A Lady to Treasure by Marian Ratcliffe @ratcliffe_mj @sophiarose1816

Posted October 11, 2023 by Sophia in Book Review / 18 Comments

Review copy was received from Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A Lady to Treasure by Marian Ratcliffe @ratcliffe_mj  @sophiarose1816  A Lady to Treasure by Marianne Ratcliffe
on October 15, 2023
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 302
Format: eARC
Source: Author
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Louisa Silverton is the daughter of a wealthy American businessman, brought up to believe a healthy profit is the only route to happiness. With the family company over-leveraged and in need of a capital injection, she travels to England to find a rich husband.

The Honourable Miss Sarah Davenport has no time for romance. The family estate of Kenilborough is mired in debt and only she can save it. Unconventional and outspoken, Sarah is dismayed that somebody as intelligent and attractive as Louisa is willing to sacrifice herself for financial gain.

As Louisa pursues her campaign, Sarah realises her objections to the project run deeper than mere principles. At the same time, Louisa finds herself captivated by Sarah's independent spirit. Yet to indulge their unexpected passion would surely mean the ruin of both their families. Bound by duty, will they ever be free to follow their hearts?

American heiress seeks merger with ranking British husband no mutual affection required.  Louisa Silverton was brought up in the cold world of account books and high finance.  Her mind is all facts and figures just like her father who proposes she strengthen the family business holdings by venturing from New York to England to catch a like-minded husband to merge his wealth to theirs and grow it.  It is not long before Louisa’s mathematical mind meets the indomitable spirit of Sarah Davenport who is fighting tooth and nail to keep the family estate afloat against the extravagances of her stepmother and stepbrother.

Set during the War of 1812 when a blockade and prowling ships from both British and American navies cause hardships for traders and businesses, this slow-burn tender romance is fraught with external conflicts let alone the personal struggles that make both women go through the push-pull of what is building between them.

I enjoyed Louisa right from the get-go.  She is brought up sans any tender emotions or parental caregiving.  Her only significance to her father is when her sharp, natural business savvy and head for figures does him well.  After being abandoned by her mother who she barely remembers, Louisa is prepared to take a no-nonsense approach to husband hunting like her father requested.  Sarah is a shock to her system and because they think so vastly different, misunderstanding plagues their efforts, first at friendship and then the consideration of more.

Sarah, too, was a bright and shining character.  Due to her father’s vague weakness of character and her self-centered step mom with cunning, malicious stepbrother, Sarah was forced to set aside any possibility for genteel Viscount’s daughter and take the reins of the estate from the corrupt steward and costly drain of her own family.  She hardens herself to any softness, puts on breeches to work the estate and ride her horse, taking on direct, pointed speech, ignores what people are saying about her, and has no time for the niceties.  Pride and stubbornness is all she has when she encounters Louisa who unwittingly gets her back up with her trained, observant businesslike mind for turning a profit.

The romance is there and a strong central element driving the story, but both these women, particularly Sarah, face struggles of various sorts and there is a well-developed surrounding story and cast of family and neighbors that add layers and depth to the book.  Marianne Ratcliffe showed their flaws as well as their strengths so I was agonizing whether Louisa and Sarah would ever get things sorted out and stop hurting each other.

The historical setting is well-painted and I enjoyed seeing how the War of 1812 factored into A Lady to Treasure with Louisa being American and the economic situation at the time.

After taking a chance on a new to me author in Marianne Ratcliffe, I can happily recommend A Lady to Treasure to others who love slow burn, gently paced sweeter historical romances with an opposites attract Sapphic pairing.


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Posted October 11, 2023 by Sophia in Book Review / 18 Comments

18 responses to “A Lady to Treasure by Marian Ratcliffe