Locating her is only half the battle.
Cyrus Ryland didn't become England's wealthiest bachelor by being a pushover, but the mysterious beauty he discovers sneaking around at his grand ball enflames his curiosity. When the clock chimes midnight, and she's nowhere to be found, Cyrus vows to scour all of London to uncover who she is. Little does he know that not only does Claire Mayhew not want to be found, but she wants nothing to do with him at all....
©2015 Gina Conkle (P)2015 Gina Conkle
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"Charming Fractured Re-Telling of Cinderella!"
While there are similarities to Cinderella's tale, Gina has put her own stamp on the classic fairy tale leaving the reader with an original, unique treat. For instance, as the clock strikes the midnight hour, Claire disappears, reminiscent of Cinderella; Claire loses a shoe as she flees the ball - but her wayward shoe is a well-worn working-woman's shoe, not a glass slipper. Gina's stunningly sensual descriptions of the scenes, detailed descriptions of the clothing, the weather, and more make the reader feel that they are right there. The epilogue was a satisfying treasure that tied up all the loose ends and left me with a huge smile on my face.
My favorite character was Claire. I appreciated her independence in England's Georgian era when this tale was set. During the time in which this tale occurred, independent businesswomen were frowned upon as women were not considered worthy of operating a business nor of making decisions on their own without a man. Also... instead of two blue-bloods finding romance, I liked that Gina included the emerging middle class in the mix epitomized by Claire and others in the tale. This is not to take away from Marian's voicing of Cyrus. I loved watching how his interactions with Claire make him re-examine his thoughts on women in business.
She did an awesome job voicing each of the characters. I didn't really have a favorite.
I was taken back by the fight scene. I don't remember ever reading of one in England's Georgian era and I found it fascinating. It was a twist that I never ever saw coming. If you want to know how it came about, you'll have to read the story!
Marian Hussey, the narrator, did an awesome job of bringing the characters to life. She also narrated the first book in this series and I'm so glad that she returned for this installment. Her voice makes it very easy to differentiate between the characters; It's very clear and her accents and mannerisms enhanced this delightful tale. I would not hesitate to pick up other books narrated by Marian Hussey.
"Stealing doesn't pay or does it?"
A London, mid-town girl, Claire Mayhew, very much genteel, but without pedigree, tries her hand as a business woman. Women aren’t suppose to do this sort of thing in 1768, nor could she lease an establishment until she had the written sign-off from the landlord, one Cyrus Ryland gentleman who owns said location of her want-to-be coffee shop. At a masquerade ball he is hosting, she sneaks into his home with the help of some of his servants who knew her when she was in service to an earl. She stealthily enters his study, traces his signature and using this ‘permission’ will provide necessary approval to Cyrus Ryland's property manager. She would then be able to start her coffee shop and get on with taking care of herself.
But she didn’t leave his home unscathed. Cyrus Ryland hated to play the part of the wealthy. But he decided long ago he would protect his family, somehow erasing their common beginnings. His younger sister needed to marry well, providing the title that entitles her to continue in Polite Society. He has nephews he needed to see well settled. When he entered his study for a breather from the crowds and mamas presenting him their daughters, he found lovely Claire Mayhew. She intrigued him like no other, nor was she intimidated by him as was usually the case with women he knew. She was a bit bold in manner (a light skirt, perhaps?) with a playful sense of humor. What could Claire do? She had to play the game she was a guest. Thank God the mask gave her some anonymity. By midnight she was able to dash away from the ball, with mask intact, leaving several clues. Her shoe had fallen from her foot in the escape, her cloak was found behind his home close to the kitchens and a scar on her hand.
Starting out as a bit of a familiar fairy tale, I was captured. Would Claire’s prince find her and would the clues help him? Were the Bow Street Runners clever enough to locate her?
Claire Mayhew didn’t have a chance. She was dealing with Cyrus Ryland who always got what he wanted. Although, he wasn’t sure what he would do to her/with her once she was located.
This story takes Cyrus on a journey of discovery not only about Claire, but of himself. He, all his life, had protected those he loved. Claire, at 26, was independent, not afraid to work and had real satisfaction in her new business. Cyrus learned to respect her work ethic, very much his own and soon found he had to protect her, too, for that was his way. He didn’t know when he began to love her. Claire wanted NOT to be drawn to this man, beautiful in and out. Her business came first, but the best laid plans...
Claire was way out of her element with Cyrus’s attention. Both Claire and Cyrus had flaws, for no one is ever perfect. Their recognition and acceptance of them only deepened their connection. Claire was adorable in nature with a wish to improve the world. She would not rely on men. Her French friend Juliette, shop owner and seamstress close by, was a wonderful friend albeit rather sensuous, playing the devil, telling her a daillance with Cyrus was not a bad idea. It would put color into her cheeks.
