Regency romance tends to be focused on women in their twenties – sometimes brand new debutantes of 18 feature, but more usually the heroines are in their twenties, ‘past it’ by the measure of the time, but still extremely young by modern standards. When I saw that Mrs Sommersby’s Second Chance had a heroine in her forties, I was really excited to see how this would change up the tropes of the genre, and I’m glad I signed up for the blog tour, because this is adorable!
Book: Mrs Sommersby’s Second Chance by Laurie Benson
Read before: No
Ownership: Ebook sent free of charge via Rachel’s Random Resources. All opinions my own.
She’s played Cupid for others
Now she’s met her own unlikely match!
The final book of The Sommersby Brides quartet. Widowed society matchmaker Mrs. Clara Sommersby thinks self-made businessman William Lane is just the man for her neighbor’s overlooked daughter. He’s successful and confident, if emotionally distant, until suddenly—shockingly—his attention turns to Clara herself! She thought her days of romance were over, but is this younger man intent on giving her a second chance?
As I mentioned above, a lot of romance features young women, and thus revolves around their first romance – what I liked very much about this book is that Clara Sommersby, our widowed, mid-forties heroine, is a lot more practical about life than these younger heroines. Marriage is not the be-all and end-all for her to be able to move in society, and she is very content in her own life before Mr William Lane walks into it. I never felt that she wouldn’t be able to cope without him, since she was already successful and popular, which made it all the sweeter to see the two of them fall in love. Clara’s mental independence is a real strong point, while her financial independence makes for a really interesting plot: William’s in town to buy a hotel, but he doesn’t know that the hotel he wants belongs to Clara, who has sworn never to sell the business that keeps her from both remarriage and debtor’s prison…
But Clara’s practicality definitely doesn’t get in the way of this being as cute a romance as any other! There’s flirty bickering, of course, and it’s really clear that both of them are very attracted to each other, even if they both deny that the other could possibly ever find them attractive… One thing I really liked is the sheer amount of meddling matchmaking going on here – Clara attempts to set her young neighbour Harriet up with William, but her friend (my favourite kind of character, a don’t-give-a-damn Dowager Duchess) has a different candidate for Harriet, and thinks William is better suited for Clara. As this is the fourth book in the series, I think I may have missed Clara’s matchmaking of her nieces in the previous books, but I’ll be going back to read those as I just find it such a fun thing to read.
I think it’s fair to say that my enjoyment hinged on the funny, fierce, independent women in this book – William is sweet and lovely, and his side of the story is great, but he can’t help but be a little overshadowed by how much I loved Clara! I highly recommend this to those who’ve read a few too many 22-year-olds worrying about being on the shelf – come and meet Clara, who has a very different attitude, but gets a love story just as fun!
My only criticism is that I felt it needed a bit more proofreading – there are a few typos, but the wonderful author has already said they will be updated. And anyway, this is still a gorgeous story. Five out of five cats!
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And don’t forget to check out the other stops on the tour!