Keep the Castle by Patrice Kindl

Seventeen-year-old Miss Althea Crawley feels no qualms about her mission in life—to marry a rich man.

In 19th century England, Althea finds that it can be difficult to be a woman without a man. Her father passed away before her young brother Alexander was born, leaving her mother to seek out another husband to support them. When Althea’s new wealthy stepfather died shortly after the wedding, his riches went to his two snotty and selfish daughters and Althea and her mother were left with a shoddily-built castle, two more mouths to feed, and no money to repair their crumbling home—young Alexander’s inheritance.

Althea’s family name and great beauty should guarantee her a chance at a good match. And she was very close with Mr. Godalming. But apparently her suitor didn’t appreciate it when the woman he was courting admitted that she would only be marrying him for his money, and he for her looks. Time to start over and look for someone new—preferably with deep pockets.

Althea is wondering where she can uncover a suitable match in their little corner of Lesser Hooin Yorkshire when the young and dashing Lord Boring arrives at the manor next door. He’s just received his inheritance from his late uncle. Could Lord Boring be the man she’s seeking—not only wealthy but charming and handsome too? If only he wasn’t constantly accompanied by his rude cousin from the merchant class (gasp!), Althea might be able to catch his eye and perhaps his heart.

With grand balls, a cast of young characters competing for each other’s attentions, mysteries, shocking revelations, and plenty of humor, this page-turner will please fans of light-hearted romance. If you loved Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (or even the movie version of P&P) you’ll find this easily-accessible book will bring a smile to your face.

Review by Erin Zambataro, CLP-Allegheny

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