I bought this book for three reasons – (1) the utterly charming cover, (2) my maiden name is Weaver and it was too much to resist, and (3) I met my husband because I spotted him across the room and said “Who is that? I need to meet him.”, so I’m always a sucker for that story line. This was a very charming, ‘clean’ Regency romance. It did not dive as deeply into the characters as I would have liked, but it was overall an enjoyable, light read.
Ethan Brundy (the titular weaver) is a workhouse orphan who worked his way to ownership of a very profitable cotton mill. He is a good, hardworking, and thoughtful man who lacks training in the social graces. He spots Lady Helen Radney, the daughter of a duke, at the opera one night and declares that he will marry her. Within a week he has ‘won’ her hand. That is, her father likes the marriage settlement Ethan is willing to make. Lady Helen has rejected all prior suitors and has no choice in the matter. Helen is devastated by her fall in social stature. Ethan does his best to fit in for his wife’s sake while remaining happy with his former self.
The story was really, really charming but lacked some depth. I felt like there was not enough insight into the characters’ internal thoughts or motivations. I never really felt like I knew the characters well. Ethan is the kindest of men and you cannot help but want the best for him. Helen is pretty bitchy at the beginning, but she comes around quickly enough that I didn’t hold it against her. I could have used some more ‘show’ instead of ‘tell’ for her change of heart. And there was definitely a lack of grovel at the end. Ethan deserved better than that. *Warning*: Ethan’s dialog is written with an accent so he always says ‘elen for Helen. It’s annoying but not as bad as some of the Scottish brogues I’ve seen written out.
The book is less than 300 pages, and so there is not a lot of conflict fleshed out. There is an external villain who is pretty awful, and who is apparently the hero of the third book in the series. I’m not sure he can be redeemed, and while I enjoyed this book for its lightness and sweetness, I don’t think I’ll be reading the other two of the series. But look at that cover! Who could resist?!