Can he fool his new family?
John Fitzhugh Barrett, surprised to learn he is heir to a marquessate, is determined his new status won’t mean giving up his freedom. But as families from all over England descend upon Somerfield Park for the shooting season, their unmarried daughters are lining up to bag the newest trophy buck—him.
Or is he only fooling himself?
John’s instinct for self-preservation inspires him to divide his attentions between a scandalous young widow, and the safely ineligible Rebecca Kearsey, daughter of a destitute baron.
The charade gives John the illusion of controlling the game but when he loses his heart to the beautiful Rebecca, all bets are off.
Praise for A Rake by Any Other Name:
“Marlowe shines with a delightful and delicious comedy of errors...Regency fans will love this page-turner.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 stars
Marlowe's second Somerfield Park Regency (after A Rake by Any Other Name) is more fluffy than chewy. John Fitzhugh Barrett, the next marquis of Somerset, has never forgiven the snobs of high society for turning their backs on him when he was penniless, orphaned, and thought to be illegitimate. Now established as the Somerset heir and quite eligible, he has no use for the ton's fawning attentions and rules. But he is intrigued by Rebecca Kearsy, a stubborn, innocent, and staunchly loyal bluestocking. He fears that Rebecca will suffer socially if he shuns the wealthier ladies for her, but he can't stay away from her cheerful company. Rebecca falls for John almost instantly, but her father's massive gambling debts put her at a disadvantage on the "marriage mart." Plenty of farce, an easily defanged villain, and some complicated intrigues liven up this otherwise unremarkable country house party.
hallmarks and insets to bring the time to light while keeping the story enjoyable for modern eyes.
I’ve read the second book in another series from Mia Marlowe, and enjoyed the characters and the premise, so I was curious to grab this title to see what it was all about.
John had grown up believing himself illegitimate, and was fostered by a family who gave him only the most basic of necessities, with little affection while growing up. Raised to rely on his wits, with an understandable anger at the father who cast him off after never actually annulling the marriage to his mother, John is living as much away from society’s approval as possible.
Now in line for the title of Marquess with a substantial change in his circumstances, John is barely interested in proper society, nor at the dozens of appropriate eligible young ladies thrown at them by scheming mamas and his grandmother, Lady Philippa.
Rebecca is the daughter of a Baron whose gambling has brought the family into penury. With reduced circumstances, Rebecca’s options for a marriage befitting her title are slim. Encountering John in a museum is innocuous enough, but when days later she is the winning prize in a bare knuckle fight in a gaming hell in Whitechapel. John removes her from the hell and returns her home, assuming their acquaintance is at an end. When he is set upon and beaten days later because of this involvement with Rebecca, it is her face that is by his bedside when he wakes.
These two have lovely interactions, and their difficulties with society (both due to fathers bad behaviors and the anger and frustrations those bad acts have wrought) bring them a piece of common ground. Rebecca’s real intentions are to help John reunite and settle the issues with his own family: John’s anger toward them and years of neglect are understandable.
While set in the Regency era, Marlowe uses the settings and behavioral conventions of the time as guidelines, and does not adhere to the propriety of the day. While I’m not a stickler for a rigid adherence, there were enough hallmarks and insets to bring the time to light while keeping the story enjoyable for modern eyes.
Solid secondary characters, plenty of twists and danger and several lovely moments of reunion and reconciliation, this was a fun story with plenty of moments to smile.
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.