A country-bred girl, Charity Barlow always intended to marry for love like her parents. She suddenly finds herself married to a marquess, her new husband an aloof stranger determined to keep his thoughts and feelings to himself. She and Lord Robert have been forced by circumstances to marry, and she feels sure she is not the woman he would have chosen given a choice. He makes it plain that marriage is merely for the procreation of an heir, and once that is achieved, he intends to continue in London living the life he enjoyed before he met her. Charity may then retire to the country. While Lord Robert pursues his own interests, Charity is left to wander the echoing corridors of St. Malin House, when she isnâ€™t thrown into the midst of the mocking and clever Haute Ton. Sheâ€™s not at all sure she likes them, as they live by their own rules, which seem rather shocking. Sheâ€™s not at all sure she likes her new husband either, except for his blue, blue eyes, the panther-like way he walks, and the hot expression in his eyes when he looks at her, which sends her pulses racing. He is a rake and does not deserve her love, but neither does she wish to live alone. Lord Robert appears quite willing to do his duty, but Charity demands love and affection, nothing less will do. Will he ever love her?
Nicely researched and sweetly romantic, with plenty of period detail and pleasing characters, Maggi Andersen’s The Reluctant Marquess pits recently orphaned Charity against her godfather’s spoiled nephew, a new Marquess struggling to cope with his rather odd inheritance. Forced into an arranged marriage, the two strive to deny their growing affections. Circumstances conspire, somewhat predictably, against them, but each character proves both wise and honest in their different ways, and … more