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Formats
Ebook Details
  • 04/2022
  • 978-1-5092-4182-8 B09QXQJFNT
  • 126 pages
  • $2.99
Paperback Details
  • 04/2022
  • 978-1-5092-4181-1
  • 126 pages
  • $12.99
Linda Griffin
Author
Bridges

Adult; Romance; (Market)

In 1963, Neil Vincent, a middle-aged World War II veteran and “Christian atheist,” is working at Westfield Court as a chauffeur. He spends most of his spare time reading. Mary Claire DeWinter is a young, blind Catholic college student and reluctant heiress. To secure her inheritance, she has to marry within a year, and her aunt is pressuring her to marry a rich man who teased and bullied her when she was a child. Neil and Mary Claire shouldn’t even be friends, but the gulf between them is bridged by a shared love of books. Can they cross the bridge to more?
Reviews
This sweet and simple May-December romance novella, featuring a marriage of convenience blossoming into love, centers friendship, philosophy, and a fondness for classic literature. Mary Claire DeWinter, eighteen years old and blind, arrives at her grandfather’s deathbed at his Westfield Court estate. Mary Claire strikes up a quick friendship with house chauffeur Neil Vincent, in which they talk about books and religion. When the household is shocked by the will offering Mary Claire the house and entire fortune, provided she is married within the year, Neil offers to marry her without any conjugal rights so that the arrangement can be annulled when she finds a more appropriate match. But neither Mary Claire, nor Neil’s lover, Jane, are able to believe in the marriage as merely a facade.

Griffin’s lead characters are complex and fascinating, and the discussions between Mary Claire and Neil are deep, engaging, and intimate while not at all flirty or sexual, keeping the age difference from becoming too creepy up front. But some other key characters feel familiar, sometimes even stereotyped, and the 1960’s milieu can feel out of step with the story itself, as the household setup and plot feel much more like that of a Regency romance.

Griffin regularly celebrates the books his couple reads and discusses, which range from Nietzche to Jack London. Bridges movingly presents literature as a means of communication and connection between these thoughtful protagonists–in fact, it’s where their ardor seems most powerful, as the story’s resolution is surprisingly abrupt, with little buildup, tension, or heat before expressions of mutual, monogamous love, and then little exploration of the tenderness or awkwardness of the shift from friends to lovers. Still, this gentle, bookish romance will appeal to readers who relish Regency concerns of titles and inheritance and portrayals of companionable love.

Takeaway: A bookish romance of surprise inheritance, companionable love, and slowly discovering each other.

Great for fans of: Georgette Heyer, Alison Goodman.

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: A
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 04/2022
  • 978-1-5092-4182-8 B09QXQJFNT
  • 126 pages
  • $2.99
Paperback Details
  • 04/2022
  • 978-1-5092-4181-1
  • 126 pages
  • $12.99

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