Released: February 1, 1999
Title: Because of You
List Price: $6.99 (paperback)
Author: Cathy Maxwell
Description (her site): A SCANDALOUS WEDDING
Pretty Samantha Northrup knew her duty was to marry, but this orphaned vicar’s daughter wanted to be swept off her feet by someone whose kisses made her toes curl. She never dreamed her orderly life would be turned upside down when a mysterious stranger came knocking on her door one stormy night. And when they were found in a compromising position, she found herself marrying a man she barely knew…but couldn’t resist…
A NOT SO CONVENIENT MARRIAGE
What Samantha doesn’t know is that her unknown bridegroom is Yale Carderock, the disinherited son of a duke, banished by his father years before. Now the prodigal has returned–rich, but only somewhat reformed. Yale is bewitched by his bride’s innocent fire, and he knows he’s powerless to resist her awakening sensuality. But is this outcast from society worthy of her tender love?
Samantha Northrup has been living by herself in the vicarage for a year now since her mother died and her father quickly followed. Samantha is a healer and is vital to the Sproule community, however the ‘community’ wants nothing to do with her – unless she’s helping them – and wants her out of the vicarage as soon as possible – even though she has nowhere to go.
Samantha is ridiculously naïve. She’s strong, quick witted, and can take care of herself should the need arise. But, she’s unaware of the townspeople’s malice and hypocrisy. To be honest, they pissed me off. Samantha works miracles for them, she saves them from infection, minor ailments, and influenza when she can, and yet they eagerly and eventually actively remove her from the vicarage.
Yale Carderock is the youngest son of the Duke of Ayleborough and his second – less favored – wife. Yale has had to – or at least feels he has had to – compete to cement his place in the family. He and the duke constantly clashed and eventually the duke publically disinherited him, leaving him without connections, friends, and funds.
Yale leaves without a word and builds a life for himself, intent on showing his father that he wasn’t a failure and was capable of surviving without the family name and money. Only, when Yale returns he’s too late. His father is dead, his brother is the new duke, and everyone believes Yale perished in a storm while at sea.
Samantha guards the keys to the Ayleborough family crypt which Yale wants because he needs to see for himself his father’s end. When Yale discovers his own “death” he lies to Samantha and the people of Sproule telling them his name is Marvin Browne with an ‘e’.
This is a twist on the ‘forced marriage’ plot device since no one was actually compromised. The townspeople simple jumped on any excuse to be rid of Samantha. (They piss me off so much.)
I liked the scenes where Samantha and Yale are actually talking to each other because it shows, rather than tells the development of the relationship and rarely are these scenes shown. They’re usually glossed over. The reader is also able to see subtle changes in Yale as he struggles to get back in Samantha’s good graces (after she discovers his lies). It’s cute and heartwarming.
The twist at the end seemed a bit abrupt since it wasn’t a focal point of the story and was rarely referenced. It seemed like a way for everyone to get what they wanted without anyone getting hurt.
However, what I did not like about the novel was that the people of Sproule did not get their comeuppance. I want comeuppance Sproule! You’re hypocritical, nasty people who don’t deserve Samantha, her kindness, or cures.
This dislike can go one of two ways: an insight into the true nature of man where hypocrites rarely, if ever, get what’s coming to them or once Samantha left Sproule the people were forgotten about.
Because of You is funny, sad, anger-inducing, and a quick read. I finished it in a few hours. The relationship between Samantha and Yale/Marvin is well developed – I didn’t appreciate Wayland (Yale’s brother) manipulation. But, it was all good fun.
Rating: 3 ½ stars
YAY! February =) My classes started and my Fiction Writing class is going to be so much fun! ^_^