels for him, knowing she could never have a future with him, or can she dare trust the man who has stolen her heart with his slow seduction and tender touches, and his willingness to share every part of himself…
Cyrus Ryland, may be a rich bachelor, looking for one day his sister to make a match among the Ton. But what most don’t know is that he was once a lowly farmer and pugilist. But it took years of hard work to get to successful businessman he is now. Cyrus is driven, dedicated and loyal. Cyrus is a man who goes after what he desires, whatever that may be. When he first meets Claire, he is enthralled by her beauty, her wit, and the playful relationship they start to have…and when she leaves abruptly he goes on the hunt for his prey. Cyrus was a great hero, and there is more to him than meets the eye. At first all you see is a rich bachelor, who likes his bachelorhood just fine. But you also start to see how he so much more, that he is dedicated to supporting his family, and dedicating everything he has to them. How he is driven because he has had to be, because he feels as if he has failed his family when he was younger. He blames himself for past mistakes, you see the gentle and kind man that he is, that he is starved for love and affection, but hides it well beneath his tough exterior.
Claire, is a woman who once fell in love when she was younger, but was used and she came to London, for a fresh start, to start her own business, and to be in charge of her own future without a man. She is compassionate and caring, she has a heart of gold, her co workers, came from the streets, prostitutes and thiefs…but she offered them a better way of living, an honest way. When Claire finds herself in dire straits, she must take something from Cyrus, and she never imagined that she would see him again, or that he would see at the core of who she is. Claire was a delightful heroine, and I loved her character, and she made the story captivating. She is just as driven as our hero is, trying to make her own way, she is passionate and has this inner strength that is formidable and as strong as the tide of the oceans. She doesn’t let what anyone else say or think to determine how she views herself and the way she lives her life. She was refreshing and lively, and had a will of iron.
Plot and Story Line
The Lady Meets Her Match is the second book in the series, and this is my first book from this author and I am impressed. At the beginning I had a challenging time to get into it, and I wondered if this would have to be put down before I finished it, but well I definitely got into it and it caught my attention. It took about 50 pages, but once I reached that point, I just couldn’t put this one down. This is a fairy tale retelling, but one that I fell in love with, and had a different feel to it. It is based on the story of Cinderella, but what a story this turned out to be. At the beginning, it is very obvious it is based on Cinderella. We have that special evening, a masked ball, and two people meet and the heroine leaves behind her slipper. Then Cyrus…The prince of the story, chases after his Cinderella. But he has met his match with Claire at the helm, she is no ordinary Cinderella. He is shocked to discover that she is one of his business tenants, she pays rents to him every month, and he can’t resist her. I loved seeing claire stand on her own two feet with Cyrus, she is committed to living her own life, despite the desire she feels for Cyrus. At first she isn’t too welcoming of his attentions, but then you see her slowly soften toward him, and I loved the courting dancing they have going on, neither is good about giving in, both stubborn and strong-willed, but both in need of someone to come home to. You see the loneliness they both feel, and I loved seeing these two iron willed people, give in to what they are feeling and trust in where their relationship can lead. I was very impressed with the flow of the story, how it weaved and blended together in ways I couldn’t imagine, various aspects formed into a story that was heartwarming and engaging.
I adored this cover, it has a flirty and fun feel to it. I love Claire’s gown, and she is just as the author describes her in the story. The hero…now he looks good enough to eat, the half-open look, with those gorgeous locks of hair–I wish I could run my fingers through it, and that facial expression, as if he can win any game or capture any prey he is on the search for….I would mind being his Cinderella.
The Lady Meets Her Match is an enchanting story, with a fairy tale them, that captures your attention, that weaves a tapestry of endearing characters, deep emotion entrenched on every page, a story guaranteed to steal your heart, take your breath away, and enthrall you….a love story to remember!! SPLENDID!!
We never really lose our flaws. Being with the people we love smooths out those flaws, makes us better, but flaws? They are boon companions for life.