Title: How to Impress a Marquess
Author: Susanna Ives
Series: Wicked Little Secrets #3
Genre: Victorian Romance
Available: 1st Nov
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.
Source: ARC from Sourcebooks Casablanca via NetGalley
I wasn’t sure about this one at first. The thing is George, our marquess, is very rigid and proper and all about duty, while Lilith is bohemian and rebellious and it’s hard to see how these two could ever find common ground. Having said that, I did feel kind of bad for George, because he is trying to do the right thing, even if he is going about it the wrong way. As for Lilith, well, I found her irritating. I admired her wish for independence, but she had a definite blind spot when it comes to George.
In fact this book is all about assumptions – and how frequently wrong and foolish they can be. Which is why I stuck with it, waiting for everything to unravel and the truth to fall out.
And I’m glad I did, because once I got over my initial irritations, I really enjoyed this one. Mostly because of George, with his secret artistic heart and his selfless attempts to look after everyone, which he doesn’t always do in the best way and so frequently gets no thanks for it. His bafflement over how to help his sister is pretty adorable and his shame over his talents is terribly sad, but both show that he is a good man beneath his starch, he just needs to believe it.
Which is where Lilith comes in. True, she also doesn’t always go the best way about things, but I loved how once she saw who George truly was, she refused to give up until he saw the truth too. She’s tenacious and clever and determined, and I loved how she proved George’s assumptions wrong time and again – even if it did take her a while to get over her misconceptions about him at times. The pair of them are wonderful together, especially when they can forget everything else and just be themselves.
Throw in a house party with some objectionable guests, a family that is surprisingly good fun once you get below the surface, the wonderful poetry of Keats and plenty of arguments with a recalcitrant muse and I found this a fun, light read that zips along and throws in a few more emotional moments about childhood and rejection. The romance takes its time to settle, but is full of chemistry and sensuality as well as sweetness, and combined with everything else I found this a thoroughly enjoyable read.
How to Impress a Marquess is out November 1st.
Visit Susanna Ives for more details.