The reviews for this book are an interesting dichotomy. Readers love it or hate it. If you like romps or farces with mistaken identities and disguised characters, this is the book for you. All others need not apply.
Caro makes sense in the context of the times. She has no family. Her "deceased" husband (whom she met for an hour when she was a young teen)could have named an heir who now owns all her property. A living husband would have complete control over her and her property. Yes, she is desperately concerned about money and about the character of her husband. At the masquerade, the hero and heroine are both led, through suspicion and anger, into making wild accusations. They don't fall sweetly, trustingly in love at first--or second--sight.
Jo Beverley seems to be having fun writing this trilogy. She has set it up as an intellectual challenge--three stories, each containing a plot with characters who meet for the first time at an inn; mistaken identities; witty dialog; and an animal as an integral character.
I enjoyed the first of this series more (maybe I'm a dog person rather than a cat person). There are more holes in the plot of this second volume and the French countryside of the first book makes for better vicarious touring than Yorkshire, but I'm looking forward to Thorn's story next year.