Thursday, January 12, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: How The Marquess Was Won By Julie Anne Long

Avon Romance December 27, 2011

384 pages    By Julie Anne Long


The Scandal Sheets call him Lord Ice.
Ruthless, cold, precise, Julian Spenser, Marquess Dryden, tolerates only the finest— in clothes, in horseflesh, in mistresses. And now he’s found the perfect bride, the one whose dowry will restore his family’s shattered legacy and bring him peace at last: the exquisite heiress Lisbeth Redmond.

She's about to play with fire...

But one unforgettable encounter with Lisbeth’s paid companion, Phoebe Vale, and the Marquess is undone. This quiet girl with the wicked smile and a wit to match is the first person to see through the icy facade to the fiery man beneath. But their irresistible attraction is a torment as sweet as it is dangerous, for surrendering to their desire could mean losing everything else they ever wanted.

I was highly anticipating this book  after I was blown away from Long's previous release, 'What I Did For a Duke'. I knew this book probably wouldn't live up to it and it didn't. Regardless, it was a solid read.

Julian Spenser, the Marquess Dryden is known far and wide as Lord Ice. He is cold and calculating in all thing including beautiful women and horse flesh.
He is also the subject of entertainment for the heroine, Phoebe Vale. Phoebe leads a quiet life as a governess/teacher/companion. She wiles away her nights reading of the exploits of the ton and more specifically Lord Ice.
They meet in a shop and the attraction is instantaneous, though Julian is pursuing a more suitable bride, Lisbeth Redmond.
One thing I do enjoy in Julie Anne Long's historicals is the dry wit and sizzling attraction between the hero and heroine. It is certainly evident here. Also her characters actually talk and have conversations which is refreshing.
Julian has many fascinating layers and as each are revealed, the reader and the heroine Phoebe fall a little more in love with him. He was a pretty good hero, gorgeous, fashionable but underneath capable of passion and tenderness.
I will agree with a few other reviewers that the first half of the book was stronger than the last half. The ending was not very satisfying to me. What I did enjoy was the focus was kept on the couple, their attraction and interaction was entertaining and even heartwarming.
The conflict on why Julian couldn't offer marriage seemed thin to me and the ending over the top, but otherwise the romance and the heat was pretty much spot-on.
Also by the end of the book Phoebe was starting to get on my nerves with her incessant chatter. I know some found it charming and I did at first but by the end, I was a little tired of the heroine.
How the Marquess Was Won is a solid read, but not one of my favorites in the PennyRoyal Green Series.

3.5 out of 5

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