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Enjoyable historical romance

  • Apr 19, 2013
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 the reader remains convinced that love will win through.
The countryside, towns and events of the 1700s are well-described, creating a vivid backdrop to a romance that starts in Cornwall and wends its way through London and the ton. But perhaps it all really started with a near-drowning in a boat race on Cambridge's shallow river. From French maid to philandering nobleman to highway robbery, the story’s got its fair share of action, pleasing side-characters, and the usual theme of a woman hoping against hope to marry for love. It’s an enjoyable quick read, with careful discretion eventually yielding to surprisingly detailed and sensual lovemaking on the final pages.
Disclosure: I was lucky enough to spot this when it was free.

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April 23, 2013
About the reviewer
Sheila Deeth ()
Ranked #42
Sheila Deeth's first novel, Divide by Zero, has just been released in print and ebook formats. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. Her spiritual speculative novellas can be found at … more
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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 isn’t thrown into the midst of the mocking and clever Haute Ton. She’s not at all sure she likes them, as they live by their own rules, which seem rather shocking. She’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?
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