I received this book via I Am a Reader. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.O'er the River Liffey by Heidi Ashworth
Series: Power of the Matchmaker #6
Published by Dunhaven Place Publishing on 2016-06-01
Length: 308 pages
Reviewing eARC from I Am a Reader
From the Power of the Matchmaker series:
Irish heiress Caroline Fulton knows this house party, ostensibly celebrating the victory of Waterloo, is really an audition: will she make a suitable wife? Her host, an English lord, has already won over her father, who’s determined to buy a title with Caroline’s dowry. She is far from taken with the baron, however, especially once she meets Niall Doherty, the impoverished, perceptive tutor to her host’s younger brothers. He shares her love of Irish fairy tales and seems to guard a troubled past…but neither quality will earn Caroline’s father’s approval.
I really wanted to enjoy this book. I’ve loved all the previous Power of the Matchmaker books but not this one. O’er the River Liffey was a difficult read for me. Heidi Ashworth chose to write the book in a historical setting and I felt that she stayed true to the historical aspects of the time period chosen, including the language used. However this made for a really long, drawn out read. Caroline Fulton is meeting her soon to be husband according to her father when she meets Niall Doherty, the young tutor of her betrothed’s half-brothers.
I had a really hard time connecting with the characters. Caroline is dry, a little ahead of her time, and despite being promised to another man continues to pursue a relationship with the tutor. I know this shouldn’t have upset me as she wasn’t technically engaged and this was the first meeting with a man twice her age. I can understand why she wouldn’t like the Baron, especially when his step mother could be his wife or sister. It makes for an odd dynamic. Niall is sweet and utterly smitten with Caroline despite knowing he can never have her. He’s a storyteller and the book diverts from the main story many times as he tells one of his many stories.
The plot moved at a snail’s pace for me, partially because of Niall’s stories. While I enjoyed them, I wound up losing focus on the main plot of the book. The romance between Caroline and Niall was proper and for contemporary readers would easily be missed. My biggest complaint about the book in general though (and the reason it lost stars in my rating) was the noticeable absence of Miss Pearl. Miss Pearl is the Matchmaker, the reason there is even a series, but I felt she was added as an afterthought, barely mentioned and given a small role. I wanted to see more of her as we have in the other books.
Overall I could take or leave this book. It was just an okay read for me and while I love historical fiction, this one didn’t work for me. If you’ve enjoyed the series so far, I recommend you give it a go, or if you enjoy historical fiction, you may enjoy it more than I did. For me though I wouldn’t read it again.