Avon, Nov 2001, 6.99, 384 pp.
In 1814 the residents of Lyford Meadow, England, believe Mary Gates, daughter of a squire, is an eccentric person as she competes with men rather than doing traditional female activities. When she outbids Tye Barlow for a horse, he knows he will never forget her smile or the humiliation of saying “I pass”. However, Mary does not have the cash to pay for the steed that she feels will begin rebuilding her family estate. She cuts a deal with the horse's owner buying time to go to London to find and marry a wealthy aristocrat to pay for the horse.
Tye follows Mary to London, planning to insure she fails to land a husband because he still covets the horse. However, neither one expected the glamour of the London balls would lead to a dance between them that makes both of them reconsider what they want for her. Tye and Mary agree that he is the right one.
THE WEDDING WAGER is an adorable Regency romance that never takes it self too seriously. The amusing story line is fun, as Tye is a frustrated hero who loses whenever he competes with his beloved. Mary quite contrary owns the novel, as she seems more like a modern woman displaced in time whose antics leave the audience smiling. Cathy Maxwell provides her fans with a precious story that is a sure bet for historical romance readers.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner