Worth Fighting For by Matilda Madison

Heat Level 3
SKU 978-0-3695-0658-0

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The Worth Series, 2

After avoiding his duty for five years, American Alexander Rhodes is backed into a corner. He must travel to England and inherit the title Baron de Greaves. Only his new home isn’t empty. The widow he’s meant to care for isn’t the old lady he had imagined, but a beautiful young woman.

Widowed baroness Catherine has been waiting five years to meet the new baron, but when the arrogant man arrives, she is shocked. He’s nothing like she imagined. Surely, he can’t be trusted to care for Wembley Manor, can he?

When passion flares, they decide to embark on a brief, erotic affair. It's kismet, but it can’t last. With the dangers of Alex’s past closing in on them, can he prove to Catherine that theirs is a love worth fighting for?



“I prefer a more straightforward approach to this game.”

Her cheeks heated. “I don’t know what game we’re playing,” she admitted, still not looking up. “I’ve never…”

She couldn’t finish. Why should she be embarrassed about not having much experience when it was all but expected of from women of substance? He probably considered that she was some sort of idiot, especially since she had been married before. Still, she felt like a fool.

He sat on the edge of her desk, and she tried awfully hard not to look at his thighs or other parts. Good heavens, he had to know this was improper. Yet, considering what they were speaking about… Suddenly, his hand stretched into her vision. He touched her cheek, and to her surprise, she didn’t flinch.

“It’s a game of your own making, darling,” he said softly. “You make the rules.”

The endearment affected her more than she expected.

“I’ve no idea how to,” she whispered as she looked at him.

“It’s easy. You can have anything you want,” he said, his voice husky. “If only you would ask for it.”

She closed her eyes, letting herself be taken by the moment. “I could barely put it to words,” she said.

“I bet you could if you tried,” he countered, leaning down to her, speaking into her ear. “I bet you could say all kinds of things.”

The implication that she might give life to the ideas she had often dreamt about but never dared saying out loud, was almost too much. She opened her eyes and looked at him, expecting him to have a teasing smile on his face. But what she saw instead was a seriousness that, truth be told, frightened her.

“It would only be for a short while,” she said softly, finally finding her courage. This was it. They would set their terms here and now. “It could not go beyond these walls. Beyond this snow.”

“I won’t take anything you won’t willingly give,” he said.

“And I’m not well-versed,” she said quickly before her bravery left her. “I … I cannot begin to tell you how extremely ill-prepared I am for this.”

His neck worked to swallow as he nodded silently.

It was odd, but suddenly Catherine felt as if she had the upper hand of the situation, which of course she did. He had said as much, but the look on his face made her consider if perhaps he were on the edge. The edge of what, who knew. “But you were right to say last night that neither one of us are fools. I won’t… We can’t take it outside of this place.”

“No.” His voice was darker than before. “We won’t.”

“Then,” she said. “How do we start?”



Product Reviews

Score: 4 out of 5 (based on 11 ratings)
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Worth reading
Written by Ade Kemi on 3rd Aug 2022

I don’t write reviews that give you a synopsis of the story. No!!! This book is it. It is worth reading and deserves my five-star. As always, Madison never fails to deliver. There was a tiny editing error but not enough to throw you off. I enjoyed the way the author made the characters come alive, her language and the settings were great. Having met the characters in the first Worth book, it was very easy to immerse myself in the story. I am looking forward to the next book in the series (fingers crossed there is one). I am writing this as I got a free copy from the publisher through Netgalley.

Page turner
Written by Ade Kemi on 1st Aug 2022

don’t write reviews that give you a synopsis of the story. No!!! This book is it. It is worth reading and deserves my five-star. As always, Madison never fails to deliver. There was a tiny editing error but not enough to throw you off. I enjoyed the way the author made the characters come alive, her language and the settings were great. Having met the characters in the first Worth book, it was very easy to immerse myself in the story. I am looking forward to the next book in the series (fingers crossed there is one). I am writing this as I got a free copy from the publisher through Netgalley.

