The Match of the Century by Cathy Maxwell focuses on Elin Morris, who is promised to a duke from the time of her birth. However, Elin does not know how she can possibly marry Duke Gavin Baynton when she lost her virginity to his brother, Ben, long ago. When their wedding keeps getting delayed due to deaths in the family, Elin begins to wonder if marrying the duke is her true destiny.
Ben has been able to put his feelings for Elin out of his mind until Gavin gets him brought home from the war to fulfil his royal obligations. Then he must face his love for Elin and his rivalry with Gavin as he watches them prepare to announce their official engagement.
However, when Elin’s life is in danger and she and Ben are unexpectedly thrown together, will they be able to deny their feelings for each other? Will Elin end up marrying for love, or will she fulfil her duty and marry the duke?
The beginning of the novel was really rushed, but by the middle of the book I didn’t want to put it down. I was intrigued with the relationships between Elin and Ben, Elin and Gavin, and Ben and Gavin. Maxwell did a fantastic job developing the relationships between all of the characters, especially the three main characters. Elin is a dynamic character who battles with her feelings for Ben and the guilt she feels for betraying Gavin. I couldn’t have asked for a better developed main character.
I was also happy with how the end of the novel turned out. I never would have guessed who was responsible for the danger that Elin was in. Although the ending was predictable, it was consistent with the endings for every other romance novel, so it wasn’t an issue for me. I read romance novels for the ‘happily ever after’ endings, so the predictability is what makes it satisfying for me to read.
All in all, I liked the book and am looking forward to the next book in the Marrying the Duke series, The Fairest of Them All, which is set to be out May 31st, 2016.
Bethany Kelly is currently getting her MFA at Goddard College and has a BA in English. She is a writer, editor, and stay-at-home mother and wife who spends her spare time (when she has some) reading and cooking.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Avon. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.