Successful manufacturer, albeit untitled Daniel Blackwood is on a mission of his own – to make his way home in one piece. After being forced to spend a rainy night on the moors with a lame horse, and despite his sodden appearance, he survives quite well. Still, the first time he meets Kitty on the road, he’s on the receiving end of less than cordial manners thanks to his ruffian exterior. His second encounter with her goes even more awkwardly wrong. And by the third, there’s little hope of any type of reconciliation; which is just as well, since he despises wealthy husband-hunters like her.
Kitty knows she behaved deplorably when she first met Daniel, but there's no forgiving his constant need to put her in her place. Despite his rude treatment of her, Kitty's conscience wants to apologize, yet the words refuse to come out when she's near him. Daniel, likewise, longs to make things right. At the very least, to prove he's not the lowly and uncouth industrialist the Ton looks down upon. But with so many misunderstandings and unsaid sentiments lingering between them, is friendship even possible? With Kitty's tunnel-vision reserved only for rich lords and Daniel's future in humble manufacturing, why even bother coaxing a friendship? Or an even better question, what keeps drawing them towards one another?
When earthy characters are thrust into the socially rigid world of the Ton, confusion and misinterpretations are bound to run rampant. Now, throw in some simple, yet undeniable sexual chemistry, and readers will agree that “positively delightful” perfectly sums up Sarah Mallory’s TO CATCH A HUSBAND.
Kitty Wythenshawe makes for a very intriguing leading lady – honest, proud, dutiful, and adorned with all the necessary accomplishments expected of a young lady about to be introduced to society. But those same qualities will also inevitably conflict with Kitty’s mission to conceal her modest upbringing in the hopes of ensnaring a wealthy husband. It’s a journey worth treading with her, especially when Kitty finally faces the truth about who she is, what it is exactly that she wants, and makes peace with what she has to do.
Daniel Blackwood is a wonderful leading man. Incapable of maintaining any kind of façade, Daniel makes looking comfortable in your own skin look insanely easy. And yet, for all his nonchalance, it’s his road to the illustrious happy-ever-after that is the most affecting. “Too little, too late” comes to mind when I think back to his epiphany, when he finally takes ownership of what he wants out of life. And it’s as heartbreaking in recollection as when I first read it. Really, truly lovely.
A few other things certainly worth noting… Fabulous character development. In the course of the read, I lustily sought and devoured Kitty and Daniel’s interactions. A simple, yet elegant storyline that introduces the intense debate revolving around slavery. And last but certainly not least, the happy-ever-after, which is as commendable as it is satisfying.
TO CATCH A HUSBAND is now one of my absolute favorite stories by Sarah Mallory. A fabulous addition to any historical romance collection.