RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge Review: Maid to Match by Deeanne Gist


Title: Maid to Match
Author: Deeanne Gist
Publication Info: Bethany House 2010
ISBN: 9780764204081
Genre: Historical: American

RITA®, and the RITA statuette are service marks of Romance Writers of America, Inc.Emily signed up to review four books for the RITA® Reader Challenge, and she really liked this one quite a bit. She also said that she would “like to thank my library which had a copy of Maid to Match.” Thank you, Emily’s library!

Maid to MatchPlot Summary? Why yes! From the day she arrives at the Biltmore, Tillie Reese is dazzled—by the riches of the Vanderbilts and by Mack Danvers, a mountain man turned footman. When Tillie is enlisted to help tame Mack’s rugged behavior by tutoring him in the ways of refined society, the resulting sparks threaten Tillie’s efforts to be chosen as Edith Vanderbilt’s lady’s maid. But the stakes rise even higher when Mack and Tillie become entangled in a cover-up at the town orphanage. They could both lose their jobs…and their hearts.

And here is Emily’s review:

This book was so much fun! I have never read Inspirationals before so I had no idea how fun they could be. I loved this book for so many reasons.

I love historicals, and this book was rich with period details. The main characters both work at Biltmore House during the Gilded Age. (Biltmore House was the home of George and Edith Vanderbilt. It is the most lavish estate in America; and is located in North Carolina. )  I admired the way the author put in so many details about the Biltmore Estate, but made them relevant to the story. It felt the characters were trying to do their jobs well, rather than information.

The characters were sweet. Tillie is relatable as young woman trying to figure out whether she wants a career or get married and how her life is supposed to go. Mack is lovely. He is really hot which worked for me, because I liked hot guys. He is also kind and generous to women and children, but he loses his temper easily when he perceives bullying. They bond over work, at parties and in their desire to help others.

Mack and Tillie have great families who support them. Mack has a twin brother named Earl, as well as younger siblings he would like to support. Mack is clearly the better brother, but Earl is not evil and can be helpful. Tillie has support from her family. Her father and older brother are not only nice, but not controlling.  They see nothing wrong with her hanging out with Mack (unchaperoned!). I also liked Tillie’s mother, who is strong and opinionated.

Mack and Tillie have amazing chemistry which is awesome. They share many kisses. There is a subplot involving a fictional orphanage, which is a little over top but balanced out by the rest of the book. At the end of the book, Gist goes into great detail showing Tillie’s coming to a decision over her priorities. Tillie makes the decision by herself what to do with her life, which I loved. Tillie and Mack are so gentle and tender with each other at the end. I love that the author gave so much time to aspect of the story; particularly the proposal, wedding and fade-to-black wedding night.

I left out the religious elements in the book. There were religious themes particularly in the second half. The characters pray and talk about God. That being said the religious elements were not overwhelming. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes historical romance.

This book is available from Amazon | Kindle | BN & nook | Book Depository |AllRomance | WORD Brooklyn’s eBookstore

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    LG says:

    When I first heard about this book, I was sold on it the instant I read that it was a romance between a maid and a footman. I’d love more of that kind of thing. I read a library copy of this book, but I enjoyed it enough that it’s on my list of books to get one of these days for my own collection.

    For anyone who wants to branch out after reading this and try a whole different format (manga), I’d highly recommend the series Emma by Kaoru Mori. In this case, it’s a romance between a maid and a member of the gentry, but I like to dream of an alternate Emma universe in which Emma ends up with Hans, the footman, instead.

  2. 2
    DreadPirateRachel says:

    I like the idea of an historical romance with working-class h/h, but I’m not so keen on the whole “marriage or career” choice, especially since the reality is that, no matter what point in history, people who are of the socioeconomic level of servants do not get to make that choice. It’s more like “work or starve.”

  3. 3
    Ridley says:

    Want more plots like these, but without the preaching.

    A Heathen

  4. 4

    Deeanne Gist is one of my favorite authors!  I’m so glad you reviewed her book.  Maid to Match was one of her top three titles.  If you liked this one be sure to check out A Bride Most Begrudging and Measure of a Lady.

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