How the Marquess was Won by Julie Anne Long

 January 25, 2012

Welcome back to Maiden Hall...uh...Spindle a minute!  Wait a minute!  Pennyroyal Green, yes, that's the one!  Welcome back to Pennyroyal Green!

Ah, yes this is the one with the feuding Redmond/Eversea families.  Even if they play only secondary characters in How the Marquess Was Won, this is still their town after all.

Sometimes when an author writes an "outstanding, best of the best-tist, I love this story" book, my expectation/anticipation barometer ascends.  So, when I am presented with a good story and I enjoy that said good story, I can still be disappointed if it doesn't live up to my expectations.  And, that's what happened in this case.  What I  Did For the Duke was one of my favorite books from last year.  I loved it!  There was some supend-castic writing in that book; and while I enjoyed How the Marquess Was Won, there was just something a little off about it.

I thought both Julian and Phoebe were wonderful characters...heck, I was even intrigued by Phoebe's antagonist, Lisbeth Redmond.  There was a lot going on behind the facade of each one of these individuals; it was just that we weren't allowed in too deeply.  We are told Julian is frivolous, but he didn't seem so to me.  Everything in Julian's character is a reflection of the society around him.  It is the outside world that mimics what he does; he doesn't ask them to, they just do.  And, while this makes for some pretty funny scenes in the book, we are not allowed much access into Julian's psyche.  Why is he the way he is?  Why does he let the ton continue their silliness?  And then there is Phoebe, a "plain" woman who spent some of her childhood in Seven Dials.  Not too much is made of this. In fact, when Julian finds out about it, it doesn't really seem to bother him that much.  And, that was puzzling to me, considering he was such a calm, everything in its place kind of guy.  I would have thought this would have played a bigger part in his class-conscious mind, but it didn't.

The character I thought was pretty true to form, pretty much what I perceive an aristocrat of the time period to be, was Lisbeth (secondary.)  She was rather narcissistic, which was very understandable.  It would be hard to be terribly pretty and have people worship you because of that beauty, and then not expect things to go your way.  I see future heroine material in Lisbeth, if she is allowed to mature a little. She could also go the other way and make a terrific villainess.  I actually was hoping that Phoebe would have been the one to knock Lisbeth off of her pedestal instead of Julian. 

And then there is Jonathan.  What a scalawag.  I'm hoping we have a future book with him in it also.

My favorite character in this book was the cat, Chrybdis.  He provided me with some laugh out loud moments.  The paw swiping at the idiot twins.  And the extremely hysterical rescue by Julian and the silly inspiration created by the ton to pay homage.  I knew when Julian walked into Whites with a cat attached what the results would be.  It was all quite amusing.

How the Marquess Was Won was an entertaining read.  There was fun and there was drama.  The dialogue was clever, even if there were the usual editing problems, (which I chose to overlook.)   I liked all of the characters, even the goofy so-called villains.  It's just that this one didn't pull me up to that higher level.

Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality Rating: Sort of Hot

1 comment:

Melissa said...

I enjoyed this book for the most part, but there was something that I can't explain that bothered me. It will come to me in the middle of the night. You are correct about the editing problems. I was thrown out of the story a few times as I tried to decipher what the author meant to say.

Lisbeth was a bit too conniving for me. I'm sorry, I can't get past her "accidentally" releasing Chrybdis. But I can't wait for Jonathan to have a story. He had me fascinated by his motives. And Julian's defense of Phoebe's beauty to Waterburn was one of my favorite moments.