Narrator and actor Marian Hussey was a pleasure to listen to. Her voice for men was believable. I particularly enjoyed her depiction of Juliette with her heavy-accented English, Claire’s prim and proper demeanor, Nate, a boy coming from the east end of town, working in Claire’s coffee shop, Anna, her friend and loyal companion, Lord Melborne, a duke, who couldn’t sound more bored.
Author Gina Conkle has written a humorous, poignant love story which will warm your heart. It certainly did mine. It entertained with suspense, poignant and deep love, and humor where the hero and heroine find what truly is valuable and important in life.
I hope to continue my discovery of this author by continuing this series.
"a trips down imagination road review"
The sense of fun that the story evoked! The way that Cinderella was weaved in worked well.
Cyrus! He wasn't just an alpha male, and though he was stubborn he did also tend to listen to what others had to say.
I haven't no, but I would more than happily listen to Marian Hussey's other performances!
There were several moments where the characters made me laugh, either through asides or the banter between them!
Title: The Lady Meets Her Match
Series: Midnight Meetings (#2)
Author: Gina Conkle
Narrator: Marian Hussey
From: Review Copy
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: 7th April 2015
Challenges: 2015 New Release Challenge
Links: Goodreads - Amazon - Audible
Claire Mayhew is a woman determined to prove herself, despite London's poor view of women in business. Cyrus Ryland is not a man known for supporting women's rights, so Claire does the only thing she can think of; she steals his signature. Though Claire knows that there could be dire consequences to her actions, the last thing she expects is to meet Cyrus and feel the attraction that blossoms between them. While Cyrus and Claire explore the pull towards each other, they realise that there may be more to it.
Firstly, Marian Hussey's narration. What I didn't realise until I started The Lady Meets Her Match was that I would have thought it wrong to hear an American narrating (can't explain why if I'm honest) so I was very glad of Hussey's accent. I thought that the performance of the various characters was fantastic and it was very easy to determine which character it was that was speaking simply by listening to the voice (though weirdly I found the voice that Hussey used for Claire the most annoying). I thought that Hussey did a great job of setting the scene and the characters, it made The Lady Meets Her Match very enjoyable.
I couldn't help that notice that there were some points in the story that it seemed like there were a lot of things repeated. In a way this was good because it took me a lot longer to finish an audiobook than it would a normal book, so being reminded of little facts was important, but there was a small amount of frustration linked into that. I was also a bit wary of how I would feel listening to more sexual scenes, but because they weren't many in this book I didn't find them bad at all.
Claire was a great character. She was a determined woman who wanted to prove herself, but she was well aware, and accepting, of the restraints put on women in the era. Despite the fact that she was a progressive heroine, I actually felt that the book was more era appropriate than a lot of similar plot lines. Both Cyrus and Claire acted within the constraints the time would have given them.
There were some hints of Cinderella in The Lady Meets Her Match but I did think that they were only slight and though interesting and enjoyable to pick up on, they weren't central to the story. Nor were they overwhelming. This wasn't a retelling of Cinderella, rather it was a book with some elements added in. I liked that (not that I don't like fairy tale retellings, I actually love them).
This was an enjoyable listen, and has further encouraged me when it comes to my opinion on audiobooks!
Claire went to Cyrus's home to steal a copy of his signature. She needed a signature from him so she could open her own coffee shop. Cyrus discovered her in his study but she had already done her job. He liked her quick wit and took her out on the dance floor with him at his party. She escaped him at midnight but he soon tracked her down. There were many twists, turns, intrigue and love in this story. It was a don't want to quit listening story.
Loved it! Got me hooked from the very beginning. The dialogue between Cyrus and Claire was witty and funny. Their attraction was so intense and strong that I had to fan myself. Great read!
"A bit too wordy, makes the story just okay."
This story was good. I liked the H and H quite a bit. Claire was doing her very best to be an independent woman for that time period, with opening her own coffee shop, albeit a bit illegally. LOL He was rich, handsome and didn't think a woman could do anything on her own without a man. He learned different of course.
The chemistry between Claire and Cyrus was good, it felt true and not forced. There was a nicely written sex scene so it's not a rated G book but definitely not erotic either.
The story line and plot were good, but wow there was a lot of blah blah blah nonsense going on throughout the entire book. It could have been shortened by 2 hours, eliminating all that blah blah blah and would have been a much better story. All that blah blah blah just brought the story down in my opinion.
See how that blah blah blah is annoying to read in my review? Yep, that's what it was like in the book.
There was some dialogue, not enough in my opinion. But what dialogue there was, was good.
As for the narration it was great! I really like Marian Hussy. She does the men's voices well and gives everyone their own distinct voice. Her reading voice is very nice too.
"Very Well Written, highly recommended!"
Right up near the top of the list.
When he stayed the night (to protect her) at the Coffee Shop.
The way they spoke to each other is such a sensual manner. She did a great job of the two voices.
Independent girl finds what she really wants
Gina Conkle does a great job in putting in just the right amount of romance, just the right amount of suspense and weaves a great story.
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