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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How the Marquess Was Won by Julie Anne Long

How the Marquess Was Won by Julie Anne Long
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: Historical
Length: Full length (382 pgs)
Heat Level: hot
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Dianthus

The Scandal Sheets call him Lord Ice.

Ruthless, cold, precise, Julian Spenser, Marquess Dryden, tolerates only the finest— in clothes, in horseflesh, in mistresses. And now he’s found the perfect bride, the one whose dowry will restore his family’s shattered legacy and bring him peace at last: the exquisite heiress Lisbeth Redmond.

She's about to play with fire...

But one unforgettable encounter with Lisbeth’s paid companion, Phoebe Vale, and the Marquess is undone. This quiet girl with the wicked smile and a wit to match is the first person to see through the icy fa├žade to the fiery man beneath. But their irresistible attraction is a torment as sweet as it is dangerous, for surrendering to their desire could mean losing everything else they ever wanted.

Society has standards, and by those standards marriages have become nothing more than business deals with jewelry and lace attached. But can one couple change how society looks at love and marriage? Much as they tried to fight the current of emotion flowing around them, it's bound to sweep you away. The only question is will they be able to stay above water or are they both destined to drown alone?

Social standing is everything to Jules Spenser, Marquess Dryden, and as a Marquess he expects the only the finest in everything from clothes to women and that extends to picking his wife. Walking a tight rope and never showing emotion works for him, allowing him to box away his life into tidy boxes, all without feeling, living life one business arrangement to the next. He is rumored to be “Lord Ice” and he lives up to the title with his calculating ways and always getting what he wants without emotion in the end. But one meeting with Phoebe Vale and the ice around his heart begins to melt. Can this woman, a mere schoolmistress see under all the pomp and circumstance to see the real man underneath it all, and will she be woman enough to love him in the end?

Phoebe Vale, the local schoolmistress at Miss Endicott’s School for Girls, is getting by just fine with her life until she meets Lord Dryden by accident at Postlewaite’s shop. She is immediately drawn by the air about him, the velvet of his voice and knows that he has all the answers to her unanswered questions. Her uniqueness is what initially drew Jules to her, but it’s her wit and ability to see right through him that keeps him wrapped around her little finger. Throwing caution to the wind, both Jules and Phoebe take a chance at something beautiful together no matter the consequences. But will social standards tear them apart before they have a chance to begin? Or can both of them walk a tightrope together and make a new social standard that is guided by the heart and not by peerage.

This was an amazing book! Not only did Ms. Long really make the reader feel like we were right there while all of this was happening, but she made the book so easy to read that when the last page came I didn’t want the story to end. As a reader, she is now on my short list of great authors to read, and this series, Pennyroyal Green series, is on my shopping list for the next trip to the book store. You will not be disappointed if you pick this up!!