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Book Review: A Kiss in the Moonlight by Cathy Maxwell

Read more: Book Review: A Kiss in the Moonlight by Cathy Maxwell

To Marry a Duke…

Once there were three Irish sisters–Gwendolyn, Dara, and Elise–who had to fend for themselves when their gambler of a father disappeared, leaving them with an unscrupulous cousin. Dara hatches a daring plan: they gamble what little they own to finance a London season. Her goal: to use their looks and their wits to find a duke to marry for each sister!

It seems her crazy plot might work when the sisters are declared the “Incomparables” of the Season. Dukes and lords line up at their door, but bold women and scandal always go hand in hand. Particularly when Dara’s plans are challenged by the likes of Michael Brogan, who provokes Dara as much as he tempts her. The handsome, clever, and rising politician is definitely not a duke, but he’s determined to teach her about ambition, men, and, above all, love, making Dara wonder if her plans are about to change.

A delightful debut to a new series, A Kiss in the Moonlight is a must-read for fans of historical romance. Although it is evident that this is the first in a series, it is never overly descriptive or stuffed with unnecessary exposition. The author’s effortless style has each page flying by with a plot that’s both easy to follow and understand. It is the dialogue that truly shines, however. Much of the narrative is carried by conversations between the sisters as well as the main couple, with each character having a distinct personality and voice.

The story immediately grabs the reader’s attention, introducing them to the Lanscarr sisters as they expertly outmaneuver their self-serving cousin. While the story initially follows all the sisters, it quickly focuses on Dara who, despite not being the oldest, is the most protective. Dara is a strong female lead, both intelligent and fiercely protective of her sister who she would do anything for. That is why the climax feels so visceral when it hits. That being said, the length at which one sister’s tantrum lasts quickly turns overly dramatic, coming off more as a plot device than anything. 

Overall, A Kiss in the Moonlight is a lovely historical read with a more modern voice.  In spite of being well fleshed out in story and characters, it is clear that the relationships are the focus of the novel. And although it has a happy ending, it leaves the reader hungry for the remaining sisters’ happily ever afters. 

❧ Arec

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