Monday, April 22, 2013

How the Marquess Was Won by Julie Anne Long

Julian Spenser the Marquess Dryden and Phoebe Vale's book 

How the Marquess Was Won (Pennyroyal Green book 6)

by Julie Anne Long

Book Blurb: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.

Although How the Marquess Was Won is a Pennyroyal Green series book, I think it should have been categorized more as a spin off book. I don't even recall cousin Lisbeth Redmond from the previous books and the story really wasn't about a Redmond nor an Eversea. Granted the setting was in Pennyroyal Green. 

There are lots of stories about a governess/school teacher/companion that have a whirlwind romance that result in a marriage that is above their servitude station.  The Duke/Earl/Viscount/Marquess in these stories follow the exact same story line as How the Marquess Was Won. Having said that, Julie Anne Long's fabulous writing and her character's dialogue sets How the Marquess Was Won well above the others. 

How the Marquess Was Won did leave me with some lingering questions. My biggest ponder is about how Phoebe came to Pennyroyal Green to begin with. The school sounded rather prestigious and the way Phoebe explained her story was that she was wild street child who was captured and whisked away to the safety of the school. Just who was her benefactor that arranged for her education at the school. That great education ultimately lead for her to be a teacher at that very same school. I don't think I missed any clues and it makes me curious. I wonder if the readers will ever find out? 

What makes Phoebe a fabulous heroine is that she has a Jane Eyre vibe to her. She is not beautiful but I gather she is not exactly homely either. She is highly intelligent and has a longing to belong. Phoebe is a wonderful conversationalist and has wit behind her words. I'd love to have a conversation with her myself. She has great comebacks and insight and it was no wonder that the Marquess was smitten. 

Jules is set up as Lord Ice but I never got that frosty feeling from him at all. He seemed like one of the more harder working marquess that I've read about and I got the impression that he was a really good man. I very much enjoyed reading about Jules and Phoebe's interactions. 

Lisbeth Redmond is a bit villainized in the story but I can't say as I blamed her much. Lisbeth is a victim of her spoiled upbringing and if she thought (and was lead to believe) that the marquess was to be her husband, I don't think her attitude was unjust. I suppose she felt the carpet being swept out from underneath her. Now I am not a fan of Lisbeth at all but I did understand where her feelings were coming from. 

Teasers: beaver hat hit, charcoal marquess on her bosom, blue ribbon cat demon disguise, damned forelock

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