This was my first time reading Amanda Forester so I was not sure what to expect. I can gladly say that A Winter Wedding (Marriage Mart #3) was a book that I enjoyed! I thought that her writing was easy to follow, her plot was very well developed and well-driven throughout. Finally, I really enjoyed the main characters and the secondary characters.
Since this is the third book in the series there might have been details that I missed but it did not stop me from enjoying it. Penelope has sisters and they were the focus in the prior books. Although the sisters appear in this book they play a small part.
Miss Penelope Rose was a fantastic character. I thought that she really carried the story. Pen is a jack-of -all -trades. She is the companion to Antonia Lockton, Dowager Duchess of Marchford. Although Pen is a part of the ton because of her age and her single status she is left with no respectable option than to become a companion. Antonia’s grandson is James, The Duke of Marchford. The Duke of Marchford is society’s biggest catch. The problem is that Marchford works for the Crown catching spies and on different missions. Since women are always throwing themselves at him it stops him from being able to carry out his duties as effectively as he can. Pen is also his “assistance”. She is very clever and often helps him spy on people that he suspects are up to no good. Aside from these two duties, she and Antonia match up couples under the name Madame X. Different members in society pay Madame X to match them up.
Pen and James are a great couple. They are friends because Pen is his grandma’s companion and because of this they spend a lot of time together. James asks Pen to marry him very early in the story because he thinks it will be the answer to both their problems. James won’t have to avoid the single ladies of the ton and Pen will no longer have to leave- Antonia is getting married to her first love.
Pen and James have great adventures since they are always trying to figure out who the sinister characters are- and there are some very sinister characters. This spy aspect of the story really made the story fun and their dynamic more adventurous.
Some issues I had with this book are: 1) it has very little to do with matchmaking. The description of the story makes it sound like Pen tries to find a wife for Marchford, this is a very tiny almost non-existent part of the story. 2) James has commitment issues. Since his mother abandoned him years ago, that is why he lives with his grandma. I thought that the author really played his mother’s role very well and I was completely surprised with how she appeared in the story. 3) The first 70 % of the books was fantastic. There is a mix of romance and espionage. The problem was the last 30 % of the book. Besides the many different storylines going on, I thought that the author added too much. It was became more about spying. Also, James and Pen kept wanting to marry and not marry. This became very redundant. Two characters that remained true to character were Pen and Antonia. They had a fun dynamic all throughout. Overall, I do recommend this story and enjoyed it.