“Julie Anne Long reinvents the historical romance for modern readers, delivering intense, passionate characters and high adventure. Her writing glows.”
“You will love the Pennyroyal Green series.”
Rapidly rising romance star Julie Anne Long is making an indelible mark with her smart, sensual, richly emotional love stories, especially her unforgettable Pennyroyal Green novels. The fourth delectable Pennyroyal Green affair, Long’s How the Marquess Was Won is a “keeper”—the story of a beautiful orphan from the streets of Regency London, now refined, who inadvertently bewitches the dashing nobleman whom England’s scandal sheets have dubbed “Lord Ice.” A multiple RITA Award, Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award, and Holt Medallion finalist, the incomparable Julie Anne Long is certain to win the hearts and eternal devotion of dedicated romance readers everywhere with How the Marquess Was Won.
Long adds a sixth volume to her Pennyroyal Green series I Kissed an Earl, etc.) with this run-of-the-mill historical romance. Julian Spenser, marquess Dryden, sets trends that the rest of England hurries to follow, but he meets his match in schoolteacher Phoebe Vale. Julian plans to wed someone else, but he's so drawn to Phoebe that he asks her to be his mistress. Despite their mutual attraction, she refuses, but others take note of Julian's interest in Phoebe, and men are soon vying for her attention as part of a series of cruel bets. Snappy, playful banter between Phoebe and Julian will appeal to Regency fans, but despite an opening scene of gunplay, initially slow pacing will frustrate those in search of a livelier tale.
First off, this book is wonderful. I truly got a sense for the characters and became emotionally involved in the story. One of the better written stories I've had in a while. But I have two...maybe three...gripes with this book.
First, the opening chapter gives away the climax of the book. Let me correct myself, the opening chapter IS the climax of the book. My heart fell when I read that first chapter because it was so painfully obvious that's what it was. It was a view into the future that gave away the entire emotional punch of the book. I don't feel like I'm giving it away because it's so, so obvious. It would have been better situated in a later chapter. Having it right off the bat was a lazy and cheap way to hook the reader into the novel at the detriment of the rest of the book. It made me angry the whole time I was reading it because you know what's coming. Why would I feel at all emotional about it? And sure, there's a bit of twist but that pales in comparison to what it could have been.
Second, I nearly didn't by the book because of its description. The concept of a man offering a woman the position of his mistress was less than thrilling. But the offer only comes about AFTER their dynamics have been thoroughly established and their characters built, around the halfway mark. It should have been marketed as them being undeniably attracted to each other and then thrown into social situations. I'm not sure why the literal gut punch of the book was mentioned in the description.
Third, and this is minor, there are several allusions and outright statements about "purple prose" (meaning the overly flowery language with a heavy hand of a thesaurus). This is a statement used in writing circles. Sure, one nod is fine, but several? Took me out of the book.
I'd say my main overall issue is the fact that this book tells you the two (arguably) most important things in the second half and the emotional turmoil brought up...before you've even really started reading. It would have been significantly better if the reader was allowed to experience these things with the character instead of having a crystal ball that essentially gave away the entire plot. Still, I'd say this book was worth the read! I'd recommend skipping the first chapter and coming back to it at the climax (you'll know it when it happens). It would have made it more impactful for me at least
I'd been struggling to find a book that drew me in for a couple months, when I stumbled across this one. True, the plot line is predictable, but the character development, wit and hint of comedy make it stand out. I read for hours one night, going to bed entirely too late when I had to work the next morning, which is the sign of a truly good book. I rarely write reviews, but I was so relieved to finally find something I could lose myself in.
One of the Best
I loved this book. I can’t remember when I have laughed so much. Besides being a charming romantic story, the humor this author writes in this book, had me in stitches. It is now one of my favorites, and I will definitely look for this authors other contributions to historical romances.