Review: How the Marquess Was Won
I adored this book and upon finishing this review, I'm going to check out the backlist in the Pennyroyal Green series. This is the sixth installment, but if you've new to these books as well --I promise-- this works great as a standalone.
Julian Spenser, Marquess Dryden, is at the height of fashion among the ton. His every move is studied and imitated. Even Phoebe, unremarkable school-mistress that she is, knows of him through the scandal sheets. But she never expected to meet him. They cross paths, first, at a shop, where she overhears his friend make a rude comment about her. So when she sees him again, touring her school, she is irritated and flippant. She speaks to him as no one ever has, making her a puzzle and drawing him like a magnet.
Julian isn't really free to pursue her, though, since he is planning to propose to Lisbeth. (He wants the lands he'll inherit through her dowry.) But when he goes to London to begin his courting, he finds Phoebe again. She was once a tutor to Lisbeth, and now she is serving as her paid companion. On the surface, Lisbeth is everything Julian should want, but it's Phoebe who inflames him... with her wit, her temerity and her honesty.
This was such a great romance. The events in Phoebe's life take us on such a roller coaster. But even in the face of adversity, she maintains her inner strength. I loved watching her melt away the walls built around "Lord Ice." Julian is so very closed off at the beginning, but thanks to Phoebe, we get to see the real man underneath his controlled exterior. The sexual tension is great --and though there are not many sex scenes, I was satisfied with what we got.
The book has a heroine who is both smart and a survivor; a sexy, commanding hero finding love for the first time; and a romance that thumbs its nose as society's conventions. It also made me laugh out loud more than once. Very, very good. 5 stars.
*ARC Provided by NetGalley
How the Marquess Was Wonby Julie Anne LongRelease Date: December 27, 2011Publisher: Avon