Delamere, Jennifer. The Artful Match. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House, 2019.
Paperback | $14.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-0764219221 | 361 pages | Victorian Romance/Christian Fiction
I received a copy from the author in exchange for a fair review.
The Artful Match is a delightful conclusion to a wonderful series. Both upon reading the open-ending conclusion of the prior book and reading the prologue to this one, I wondered how Jennifer Delamere would tie it all together, given this book was about Cara, and Julia was the one making the big revelations in both the previous book and the prologue. However, she did it well, and it met my expectations. That being said, while I do recommend only reading this after having read the other two, as in addition to the resolution to this over-arching plot element, there are things that do make more sense after reading the other two.
As for the story as its own entity, I enjoyed it. I wasn’t sure what to think of Cara, given that she kind of gave me the impression of being a bit immature in the prior books, but I ended up really liking her portrayal as being more idealistic, which is in keeping with what I saw of her in the previous books. And I love how she was able to form a connection with the orphaned Amelia, due to the loss or absence of one’s parents.
I also really liked Henry. I admit I was a bit disappointed to see an aristocratic hero after the prior two having heroes from different levels of society, especially since secular romance is full of aristocrats. However, I did warm to him as the story went on, especially as he is battling between doing what his mother wants and risking it all to follow his heart as he did once before. And while these aren’t unique concepts to historical romance’s aristocrats, they are common themes for an aristocratic character, and I feel that Delamere did them beautifully.
But the best part of the book for me was Langham, and I actually want him to get his own book, even though there are hints that he is somewhat settled into a romantic situation at the end. While I don’t like the out-and-out scoundrel, I have a soft spot for the rake who has indulged a bit too much and made a few stumbles, trying to do better even when those close to him think the worst of him. I love that he starts off looking like a hopeless case, and by the end, is someone with renewed faith and commitment to his vocation.
I really enjoyed this book and series, and hope this isn’t the last I’ve seen of these characters. I would recommend this to fans of slow-burning historical romance.