Date published: December 27, 2011
Genre: Historical Romance
Book format: Paperback
Obtained via: Library
Reviewed by name and email address: Gina Ginalrmreviews@gmail.com
Upon the death of her parents Phoebe Vale was sent to Sussex and attended Miss Endicott’s school. Miss Endicott’s is known for producing ladies of quality or at least young women who know their place and how to act in society, whichever strata they belong to.
Several years ago Lisbeth Redmond made Phoebe’s acquaintance and now, once again, invites her friend to visit her. At first Phoebe has no desire to visit Pennyroyal Green. However, when she encounters the Marquess of Dryden and learns he plans to attend the Redmond soirée, she decides to attend.
While Phoebe believes she will be treated as a friend, upon her arrival at the Redmond home she is escorted to the servants wing—after all, she is not from their class, why would they place her in a room for their upper crust peers? Still Phoebe makes the best of the situation and quickly finds herself attracted to Julian, as he is to her. As the festivities at the Redmond home end Phoebe finds herself invited to the Silverton’s house in London for a fortnight of activities. She finds herself departing, along with her beloved cat, to the event. There she and Julian find themselves with an even stronger attraction. But Julian cannot offer Phoebe marriage—not if he wants to reclaim his family’s lands. How can two people in love, from two different classes, find their way to each other?
When I began reading Julie Anne Long’s HOW THE MARQUESS WAS WON I had a difficult time getting into the story. For the most part her writing reminded me of a Dr. Seuss story gone wrong—and I was never a fan of Dr. Seuss. Since I’d started reading the book on the bus going home from work and it was a long ride and me without another book, I continued on. By time I was perhaps 75 pages in the whole tone of the story changed and I soon found I couldn’t put it down. Once the not-so-witty dialogue in the beginning of the book settled down it seemed Ms. Long found her writing footing and the story that unfolded was, in a word, wonderful.
I never much cared for the Redmonds throughout this series. Note that there are two families involved—the Everseas and the Redmonds. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Eversea side the stories but the Redmond side, mainly because I don’t find them a likeable family, left me kind of cold. While HOW THE MARQUESS WAS WON has one of the Redmonds in it, the story is mainly about Phoebe and Julian. The secondary characters flesh the story out into a really good read. The Silverton’s are funny and at the same time have a sinister air to them. There are some really funny scenes, particularly around Charybdis, Phoebe’s cat. One scene in White’s had me laughing out loud—especially when the men’s reactions to Charybdis appear a few chapters later.
I loved how Phoebe remained true to herself. She accepts her intelligence and has strong determination to live her life on her own terms. The way Ms. Long paints Julian’s own epiphany about his feelings for her are well done.
HOW THE MARQUESS WAS WON is a read you do not want to miss.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.