What an amazing book. I am so grateful for Goodreads, I know I say this quite often but I have made super friends here and they have to led me to great books I would have missed. The title of this book isn't that great and neither is the cover but that doesn't matter because the story is alternately sweet and even a hoot sometimes. The heroine despite being the youngest is the caretaker of her family, her father is too lazy and her twin sisters dreamers and the heroine Esme hates being poor so despite it not being conventional, she decides to go courting and she chooses Cleavis, the one who runs the store in town.
At first the only thing in her mind is marrying him and moving her family into his place but soon she gets to know him, how hard he works, the time he spent in the city that made him feel less, his work with fishes and more and despite him courting the preacher's daughter and warning her to stay away Esme is persistent. She starts helping out at his store and the moment she kissed him, was hilarious, the hero behaved like an outraged virgin and Esme wriggling her stockings was classic. Esme was damn spunky even if she did take the load of the world on her.
Cleav is kind of prissy at least his speech seems that way and kind of a gentleman and he doesn't understand his fascination with Esme, she vexes him and haunts him. Then to be kind he gives her garters and the situation becomes scandalous and they are forced to wed. I loved how Esme wanted to make him happy and loved him. Her intentions may have been different at the start but she adored Cleav and poor Cleav didn't stand a chance. When he marries her he loves her passionate nature and when he thinks she doesn't love him is devastated and would do anything to make him love her. I loved Esme, she truly was the best especially the way she setup the preacher's daughter with the guy chasing her sisters.
The romance was perfect and so was the book. I even came to like Cleav's mother.