All The Books I Can Read

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Review: How To Marry A Marquess by Stacy Reid

on September 11, 2017

How To Marry A Marquess (Wedded By Scandal #3)
Stacy Reid
Entangled Publishing
2017, 279p
Purchased personal copy

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

Lady Evie Chesterfield is a darling of the ton who refuses to become engaged. She’s been desperately in love with her brother’s friend, Richard Maitland, Marquess of Westfall, since forever. But the dark, dangerous marquess only sees her as a friend and refuses to marry any woman. When circumstances change and Evie has no choice but to take a husband, she decides to convince London’s most notorious gentleman to marry her by seducing the scoundrel.

Richard Maitland decided long ago that he wanted nothing to do with love. So when the gorgeous, off-limits Evie asks him for lessons in seduction, Richard knows he’s playing with fire. Despite Richard’s determination to protect her from his dastardly reputation, he is tested at every turn by his need for the infuriating, but enticing, Lady Evie. Before too long he is faced with making an impossible choice…

Eek, I can’t believe I missed this book being published! I’ve read the first two and Lady Evie actually plays quite a pivotal role in that first book when she deliberately sends her friend Lady Adeline into the wrong room in her large house. Readers also got to witness a few interactions between Lady Evie and the rather bitter Marquess of Westfall and so since that first book, I’ve been waiting for this one.

Evie and Richard first met when Evie was just about to turn sixteen and although he was attracted to her, Richard has always been careful to keep his distance, something that grow more difficult as time goes by. The two of them developed a friendship in which Richard has helped Evie spurn several unwanted suitors. The darling of the social season, Evie was expected to make a good match in her first year but she’s seen off titled man after titled man in order to always keep her eye on the prize she really wants – Richard.

When they met, Richard was but a lowly second son but the death of his brother has elevated him to Marquess and so now he might be considered a good match – if he didn’t have so terrible a reputation. Richard doesn’t restrict his company to the Ton and often consorts with the lowest of the low, for personal reasons. He’s very passionate about the inequality that exists and scorns the attitudes of the upper class in regards to those considered below them. In not marrying Evie he’s part protecting her from his reputation and the cutting she would surely endure day after day and part protecting himself. When he was young, Richard had his heart broken by a woman with aspirations and he vowed never to put himself in so vulnerable position ever again.

Evie eventually gets to the stage where she decides that enough is enough and that she can’t avoid other suitors forever and that this dance she and Richard have been doing for years has a shelf life. I really liked Evie, I found her quite refreshing and I liked the fact that her and Richard were actual friends which in this time and setting is probably not at all realistic as I don’t think young, unmarried ladies ever really had a chance to become friends with men, especially bachelors with dubious reputations. Although Richard was friends with her brother, which did give them circumstances in which they would come together but they do seem to manage to create this friendship that no one really protests too much and get these opportunities to get to know each other quite well.

Richard was a difficult character at times – I understood and admired some of his views and his dedication to them but sometimes he was just really judgemental and assumed things without even asking questions. In some way it was nice that he wanted to protect Evie but in other ways he was actually really quite horrible to her when he gets her to question her privilege. Evie is super willing to be educated and she’s curious and interested in the things that Richard has been doing but instead of attempting to gently educate her and answer her questions, he quite often goes on the defensive and attacks her for her ignorance. It’s a defense mechanism but sometimes it just made me want to kick him.

I did enjoy Evie and Richard’s journey but I’m not sure it lived up to my expectations and sometimes that’s the way it goes when you are so, so keen. I kind of had some sort of thing that I wanted from those few interactions in the previous story and it didn’t play out at all the way that I expected and that’s not to say that it wasn’t a good story, I think I just expected Richard himself to be a bit different, given the way he appeared previously. Stacy Reid does really quite excel at writing the grovelling male though, after he has done something to hurt the heroine and this book is no different. There’s always a lot of feels towards the end of the book! I do really like this series and I’ll be looking for the next one.

7/10

Book #154 of 2017

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