Matchmade Hearts (Holiday Knights Book 2)


In fourteenth-century France, privileged Lord Étienne de Beynac is the youngest of six sons. He gambles. He brawls. His father has had enough and sends him to England to become a Benedictine monk, which requires Étienne to make vows of chastity and poverty. What could go wrong? Everything. English Lady Philippa Willoughby is the only daughter and older offspring of a widowed baron. She does her best to mother Franklin, her ten-year-old brother, while she pursues her self-appointed mission as local matchmaker. When her intentions clash with Étienne’s, sparks fly. 

With knights, squires, castles, jousting, and ladies fair at its core, “Matchmade Hearts” explores ideas about parents and their expectations for their children. It also portrays different variations of conflict between parents and their adult offspring when they disagree about how to move forward in their lives toward a successful future. Étienne’s and Franklin’s character arcs show genuine growth and the reasons for that growth. By comparison, Philippa’s and her father’s dominant one-note traits distract from the author’s storytelling strengths. One-dimensional villains, self-centered main characters, and random elements and details thrown in at the end to create a tidy conclusion make the story feel rushed, undercutting an otherwise solid historical romance romp. The overall tone of “Matchmade Hearts” swings from serious to campy at odd moments in this story with its own quirky charm. Fans of young-adult romance set in the Middle Ages should enjoy Philippa and Étienne’s volatile journey to falling in love. 

Cardyn Brooks