STORY: The Beauty and the Scholar…
Certain the “smart” Steffington twin is the person who can help her recover her late husband’s nearly priceless stolen Chaucer manuscript, Catherine Bexley tearfully persuades the scholar to assist her. A deal is struck. She’s particularly pleased that the Doctor of Letters is not interested in seducing her because she’s finished with men (owing to her late husband’s multitude of unfortunate alliances with… doxies). Regaining the manuscript and its subsequent sale will give her independence to ensure she never has to marry again.
Once he learns the poor, delicate widow is in danger of losing her heavily mortgaged home if they cannot find the valuable hologram, Dr. Melvin Steffington vows to do everything in his power to restore the rare Canterbury Tales to her. It’s obvious the pretty little thing needs a man to help her. Not normally the twin to take note of pretty little things, Melvin can’t help but to observe that Mrs. Bexley’s physical appearance is much like the beauties so admired by his twin brother.
He hadn’t counted on the fact he would have to pose as her husband as they race against the banker’s ticking clock. He hadn’t counted on the mysterious thief attempting to kill him. Most of all, he hadn’t counted on how close he would become to the lovely widow or how the kissing of said widow would become the most pleasant experience in his entire seven and twenty years…
REVIEW: Mrs. Catherine Bexley, at the young age of 27, is just out of mourning for her husband. He left her a home which is nice and comfortable. He also left her a truly valuable possession that has just been stolen. It is a 400-year old early edition of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, one of only 3 in existence. Unfortunately, her husband did not manage their money well and this book was to be Catherine’s nest egg that she could sell and be able to live a comfortable life. Now that it is gone, she faces losing her home.
Twins, Elvin and Melvin Steffington are identical in looks but extremely different in personalities. At the age of 27, first-born, Sir Elvin, is a Baronet and second born, Melvin, while being just a Mr. is extremely intelligent and has achieved his Doctor of Letters. As he must earn his living, his goal is to work in a private library. Elvin is a bit of a “lie-abed” man about town while Melvin is a man whose nose is always in a book and knows nothing about women.
The Steffington twins are good friends with Mrs. Bexley, and when she confides in Melvin about the loss of the Chaucer, they agree that he will help her try to find it. She will then sell it and give him a percentage of the sale for helping her find it. So, off they go on adventures in search of places where they think it might be.
As a thorn in her side, the extremely rich, yet obnoxiously boring braggart, Lord Longford, is constantly around trying to court Mrs. Bexley.
The relationship between Melvin and Catherine is just adorable. Melvin is such an innocent that I simply wanted to give him a hug. The comical parts of this book will have the reader chuckling often. I would like to add that while I’m not a prude, I found it so refreshing to read a really good novel for a change that is what I call “clean.” It’s truly representative of the time period. I have not had the opportunity to read Cheryl Bolen’s novels before, but I can honestly say that she has risen high up on my list of favorite authors!
This is book #5 in The Brides of Bath series and is available today.
*Connie for b2b.
*ARC provided by the author.