Enjoyed the writing and story
Written by Bonnie E on 1st Aug 2022

This is the second story in the Worth series by Matilda Madison. While there were some power and trust issues between the main characters in the first book I had issues with, and definitely some editing issues, I enjoyed the writing and story, and the emotional give/take between the characters. The groundwork for this story was laid out in the first book, but they do not have to be read together to enjoy this story. Alex Rhodes is an American who has come to England with his twin nieces to claim the barony that he inherited 5 years previously. He doesn't care about the title or inheritance as he was enjoying his life of freedom, travel, and adventure in America, with a successful family shipping business. However, with the suspicious death of his sister, he decided to look towards the future of his nieces and go to England to claim his inheritance. He is rough, brash, big, and overwhelming, and doesn't care about English Society or expectations, but he knows he must do something to help his nieces marry well in the future. Catherine is the widow of the prior Baron, and not anything that Alex expects, as she is young, beautiful, strong, and independent. In the 5 years it too since the death of the prior baron and Alex coming, she took the failing, insolvent estate, established a thriving horse breeding program, and poured the monies back into the barony, made it thrive, to save the tenants and land. She wasn't married long, but long enough for it to eradicate her notions of romance and trust of men. She values her freedom too much to trust it and her wealth to another man in marriage. She plans on leaving the estate to her own home to live independently and continue her horse breeding. But Alex persuades her to stay to help tutor him and the girls in how to manage in Society, knowing that he must establish himself somewhat in it, for the girls' futures. However, she and Alex are very inconveniently attracted to each other, and she only has bad memories and experiences of the marriage bed, and wonders if Alex could be different from her elderly abusive husband. She and Alex embark on a love affair while on the estate with the plan to stop it when they leave to go to London. This was an ARC copy I received so there were some issues with some editing, such as some half finished words or inappropriate words, which I hope are gone in the published version. But as I found the same issue with the first book, which I bought, I suspect that this will not be the case. But that is a minor annoyance that did not detract overall from my enjoyment of the story. I enjoyed how Catherine was established as a poor, somewhat broken widow but encouraged by her brother to find her inner steel, and how she became a strong, independent entrepreneur in a time when women were not even considered to have been able to think for themselves. I appreciate that Alex respected her intelligence and appreciated her independence, though it did seem that he did overwhelm her at times (intentionally or not) when she stated clearly she would not be controlled - but then again, he was aware of this and tried to reassure and not control her. Again, another relationship give and take that I enjoyed reading about. I also liked the backstory of the nieces and his family tragedy and attempts to help them, that added a nice element of danger and drama to the story as well, and provided the family/mothering aspect that Catherine so obviously wanted. Generally well written, but in need of better and more careful editing. 3.75 stars out of 5.

Enjoyed the writing
Written by Merced A on 1st Aug 2022

When the proper, reserved young widow goes “F*ck it, might as well”. The unexpected heir to her thankfulky-departed husband’s barony, a rugged American straight from the frontier, has already asked her to help polish his nieces for entering into British society, makes sense to also fit in some steamy gratification since she’s sticking around. Catherine has spent her merry widow years single-handedly raising up a dilapidated estate and becoming a prosperous bad-ass horsebreeder while she’s at it. LOVE how she shows a heroine can be fiercely independent without having to be outrageously wild. Highly capable and valuing her freedom above else, she’s a bit complex as she still values proper manners and tradition and honoring one’s position and legacy through them. And our American adventurer likey her competence, he likes it a LOT. They both said they were meant to roam the earth alone because of reasons, hence perfect scenario for no-strings-snowed-in widow’s awakening, and the baron is here for it. He’s basically down for whatever she wants, whenever she wants, however she wants. Affair with a countdown, oh yes. Self-imposed must-keep-freedom-at-all-cost countdown. Takes her a minute to realize she’s been calling the shots from the beginning. She’s been through some trauma and requires a gentle touch, I appreciated how we eased in but did wish once they were full-on, we got to see more descriptive steamy times of her vocalizing what she wants and maybe more reveling in being dominated and giving up control in the bedroom at first, before giving up control of her heart. Does that make sense? Fine, more show-me-how-they-do-it-on-the-frontier smut, ok? Don’t mind me, I’m just a spice glutton, there was some good steam here. I read the intense angst-fest that is the first book in this series, and right away I knew the widow and the American were to be such a good opposites attract romance pairing. This book has the same unputdownable quality but with a more simmering, even-keeled progression. I again enjoyed the writing, loved the isolation while at the estate, then to London ballrooms and a bit of suspense at the end. I’m definitely invested to see Lydia and Lord Davies go at it!

5 stars
Written by Crystal on 26th Jul 2022

Catherine is a widowed Baroness, who's dead husband was abusive their entire relationship. At his death she finds herself with the first taste of freedom in her life. She uses it to become a very successful horse breeder and finally is able to live her life for herself. When the new Baron, Alex the American heir, arrives with his two nieces, Catherine is struck with his presence and an attraction she was not expecting. The two have excellent chemistry and agree on a physical affair, with of course no strings attached and no catching feelings. But Alex soon loses his heart to Catherine and must convince her that loving and trusting him wouldn't mean giving up her freedom. I adored this! What a delight to find a new historical romance author who writes longing and passion so well. Enjoyed the background plot and hint of danger it provided, and loved how Alex let Catherine take the reins so often in their physical relationship. Can't wait to read more from this author, she is now on my radar!

