Synopsis from Goodreads: Charity Barlow wished to marry for love. She and Lord Robert have been forced by circumstances to marry, and she feels sure she is not the woman he would have selected given a choice. The Marquess of St. Malin makes it plain to her that their marriage is merely for the procreation of an heir, and once that is achieved, he intends to continue living the life he enjoyed before he met her. While he takes up his life in London once more, Charity is left to wander the echoing corridors of St. Malin House, when she isn’t thrown into the midst of the mocking Haute Ton. Charity is not at all sure she likes her new social equals, and she’s not at all sure she likes her new husband either, except for his striking appearance, which sends her pulses racing. Lord Robert is a rake and does not deserve her love, but neither does she wish to live alone. Might he be suffering from a sad past?
My Rating: 3/5 stars
My Review: Maggi Andersen’s The Reluctant Marquess is a book I like to think of as a rainy day read. That is, a quickly-paced delightful read that can be easily read in a single sitting. And if it happens to be a rainy day and you’re curled up in your favorite reading spot, all the better J
The novel follows country-born and bred Charity Barlow, a sweet, if somewhat naïve young lady who is unceremoniously thrust into married life with the stunningly handsome Lord Robert, Marquess of St. Malin. To say neither party is thrilled with the arranged marriage would be putting it lightly. Charity is bound and determined to make a go of the marriage and see herself and her husband to happily ever after. Unfortunately, Charity all too quickly discovers that her task is not just daunting but likely insurmountable as her new husband is taciturn, stubborn, and difficult. To make matters far worse, Charity must also learn to navigate the waters of London society, a place riddled with arrogance, snobbery, and more than a little gossip. Charity’s journey to a warm and happy marriage is a mix of experiences and emotions and, while her journey holds no real surprises, it is still a pleasurable read. Charity is by far the star of this novel: her determination, humor, and sassy attitude carry the novel quickly through from beginning to end.
The Bottom Line: Maggi Andersen’s The Reluctant Marquess is a casual read and a nice diversion that will take very little time to read. Andersen creates a colorful world with just enough information and detail about the time and place to be interesting but not so much detail that the reader becomes bogged down. The characters, Charity in particular, are relatable and endearing. I actually found myself rooting for Charity as she struggled through one event after the next and cursing her stubborn husband for his attitude and ignorance. The reader will not be surprised by the outcome of this novel but the lack of surprise in no way takes away from the read itself. The journey from beginning to end is definitely worth the reader’s time!