Release date: Out now
Where did you get the arc: Edelweiss
Everything has a price…
Railway magnate Tom Severin is wealthy and powerful enough to satisfy any desire as soon as it arises. Anything—or anyone—is his for the asking. It should be simple to find the perfect wife—and from his first glimpse of Lady Cassandra Ravenel, he’s determined to have her. But the beautiful and quick-witted Cassandra is equally determined to marry for love—the one thing he can’t give.
Everything except her…
Severin is the most compelling and attractive man Cassandra has ever met, even if his heart is frozen. But she has no interest in living in the fast-paced world of a ruthless man who always plays to win.
When a newfound enemy nearly destroys Cassandra’s reputation, Severin seizes the opportunity he’s been waiting for. As always, he gets what he wants—or does he? There’s one lesson Tom Severin has yet to learn from his new bride:
Never underestimate a Ravenel.
The chase for Cassandra’s hand may be over. But the chase for her heart has only just begun…
*Blurb taken from Goodreads*
I have really enjoyed the Ravenels series and I was especially curious about when Tom Severin would get his book and I got even more excited when Cassandra would be paired with him although I thought she would have ended up with West originally. But I am glad that this pairing happened because they were perfect together. Unlike the previous books, this is a very slow courtship that plays out over the timeline in most of the series.
The book opens up to Cassandra feeling morose and upset after the wedding of her twin sister who is also her closest confidant. Unbeknown to her, Tom Severin has also escaped to the library to escape the noise and celebration of the wedding. She makes an offer to get married to West who has followed her to the room to console her. But after overhearing her Severin first sees Cassandra, he is totally smitten at first sight and impulsively makes an alternative offer. This sets up the tone of the romance throughout the whole book. Cassandra is amused and puzzled on this stranger who makes a straightforward offer of marriage which she declines because she wants to marry for love while Severin’s practical reasons fail to influence her. Nonetheless fate on their relationship decides to intervene when they encounter each other, over the course of a year which strengthens their attraction.
Cassandra is the quieter twin who is regarded as the beauty but she also experiences esteem issues especially about her weight. She’s also facing another season in which she needs to find a husband and the pressure is on that she gets married otherwise she will face difficulties in marrying at all, but like her family she is determined to have a love match. Severin, on the other hand is open to marrying but is looking for a more logical choice for a wife and even though he is strongly drawn to Cassandra, the feelings he develops makes him back off. However throughout the book, they do encounter each other at balls, and other social events. Each meeting they have, heightens their chemistry and Kleypas’ gift of sparkling dialogue and tension really shines on page. I especially loved the chapter which had them negotiating their terms of marriage. It was so sexy, funny and amusing and captures their relationship perfectly as well as the tone of the book.
This is a slow burn romance, with a low key engagement with the two leads who were very likable and relatable. It was also great to see appearances from the other characters in the previous books and I have a feeling that there will be a spinoff with the kids from the Wallflower heroines as several of their children were mentioned.
CHASING CASSANDRA is cute, fun and very sweet. However there isn’t much of a conflict and is low angst, other than the villain who isn’t as fully developed into the plot or as a character. It felt very much like an afterthought and a plot device to get Severin to finally hook up with Cassandra. I wished there was more of a conflict about the reasons why he was reluctant and that there was a real chase which the title hints at. However this was a delightful romance and it was a book that left me smiling when I clicked on the last page. It was warm and comfy and it was very satisfying and while it doesn’t have angst or a huge conflict, it is one of those books you can curl up with a good cuppa on a rainy day with a blanket and it will leave you with the warm fuzzy feels.
I give CHASING CASSANDRA a B-