Always the Chaperone

Emily E.K.

Being a lady over thirty, Charlotte St. Maur is only invited to dances as a chaperone rather than a dance partner. As she watches match after match made with her help, it is all she can do to keep back tears, because, despite her title, a spinster does not find true love. As the new Duke of Mercia, William Lennox needs to make a good match. He never thought anything could be more tiring than soldiering—until he entered the marriage market. Despite all the young chits introduced to him, it is the chaperone who captures his eye. Though she finds the idea of anyone courting her laughable, this undefeated soldier is determined to win. 

“Always the Chaperone” is a satisfying, slow-burn regency romance. Both Charlotte and William have complicated pasts which the author uses to develop their characters. The story itself focuses on their interactions and growth as a couple, and, while a spinster finding love is nothing new to this genre, the novel has some truly touching and humorous dialogue between the two. Initially, it is hard to feel the chemistry between the leads, being told more than shown. Despite this, their relationship does develop naturally, ultimately reaching a heartwarming climax. Much of the conflict is internal, centering around Charlotte’s skepticism and lack of confidence. This becomes aggravating, as this and other misunderstandings seem to be the only aspects keeping them apart, so that even the frustrated William finally confronts her about it. Overall, the straightforward plot makes for a quick read with a light and uncomplicated tone, leaving the reader content yet ready for more from this lovely, heartfelt series.  

Arec Rain