Once upon a time there were three young ladies who, despite their fortunes, had been on the marriage mart a bit too long. They were known as “the Spinster Heiresses” . . .
Miss Cassandra Holwell is too tall, too bookish, and too smart—but she does have money and a father who wants a grand title for her. Cassandra hasn’t felt a desire to marry until she meets the sinfully handsome Duke of Camberly, who captures her imagination . . . until Soren York, Earl of Dewsberry and her family’s sworn enemy, steps in the way.
The Holwells ruined Soren’s family, and he’s lived on the knife’s edge trying to resurrect their fortunes . . . until he considers marrying the Holwell Heiress. Not only would her dowry give him the funds he needs, he has secretly had an eye on the independent-minded bluestocking since they both first realized the differences between men and women.
She likes to read; he has no patience for books. She knows little of sex; he is a man of the world and willing to school her. Her family destroyed his; his offer of marriage may be her only salvation.
Now Cassandra and Soren must learn to love each other for who they are, not what they are—and the lessons are becoming an exercise in absolute pleasure.
The bland, insipid second Spinster Heiress romance opens at a country house party outside of London, where Soren York, the Earl of Dewsberry, is looking for a wealthy woman to marry. Cassandra Holwell has enough money to attract his interest, but she keeps snubbing him. She has never forgiven Soren for his childhood insult to her an incident Soren doesn't even remember and assumes her father wouldn't consent to the match. Thanks to a series of ridiculous events, Cassandra is discovered in Soren's bedroom, and their inevitable engagement reveals that Cassandra's father has stolen her inheritance, leaving her penniless and Soren without the funds he desperately needs to save his ancestral home. The painstakingly crafted plot is set up for Cassandra and Soren to tackle the challenges together, but this pedestrian romance doesn't deliver. There is no tension between Cassandra and Soren (or with anyone else), and Cassandra's petulant reluctance to leave London and live in Cornwall is not well explained. The attention to historical detail is commendable, but Cassandra and Soren's path to their happy ending is so smooth as to be dull and instantly forgettable.