Most helpful positive review
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Hero steals the scenes in this sweet tale
on March 17, 2010
I was delighted with Cathy Maxwell's new tale The Marriage Ring, largely because the hero is so unexpected. He is really the star of this novel.
Richard Lynsted is upright, moral and a wee bit judgmental and even at age twenty-nine he longs for his father's approval. He believes he can earn it when he tries to thwart a blackmail attempt against his father and uncle. Problem is the blackmailer is a beautiful Scot who is outspoken and angry.
Grace MacEachin is also trying to win her father's approval. Her sire was convicted of embezzling money from an elderly lady and sent away to a penal colony for years. During her father's absence everything fell apart for Grace, she left her Inverness home for London and is now an actress. She believes in her father's innocence and is convinced that Richard's father and uncle were the real culprits, so she sends them a note demanding money or she will tell the magistrates that they were involved with the embezzlement.
Richard is a fair minded person and after meeting Grace, is willing to hear her side of the story and he is ready to meet her father too. This necessitates a trip to Scotland and it is on this journey that Richard and Grace really discover each other.
Both leads are distrustful and longing for parental approval and yet both have lived their lives very differently. Grace is defiant and her past is less than perfect. Richard is a model citizen but he is missing joy and companionship. During their long journey to Scotland they take stock of their lives and really grow into a loving couple. Grace just seems to mature, she realizes she has been headstrong and her escape to London was not ever going to solve her problems.
Richard is so good and honorable it is almost impossible not to like him. Yes, he is a bit reserved but he is also incredibly kind hearted, brave and heartbreakingly vulnerable too. His metamorphosis from stern unbending barrister to open hearted, loving hero is wonderful.
There are a few sections of this novel that get bogged down a little and Grace is a little too forward but hero Richard more than makes up for these little problems. The dialogue is also good (these two speak to each other with respect and affection). This is a definite recommend.