This is book one in Candace Camp’s The Matchmaker’s Series.
The Marriage Wager is a charming historical romance where a young woman, Constance Woodley, forgoes her life to fulfill her duties and then ends up not getting to start it. She gets shuffled to the side while younger girls get all the attention.
As the name implies there is a wager that is placed and her future dangles in the balance against it. Lady Francesca Haughston and Lord Sinclair Duke of Rockford are the ones who attend the scales. Constance is unsure if she should take the risk but charges ahead with the battle cry of: I will always have this one Season. Then she would resign herself back to her humble station.
Francesca must deal with Constance’s Aunt and Uncle who would much rather keep Constance as a free servant and marry off one of their own two daughters. But Francesca has her ways of making them thinking that her friendship with Constance will benefit all parties.
Candace has done it again with this one. It whisks the reader to another time and place and allows them to live through Constance’s eyes. I enjoyed it very much and would indeed recommend it to others. It is sweet but by no means wholesome it is for a mature audience. I feel in love with the characters and at times couldn’t stop reading until I had read the conclusion to the adversity. I would go so far as to say this is a Cinderella story and who doesn’t love one of those.