This book is set at one of my favorite places on earth: the Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina. Having been there several times, I can attest to the accuracy of Mrs. Gist's description. She is not lying about the opulence and grandeur of the family's living quarters. She is not lying about the servants quarters either. Each room was furnished with a wrought iron framed bed. Their servants looked to be treated very well. The descriptions used throughout the book really make you feel like you're standing in the house or the mountains of Asheville.
Tillie Reese is in the running for the coveted lady's maid position. She gives her all to her job. After all, she's been training for it her whole life. She is kind, compassionate, and a little (ok, a lot) stubborn. She is a Christian, as well, and believes she is following God's will for her life. That is, until Mack Danver shows up. Mack is a ruggedly handsome mountain of a man (hehe) who falls in love with Tillie the moment he sees her. He is a smart, well-educated, God fearing (and did I say handsome) man. So, of course, Tillie is also attracted to him. But does he jeopardize the very thing Tillie wants the most?
The plot, along with the romance, is expertly written. Deeanne Gist knows how to build a story that sucks the reader in from the beginning and doesn't let them go until the end. In the midst of the romance (there are some "steamy" PG scenes), is a well-thought out and developed plot about the town orphanage. Her description of the orphanage makes you cringe along with Mack and Tillie. The Sloop's attitudes and actions make you angry, right along with Mack and Tillie. The story is not preachy; Mrs. Gist weaves in the spiritual element seamlessly and effortlessly. You root for Mack and Tillie in their struggles to do discern God's will for their lives and overcome their own desires and dreams.
Overall, I can't say enough good things about this book! I absolutely loved it! FIVE out of FIVE stars! Go read it!!!
This was a wonderful piece of historical fiction and I read it in an afternoon. Like I said, I couldn't put it down! (although I rarely can when I get my hands on a good book :)
The more I read her books, the more Deeanne Gist is getting to be one of my new favorite authors. Her books have delightful characters and they're very well written and researched. Maid to Match was all this and more. I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves a great historical romance.
I love Maid to Match. This was maid to match me. It was entertaining, enchanting, engaging, enlightening, and endearing (the alliterations were on purpose).
What really drew me to this story was the servant world that Tillie and Mack lived in. There has always been something very engaging about the servitude world. Deeanne Gist did a phenomenal job, making Tillie's world as a want-to-be-lady's-maid and Mack's short-term journey as a useful man come to life on every page.
Deeanne Gist did a phenomenal job about describing every setting I encountered in this book; from the cities with exhaust to the mountains with clean, fresh air, from the rich parlors of the Vanderbilts to the poverty-stricken corners of the orphanage. Everything about this book felt very authentic; the characters, plots, and dialogue.
Several times I wanted to rattle Tillie and open her eyes (I also wanted to tackle her demanding mother). But it would be a tough descision to make, the job your mother raised you to perform and the one you believe you love or the man you know you can not live a day without. Okay, so that's not tough at all. If it was me, I would pick the latter in a heartbeat. But I loved her determination to not be swayed in her beliefs and how she always was willing to help people in need.
I loved Mackenzie "Mack" Danver. Granted, it was a little weird reading a different alternative spelling to my name, but I really loved my name-sake. He always was looking out for the underdog, even when it got him into trouble. He was a great leading-man, and I loved that he had a twin (whoops! was I not supposed to say that?)
I have read this book several times and it just keeps getting better. The title, the cover, the summary, and the plot were enough to make me read it.
Anyways, a delightful read. I would recommend it to anyone over the age of fourteen who loves a great historical, fictional romance. I know that you will find that Maid to Match was maid to match you just as it matched me.
I very much enjoyed the rich history that accompanied this book as much as the story. The research that went into this book astounding. In my opinion is almost out-shined Tillie and Mack's story. Tillie a house maid, strives to become Lady Vanderbuilts ladies maid, one of the most prestigious positions at this time. But she is also helping the new handyman take off his rough edges. I enjoyed Tillie and Mack's story. They were funny, but not comical, romantic, but not sappy. It was a good book.
The setting at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC was accurate. But the description of the lovers' encounters were suitable for a worldview audience, not a Christian one. I will not read this author again.