Review: Intrigue

cover-intrigueTitle: Intrigue
Author: M. C. Beaton (Marion Chesney)
Series: Daughters of Mannerling #2
Genre: Regency Romance
Length: Short novel
Available: Now


As scandal and intrigue swirl around her, Jessica must discover where the heart finds true happiness. . . .

Mannerling, the splendid family estate gambled away by Sir Beverley, remains the passion of his daughters. Beverley himself has died; the eldest daughter, Isabella -having failed in her bid to reclaim the family home–is blissfully wed. The mantle of saviour now falls to the next eldest daughter, Jessica.

How fortunate then that the new owner of Mannerling had a marriageable son. In truth, Harry is a brutal letch, a drunkard, and a wastrel, but Jessica, blinded by determination, vows to secure a betrothal. She is barely aware of the attentions of handsome, charming Professor Robert Sommerville, whose affection for Jessica is equalled only by the fear that her obsession to secure Mannerling will lead to disaster for all concerned.

As scandal and intrigue swirl around her, Jessica must discover where the heart finds true happiness. . . .

Source: Paperback

I should have known. I should have trusted the reviews on Goodreads. I should have trusted my own instincts when I didn’t like Jessica in Banishmentbut I forged on and gave it a try anyway. Since I bought the entire series as a collection it would be a waste not to read it, right?

Wrong. It’s quite possible that I now like Jessica even less than I did before I read this book. Back in Banishment she’s the second oldest sister, the one who takes a hard line view of her older sister’s failure to marry the right man to win back Mannerling. In this book, though she remains a raging snob, she’s also supposedly shy and timid, putting on an act to fool everyone. Actually she’s shallow, snobbish and generally unpleasant at the beginning, and merely adds spineless to the above by the end.

As for Robert… why? Why does a supposedly nice and well-educated man fall for Jessica? The only thing she has going for her throughout most of this book is that she’s pretty, which makes him just as shallow as the woman he both claims to love and dislike at various points of this novel. Add in a raging case of the stubborns and I liked him as little as I did Jessica.

The rest of the family remains as bonkers and obsessed with the house as ever, but now we have the unpleasant Harry up at Mannerling to spread the insanity. I still find the influence of the house quite intriguing, but whereas I thought the youngest sister, Lizzie, would prove to be interesting, now I think she’s plain barking. The only redeeming qualities to the whole book are the fascinating not-really-a-governess, Miss Trumble, and the lovely odd-job man, Barry.

I’m now very hesitant to read the next book, fearing it will be much too similar in plot to the first two, but with even more unlikeable characters. Nevertheless I will persevere at some point. Oh well, at least they’re short.

Intrigue is Out Now.


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