Bargaining for the Barrister
By: Anneka R. Walker
Publication: March 7th 2022 by Covenant Communications
Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction
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Goodreads description--Louisa Cox is tired of fortune hunters pursuing her dowry. So when Lady Kellen offers to help her find an eligible suitor, Louisa eagerly accepts and makes a list of what she wants in a husband. The man selected is barrister Paul Sheldon. He may be a complete stranger, but he has one thing in his favor: he is unaware of her fortune. What Louisa did not anticipate was his curious behavior—or being so attracted to him. When Paul catches wind of the matchmaking organization his mother and her friends are establishing, he pities the fellow who will be caught in their scheme—until he realizes he is to be their first victim. Horrified, Paul determines to thwart his mother’s plans by whatever means necessary. After meeting his intended, however, his increasing desire to be near her threatens to disrupt his convictions. Louisa is everything he could want in a wife, and when an unexpected adventure sets in motion the very plan he had determined to halt, he almost wishes his mother’s plot could succeed. But Paul harbors a secret and a past that make it impossible for him to give Louisa the life she deserves.
Louisa lost her parents in a carriage accident. They didn't die at the same time. Her mother did die actually in the accident, and then her father died several days later from injuries sustained in the accident. Her brother has taken over the responsibility of her father's business (a factory if I remember correctly). He has been very busy, and Louisa desires to remove the burden of taking care of her from him. Plus, she has been very lonely. It isn't as though she's had no suitors, but the ones who have come around are only interested in her fortune. Louisa takes matters into her own hands. She conspires with an old friend of her mother's to make an arranged match. She will travel to his family home at the request of his mother and will give him a month to see if the two will fit well together. Louisa strives her very best to put on a brave and happy face, and I loved that about her.
Despite being set to inherit enough so that he need not work, Paul is determined to make his own way. He's studied law and become a barrister. And he finds that he enjoys the work. But his mother thinks it's past time for him to marry. He also has a compassionate heart that can get him into trouble--financial trouble anyway. Paul reminds me so much of my dad. My Dad has always been willing to give his last dime to someone in need at the expense of himself. Paul does this a little begrudgingly. At least he's happy to help some children but resents the parents for putting him in the position. Paul doesn't feel he can marry until he is financially stable. He's seen too well what happens when people marry before being stable.
Seeing Paul and Louisa's feelings was easy as day. These two were a cinch to read. But I felt so bad for Louisa. One can only endure so much rejection and she continued down her course of action much longer than most, I believe. Ultimately, I enjoyed the journey even if I did feel sympathy for Louisa.
I'm hoping this is turned into a series so that we can read the side characters getting set up by some match-making mamas.
-If this charitable side of him was a virtue, it was also his greatest weakness.
-"But a person never realizes how close heaven is until they lose someone."
-"I don't like how I feel right now. After striving so hard, I cannot feel proud of my decisions." "In my experience, we all reach that conclusion now and then in our lives. It's a horrid state of emotion. What do you propose to do?"
-"He would not want you to pretend away your hurt but to use it to sympathize with others and lift them as you have me."
Bargaining for the Barrister was a fun read that hit my mood to a tee. I enjoyed Paul and Louisa's journey even though my heart hurt for Louisa. I was proud of her perseverance. I would love to see this turned into a series that follows the side characters. Bargaining for the Barrister gets 4 Stars. Have you read Bargaining for the Barrister? What did you think? Let me know!