HFC 2011: Maid to Match, by Deeanne Gist
Summary from Goodreads:
From the day she arrives at the Biltmore, Tillie Reese is dazzled—by the riches of the Vanderbilts and by Mack Danvers, a mountain man turned footman. When Tillie is enlisted to help tame Mack’s rugged behavior by tutoring him in the ways of refined society, the resulting sparks threaten Tillie’s efforts to be chosen as Edith Vanderbilt’s lady’s maid.
But the stakes rise even higher when Mack and Tillie become entangled in a cover-up at the town orphanage. They could both lose their jobs…and their hearts.
I’ve read most of Deeanne Gist’s other books in the past and loved them and this one certainly didn’t disappoint. In fact, I think this one ranks up there as my favorite of hers that she’s written.
I loved how quickly and efficiently she introduced Tillie, the main character, and her love interest Mack. Their truly three dimensional and I had to keep reminding myself that I was reading about fictional people.
Though this is classified as Christian fiction/romance, Gist does a great job in making the characters’ faith not come across as sermonizing. I know I’ve read some Christian fiction where it seems like there’s a sermon on every page. The story takes precedence here, thankfully, while the characters’ faith is interwoven with their personalities.
For those who are uncomfortable with graphic love scenes, no worries here. Gist makes sure to tease us just a little, and swoon at the secret kisses and caresses, but keeps the “act” behind closed doors.
Only a few problems I had with this book: first, the “bad guy” seemed like a bit of an afterthought. The story with him and how it affected Tille and Mack’s relationship didn’t really pick up until the second half of the book. But it wasn’t something that I thought took away from the story too much; there was enough tension and conflict between Tille and Mack earlier on to keep the pace going and the reader interested.
Second, though it’s a typical romance ending, it seemed a little too neatly tied up. Everything seemed perfect at the end, and I sort of wish there was just a little bit of something hanging…but that’s just me and my personal preference.
Overall, highly recommended, especially if you like turn-of-the-century romance.