5 stars
Written by Margaret on 22nd Jul 2022

The widowed Dowager, Catherine Rhodes, makes a promise to herself, never let any man control her life. She had enough with the cruelty of her father and deceased husband. Alex Rhodes, the new Baron de Greaves is American. He doesn't care about London Society, but for his twin nieces he will play the part of an English baron. Catherine is willing to polish Alex and his nieces for their arrival in London. Alex and Catherine start a passionate affair, but it will lead nowhere, until a threat from America places their lives on the line. Great plot with a steamy romance. Heat level 4. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book

5 stars
Written by Paula on 22nd Jul 2022

The story though it is nothing new in terms of plot is so beautifully written and so compelling that I could hardly put it down. I wish I had a physical copy so that I could underline, annotate and put post-its to mark my favorite pages. Because there were pages and pages of incredibly romantic and also moving paragraphs. Not only about love and longing but also about loneliness, fear of losing control, longing and angst. Matilda Madison is an author that is new to me. This book starts as an enemies to lovers and forced proximity story. Catherine has traumas from her very short marriage five years ago. A marriage to a controlling man who left her in a lot of debts. He was the late Baron de Greaves and he died of old age and illness leaving Catherine fending for herself and starting a business as a horsewoman with the financial help of her brother, who was the hero of the first book. Thanks to her talent and her determination she manages to set the estate, the townhouse and her horses to rights even becoming wealthy for the sake of the heir. Alex’s sister died in mysterious circumstances leaving two young twin daughters. They’re Bostonians and he’s found to be the heir of the de Greaves baronetcy through a distant relative. For a reason that I won’t unveil it takes him and the girls five years to finally move to England and with the help, first of Catherine’s brother, then from Catherine herself they are able to settle in a completely different country and in completely different circumstances. Alex is very protective of her nieces and he begs Catherine to stay with them for a while to educate the girls in the customs of the ton. When winter leaves and the Season starts something from Alex’s past comes back to haunt him, and both he and Catherine will need all the strength and companionship they could possibly have. This is the story of a man who falls deeply in love with a woman who doesn’t bear to be touched because of her past. He puts her needs and her desires first and lets her lead every situation so she can feel comfortable in his presence. I loved Alex so much. But of course Catherine is just as brilliant, she’s not afraid of love but she’s reluctant to let a man into her heart for fear of losing control over herself. She’s been alone for five year, fending for herself and succeeding as a business woman, she is taken as a rarity amongst the ton and the gentlemen wouldn’t court her. Ironically the reasons why she’s never been courted by these idiots are the same reasons why Alex loves her so much; she’s hardworking, witty, intelligent, knows what she wants and takes no nonsense from anybody. They both are trustworthy but what they need to finally be together is to trust love itself.

4 stars
Written by Amz on 22nd Jul 2022

I enjoyed the read. It had entertaining content relevant to the genre. Overall I found it pleasant and would highly recommend it to friends and family.

4 stars
Written by Di Budo on 22nd Jul 2022

The book was a little bit slow at the beginning but then the things started to evolve. I liked intereaction between characteres and the way the story unfoleded. To summarize, a light regency afternoon read that will keep you entrtained.

4 stars
Written by Jennifer on 22nd Jul 2022

It started a little slow but it picked up. i liked these characters. Their vast differences are what drew them to each other and helped each other.

4 stars
Written by Cheyene on 22nd Jul 2022

I absolutely loved this book, and Matilda Madison's writing. I've been struggling with the general way romance books show conflict between the characters. The main conflict always seem to be unbelievable, an absolutely ridiculous reason, or the reason being seemingly out of character. The reason, however for the split/conflict between these two characters was actually believable and honestly a bit understandable when you think about the time period and characters' personalities. It didn't make me angry at them or confused, but empathetic for their reasons. Yes, where there's a will there's a way, (eye roll), but I was honestly engaged and curious on how the characters were going to rectify their problem and what would be the turning point for them. THAT is good storytelling. Romance usually has a happy ending, but still wondering how the author will spin it is great writing. Then again the writing was great from the beginning. I was immediately in love with the characters' personalities. The strong capable, Catherine Rhodes, and the respectful intriguing and protective Alex Rhodes Baron De Greaves. I love a strong capable character who is the opposite of a damsel in distress. I also love a man who adores a strong woman and isn't intimidated by them or trying to dim their light, and that man is Alex Rhodes. I love the way Alex's personality is, and how he continuously cares for Catherine. There's the reoccurring theme of guilt and freedom that comes across and I love the way Matilda Madison added those and helped you to really see why the characters hold those themes close to their heart. I just really enjoyed this book overall, and smiled through the entire last chapter. I was always worried about dipping my toe into historical romance novels, but I've been swayed now thanks to this book. Also here's to hoping we get a book about the youngest sister Lydia, as I'm not ready for this series to be over!