Title: It Takes Two to Tangle
Series: The Matchmaker Trilogy, Book 1
Author: Theresa Romain
Genre: Historical Romance
Sensuality Rating: Steamy
Published: September 3, 2013 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Wooing the Wrong Woman…
Henry Middlebrook is back from fighting Napoleon, ready to re-enter London society where he left it. Wounded and battle weary, he decides that the right wife is all he needs. Selecting the most desirable lady in the ton, Henry turns to her best friend and companion to help him with his suit…
Is a Terrible Mistake…
Young and beautiful, war widow Frances Whittier is no stranger to social intrigue. She finds Henry Middlebrook courageous and manly, unlike the foppish aristocrats she is used to, and is inspired to exercise her considerable wit on his behalf. But she may be too clever for her own good, and Frances discovers that she has set in motion a complicated train of events that’s only going to break her own heart…
Reviewed By: Babs
In a Nutshell: I enjoyed this book a lot. I found the hero and heroine compelling characters.
The Set Up: Henry is a soldier just returned to London from the Napoleonic Wars and Francis is a widow, companion to her cousin.
Why I Read This Book: I enjoy historical romance and this was recommended on Twitter or Goodreads. I also have other Theresa Romain books on my to-read shelf.
What I Liked: I was struck first by Henry. I found his strength of character and willpower commendable given his war injury. Then I was quickly frustrated with him when he didn’t see right away Frances was the one for him.
Frances then caught my attention with her quiet strength—someone I think I would admire if I met her in person (if she wasn’t fictional and I lived 200 years ago!). I could feel her yearning for Henry through the pages of the book/screen of my ereader.
I felt so sorry for Frances at her disappointment when Henry made an incorrect assumption. And while I understand her need to retain some pride in that situation, at the same time I wanted her to get her happy ending. During one Frances and Henry encounter I’m pretty sure I yelled at my ereader, “Frances, just tell him—it’s me!”.
I also appreciated that she embraced her sexual feelings for Henry—she wasn’t embarrassed or shameful about it. At least to herself, she acknowledged her attraction and then didn’t shy away when she had her opportunity to be with Henry.
Eventually everything works out in the end and I am satisfied with how Henry and Frances resolved their issues and got together.
What I Also Liked: I enjoyed the fact the main characters, Henry and Frances, were not titled. Neither was a Lord or Lady. Most historical romances I’ve read set in London society have titled main characters. The London society setting worked even though they weren’t titled. Another good historical romance set in London society that doesn’t have titled main characters is Lisa Kleypas’ Suddenly You.
Also, the secondary characters were great. I found Henry’s brother and sister-in-law and Frances’ cousin especially interesting. I’m excited for the next book in the series, To Charm a Naughty Countess, which is about Caroline, Frances’ cousin, and is out May 6, 2014.
What I Didn’t Like: A small point but I didn’t appreciate Henry’s treatment of his old friend Bart. Eventually he comes around, but for most of the book, Henry doesn’t try to re-connect with old friends or find out how they have been while Henry was at war. In the end Henry realizes what he’s done and begins to mend his relationship with Bart.
Overall Impression: I definitely recommend It Takes Two to Tangle to other fans of historical romance set in London society. A great start to a new series.