Book Review

‘It Takes Two to Tangle’ by Theresa Romain

ITTTT TRSTORY: 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…

REVIEW: When Henry Middlebrook returned from fighting Napoleon, he came home with a useless right arm and a feeling of defeat.  His older brother Jem and his wife Emily welcomed him into their home hoping to help him heal from his wounds, both physical and mental.  Thus, he enters into the social rounds hoping to meet the right woman and settle down in his estate.

While at a soiree, he meets, is attracted to and considers offering for Caroline Graves, the widowed Countess of Stratton who is accompanied by her companion and cousin, Frances Whittier.  

As men buzz around Caroline like bees to a flower, Frances is busy keeping things organized and running smoothly. While attending various events, Frances and Henry become well acquainted and enjoy each other’s company and Henry finds her to be an intelligent woman. They openly discuss his physical limitations and she helps him learn to write with his left hand and encourages him to take up his paintbrushes and paint again.

She can’t help but be attracted to him even though she assumes him attracted to Caroline, so she starts writing suggestive letters to Henry making him think they have come from Caroline to encourage him to visit more often.  But what will happen when he finds out his letter writer is none other than Frances?  Can their fragile relationship withstand this betrayal of sorts?

Theresa Romain wrote this novel expressing an enormous depth of pain experienced by both Henry and Frances.  The way she conveyed their emotions to the reader almost made me feel their pain as well.  I think the following quote from Sir Walter Scott comes into play perfectly in this novel:  “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”

I enjoyed this novel very much and felt as though I learned a lot about painting and paint colors too.  

“It Takes Two to Tangle” is the first novel of Theresa Romain’s Matchmaker Trilogy.  Book 2, “To Charm a Naughty Countess” will be published in May 2014.

Connie for b2b

*Book provided by the author in a Giveaway.

*Book provided by the publisher to b2b through NetGalley.


4 thoughts on “‘It Takes Two to Tangle’ by Theresa Romain”

  1. Wonderful review! I especially liked your observation about Caroline’s admirers: “men buzz around Caroline like bees to a flower” —

    (What I learned about the novel is how lefties write without smudging their hands. ^_^)

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