‘Miss Merton’s Last Hope’ by Heather Boyd

mmlh hbSTORY: Over the years, Melanie Merton has used every trick and ruse to repel overeager gentlemen callers without ever revealing the real reason she won’t say yes to an offer of marriage. When neighbor Walter George jumps to her defense against slurs cast by suitor number twelve, he also pries into her past—uncovering the circumstances around a tragic loss in her childhood and her aversion to being touched by anyone. But even protective Walter must be kept at a distance for his own good, because despite a growing attraction between them, Melanie must deny him too.

Unlike other men his age in Brighton, Walter George hadn’t considered Melanie Merton for a wife because he was convinced he’d never have a chance to impress his haughty neighbor. But that was before he understood her better, before he uncovered why she kept friends and suitors alike at bay. The right husband could restore the woman he sees into some semblance of the fun-loving child of his memory, but would Walter stand a chance or become just another unlucky suitor?

REVIEW: Melanie Merton lives in Brighton with her brother, Valentine, and his new bride, Julia. Melanie’s parents are quite wealthy and also quite boring which is why she enjoys being with Valentine and Julia. Valentine is hoping that Melanie will finally accept a proposal of marriage and find happiness. However, she has just turned down her 12th proposal and her brother is quite exasperated with her. She is beginning to get a reputation for leading men on which is completely untrue. She has a large dowry but simply does not want to get married, nor does she want to have children. She simply has an aversion to anyone touching her. It is thought that this must stem back to something in her childhood. It appears that she changed after her beloved governess, Mrs. Anderson, passed away. She is punishing herself for something she may have done by pushing other people away. But Melanie is mum on that subject and will not discuss it.

Her neighbor, Walter George, and his sister, Imogen, have been friends for many years. Walter is a very wealthy man and is kind and generous as well. His good works make him a very appealing person. He recently gave a home to a new widow with a large number of children.

Melanie has always loved to sew garments for children and has quite a supply of them tucked away for her friends to have when they are expecting a child.

Walter is quite fond of Melanie and when she confides to him that she does not want to marry because she does not want children, he tells her that there are ways to stop conception. As they become closer, Melanie slowly thaws and allows herself to find affection toward Walter. But what can the future hold for them?

This was a nice story but I had a difficult time understanding why Melanie felt the need to build a wall around herself for what she had supposedly done. I can honestly say that I did not like her character and to me, she had very few redeeming qualities. Walter was my favorite character and his patience with Melanie is exemplary.

Miss Merton’s Last Hope is the fourth and final novella in the Miss Mayhem Series. Other titles are:

Book 1: Miss Watson’s First Scandal
Book 2: Miss George’s Second Chance
Book 3: Miss Radley’s Third Dare

Connie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

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