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    An uplifting historical romance

    Lily Maxton's historical romances have all made it onto my favourites list for their witty banter and delightful scenarios that are just a bit outside the norm of the times. In this case, it's a scarred and grumpy hero, Henry, who is recovering from his wounds due to a house fire. Truth be told,he was grumpy and cold and standoffish even before his injuries, but his disposition hasn't improved. His housekeeper of five years, Cassandra, is the only one who seems to be able to see beyond his bark to the lonely man underneath. As they start to connect on a more personal level, Henry comes to realize that she is invaluable to him, in more ways than one. Can a love affair between classes that should be doomed from the start survive? I loved this story! Seeing Henry evolve from the lonely and bitter man he is at the start to a caring and compassionate hero was a delight, as he learns to love and be loved in return. While it's necessary that he make changes in his attitude and beliefs in order to become worthy of Cassandra, he's not the only one who has to change. Cassandra, as a widow, has closed herself off from meaningful and loving relationships. Her position as housekeeper keeps her busy and worrying about the rest of the staff is enough to fill her days, particularly when her duties start to include the care of her injured employer. I loved seeing her start to open up to Henry (and vice versa) as they begin to share the details of what has made them who they are. The class difference is ever present, something Cassandra worries about far more than Henry does. In the end love triumphs. 4.5 stars for a delightful and heartwarming story.
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    The Improper Bride is a story of how love can grow from the simplest acts of kindness. Cassandra is a woman who is devoted to her job. She has accepted her lot in life but her inquisitive mind and wandering spirit long for something more. Henry has a title, money and the means to accomplish all that Cassandra dreams of but he is unfulfilled. One event will break down society's walls and forever link the hearts of a housekeeper and a marquess. I have a fondness for authors who write stories driven by characters that endure the unthinkable but rebound and become better because of a new appreciation for things they neglected in the past. This is one of those stories and Lily Maxton is one of those authors. I received an ARC of this story in exchange for an honest review.

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