“A fresh voice that reminded me of Julia Quinn’s characters.” —Eloisa James, New York Times bestselling author
TAKE ONE MARQUESS: Proper, put-upon, dependable, but concealing a sensitive artist’s soul.
ADD ONE BOHEMIAN LADY: Creative, boisterous, unruly, but secretly yearning for a steadfast love, home, and family.
STIR in a sensational serialized story that has society ravenous for each installment.
COMBINE with ambitious guests at an ill-fated house party hosted by a treacherous dowager possessing a poison tongue.
SHAKE until a stuffy marquess and rebellious lady make a shocking discovery: the contents of their hearts are just alike.
Take a sip. You’ll laugh, you’ll swoon, you’ll never want this moving Victorian love story to end.
“With [an] intriguing plot, quirky characters, witty escapades, and heartfelt dialogue, Ives has created a read that’s as thought-provoking as it is romantic.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 _ stars and nominee for Best First Historical Romance, Wicked Little Secrets
"Will touch readers’ hearts. Ives delivers on every level” —RT Book Reviews for Wicked, My Love Top Pick 4 stars
"I have never, ever laughed so hard or swooned so much while reading a historical romance.” —Long and Short Reviews for Wicked Little Secrets
Ives's third Wicked Little Secrets Victorian romance (after Wicked, My Love), in which an oil-and-water couple take a circuitous path to love, is a diverting comedy of errors. Just by being herself, free spirit Lilith Dahlgren rankles the very core of George, Marquess of Marylewick. He's the keeper of her funds, and the tightfisted "fusty frog" spares no effort when it comes to trying to rein her in. Yet at every turn she persists in defying his authority: taking freeloading relations into her London home; entertaining unsavory artists, poets, and other ne'er-do-wells; and being wholly irresponsible with money. The comedy ratchets up when Lilith decides to earn some extra cash by anonymously writing and publishing a serialized romantic story about a handsome sultan (who resembles George) and his lover (who resembles Lilith). Of course George secretly follows the story and privately lusts after the heroine all while insisting that Lilith must abandon her undisciplined lifestyle and become a proper lady. This is a jolly good read with plenty of conflict and banter.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A lovely light story that conceals hidden depths,
I’m liking the Victorian era more and more – a time of great change in the UK, and many of the heroes and heroines tend to reflect their reactions to all these progressions. In How to Impress a Marquess, what starts as a fairly typical and lighthearted story soon develops into much more: with hints of feminist ideology, a romance, plenty of growth and a wonderful ending.
Lilith is a bohemian in training – she’s got all of the ideology, she wants desperately to ‘make a splash’, but she’s still got a bit of conventional marriage, family, romance streak. She is, however, a handful: often heedless to the wishes and feelings of others and far more naïve than she is willing to believe of herself.
George is the head of the family, and also Lilith’s guardian. He’s spent years being told of his responsibilities, and he’s actually rather stilted by the constant focus on duty and appearances. He’s not unkind, just unused to thinking for himself in terms of his own happiness. When he starts to discover the hidden layers and hurts that lie beneath his ward’s seeming devil-may-care approach to what others think of her, he’s genuinely confused.
Slowly the two start to reveal themselves, the deep recesses that no one is allowed to see. While Lilith truly sees the good in George, and wants him to show his love in her often immature visions, the two are growing closer. George is attracted and concerned about that attraction, worried of what people will think, and unsure about what these new feelings are. A lovely light story that conceals hidden depths, bringing the heroine’s youth and inexperience into play as she schools the hero in many aspects, not the least of which is happiness.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Historical Romance with a bit of humor
These two really cracked me up. They are such opposites, and you can see the opposites attract coming from a mile away, but it was done quite well. Again, the characters were all a little too extreme, but there were immediate consequences from Society which made the situations a little more believable.
Lillith is an artist, and she's proud of it. She supports other artists and writes a popular serial under a pen name. This is very important, I loved how this serial played a part in the story. At first I thought it was just another aspect to Lillith's character, but it's the way it all plays out that made it almost another character itself. Lillith is not your traditional lady by any means. She's quirky and honest, she's bursting with energy and sweeps everyone up along with her.
George is quite the opposite. He's calm and respectful, making sure his duty comes before anything and everything else - including his own happiness. But Lillith breathes life back into him and his family when Society insists she joins in at a highly-attended house party.
This house party is also another character unto itself. It's the perfect backdrop for the antics and adventures that Lillith and George find themselves caught up in. There was a good dose of humor and some very memorable moments - but then we got a little out of control. From the tail end of the house party through the very end of the book, things went too far for my taste. It was no longer a light humor, but something more forced and not as much fun.
Once the ending hits, it made up for the previous craziness a little. The way it all seems to wrap back up around itself and put the right finishing touches to the story were great.
*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*