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Book Review: Because of You by Cathy Maxwell

because of you cathy maxwell Book Review: Because of You by Cathy Maxwell

The version of Because of You 'that landed on my doorstep doesnt have the sweet cover above. Rather, its rather more of the soft porn variety (fiance took some time to do an artistic assessment of the cover, by the way. Note: fiance is generally not artistically inclined). My initial thoughts, admittedly, were oh dear.

But this is really an immensely good read. Its all a bit preposterous, of course, but Maxwell writes with enough humour and tongue-in-cheek wit that the result is utterly enjoyable. Take, for example, the fact that for the better part of the book the hero is known as Marvin. Yes, Marvin, a name that is roughly as far from Fabio as one can reasonably get.

Poor Marvin does actually have the rather more romance-appropriate name Yale, and as a bonus he happens to be a duke (albeit a disinherited one). So how does he end up saddled with the oh-so-sexy moniker of Marvin? Yale, the cad son of the Duke of Aylesborough, rose hell (and debts) in his youth to the point that he shamed the family name and was cast out from both the family roof and the family coffers. Thumbing his nose at that lot, he went off in a fit of youthful angst to find his fortunes. The book opens as Yale, goal achieved, returns home to show that hes quite The Man Indeed.

Problem is, when he bursts into the backwater town of Sproule, giving the young vicars daughter, Samantha, a terrible fright, he learns that most of his family is deadand, according to public knowledge, so is he. Distraught, he claims himself to be the rather frumpy Marvin Browne, takes ill, and enjoys (in a feverish way) the ministrations of the vicars daughter.

But when he awakes, he learns that in Ye Olde Englande Sproule, tending to a sick man is tantamount to extramarital sex, and so a quickie marriage is promptly organised and, er, consummated (in hilarious style, tootheres nothing like a sex scene punctuated with the drunken cajoling and singing of the townsfolk downstairs). But things are about to come unstuck again: Yales brother bursts in, reveals his true identity, and causes all manner of upsetnot least with Samantha, who rather preferred the idea of being married to plain old Marvin than to flighty womaniser Yale.

The group of them head back to London where some Pygmalion-esque elocution lessons and sartorial advice are given, some orphans are adopted to show Yales growth from rakehell to kind young chap, an elderly butler provides some essential musing on love and life, and all sorts of broody relationship stuff follows. Yes, there are times when the plot feels a little unsteady on its feet (the moment where Yales fortunes are lost and then subsequently regained feels like a tick-the-boxes inclusion of the black moment rather than actually necessary), and I did find the a-ha moment, upon which love is suddenly in the air, a little abrupt.

But, honestly, I read this book utterly uncritically: I was too busy being amused by Samantha pushing Yale out of bed on regular occasion and at the fact that Yale has single handedly built up an empire to rival the East India Company, and is also completely fine with stiffing the Prime Minister by failing to attend a requested audience. And the townsfolk of Sproule are straight out of a Monty Python skit.

Dont expect to come out of this one with the bright light of intellectual epiphany, but do pick it up if youre after some unabashed fun and plenty of self-deprecating humour.

Rating: star Book Review: Because of You by Cathy Maxwellstar Book Review: Because of You by Cathy Maxwellstar Book Review: Because of You by Cathy Maxwellstar Book Review: Because of You by Cathy Maxwellblankstar Book Review: Because of You by Cathy Maxwell (excellent)

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Other books by Cathy Maxwell:

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  1. Im probably not the only one keen to see the other cover now :)