A Class Apart (A Matter of Class Book 1)

Written by Susie Murphy
Review by Katie Stine

The first in a series, A Class Apart tells the love story between English-bred aristocrat Bridget Muldowney and Irish stable-hand Cormac McGovern. Bridget has been away from the country estate for seven years and has turned into a proper lady, attracting the dashing Mr. Garrett Lambourne as her fiancé. The backdrop of an Irish estate in 1828 is there to set the mood for romance and tragedy. The uprising of Irish tenants against the English landowners is mentioned but seems to matter little as a plot point.

Much of the conflict is told through exposition and summary, leaving the reader to have few genuine experiences. The plot seems to hinge on Bridget’s chestnut curls, her desire to stay in the country, and her crush on the stable-hand. While Cormac’s admirable qualities include a solid work ethic and attentiveness to his mother, I’m not sure why Cormac would pursue Bridget to the detriment of his family.

Ultimately, this is not a romance, as Bridget does not receive her HEA (Happily Ever After), no matter her machinations and misdeeds with Cormac. Perhaps the storyline is continued in the subsequent books, but there is little enticement to continue reading.