Sunday, 22 January 2012

6. "How the Marquess Was Won" by Julie Anne Long

Page count: 384 pages
Date begun: January 17th, 2012
Date finished: January 18th, 2012

Miss Phoebe Vale works as a school teacher at a school for recalcitrant girls. She entertains herself by reading the society gossip in the broadsheets, and dreams of going to Africa. When she agrees to spend a few days as a paid companion to a former pupil, Miss Lisbeth Redmond, she has no idea that her life is going to take a turn for the unexpected.

Julian Spenser, the Marquess Dryden, is known in the scandal sheets as Lord Ice. Most of his adult life he's spent rebuilding his family's reputation and fortunes after his father did his best to squander them. By making a match with Lisbeth Redmond, he would be able to restore the last piece of land his father lost, as part of her generous dowry. Yet he can't get Miss Vale out of his mind. While she may be physically more unremarkable than her friend, her intelligence and wit, not to mention the fact that she seems to be the only person who attempts to see him as a man, not just as Lord Ice.

This is the first Pennyroyal Green novel that doesn't actually feature the romance of a Redmond or an Eversea. It's perfectly enjoyable, but suffers in comparison to the previous two Long novels, I Kissed and Earl and What I Did for a Duke, which were both excellent. Phoebe is a very admirable heroine, but Julian is just a bit dull, especially in comparison to the heroes in the books I just mentioned. I was by no means bored, but I hope the next novel is about a proper family member, and also more in the vein of her best ones.

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