Book Review: A Matter of Class by Mary Balogh. Genre: Romance. Publisher: Vanguard Press - 208 pages. Description: News Bite. Reginald Mason has been a wildly extravagant expense to his father for too long. He must marry and settle down. And it so happens that Lady Annabelle Ashton, daughter of the Earl of Havercroft, the Masons' neighbor and long-time enemy, has just disgraced herself by trying to elope with her father's coachman. At last Mr. Mason sees a way of forcing recognition for his wealth even though he is not a gentlemen by birth. Reggie will marry Annabelle - or be cut off forever from his father's vast funds. Annabelle is about to be banished to her father's most remote estate in northern England. She is ruined and unmarriageable. But at the last moment she is offered a reprieve from complete disgrace and her father is offered a reprieve from the financial ruin he has been facing for some time. All the earl has to do is swallow his pride and marry his daughter to the son of his enormously wealthy neighbor, whom he has despised for years. His decision is soon made. Annabelle will choose - marry Reginald Mason or be cast into outer darkness for the rest of her life.
It is not a promising start for the lifelong commitment of marriage. But it would seem that Reggie and Annabelle have no choice but to make the best of it. They have no control over their destiny, after all. Or do they? My Review: I picked this up because I read a glowing review. Meh. It definitely was not all that great. Since romance revolves solely around our two main characters, you have to see a certain amount of development to be satisfied, in both the characters and the story. Not enough by my standards. I never really grew to like, or really know, Reggie or Annabelle. The book has a "twist." I hesitate greatly to call this plot device a "twist." The exact definition of a twist is an unexpected development of events. Hello? I saw this twist a mile away! I know, I know, I am beating said word to death. I feel the need to beat more. The word is like a nagging wife that just won't shut up! I needs to beat her. Okay now I am losing it. Ignore my insanity. I really have little else to say. The book is short and not so sweet. The plot device is obvious. The flashbacks used within the text are unhelpful and almost uneventful (harsh?). The romance was nothing special, unique or precious. I suppose I would recommend this book to Balogh fans or romance addicts.