How to Marry a Marquess
by Stacy Reid
Wedding by Scandal #3
Publication Date: August 14, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Scandalous, Historical, Romance, Standalone
Lady Evie Chesterfield is a darling of the ton who refuses to become engaged. She’s been desperately in love with her brother’s friend, Richard Maitland, Marquess of Westfall, since forever. But the dark, dangerous marquess only sees her as a friend and refuses to marry any woman. When circumstances change and Evie has no choice but to take a husband, she decides to convince London’s most notorious gentleman to marry her by seducing the scoundrel.
Richard Maitland decided long ago that he wanted nothing to do with love. So when the gorgeous, off-limits Evie asks him for lessons in seduction, Richard knows he’s playing with fire. Despite Richard’s determination to protect her from his dastardly reputation, he is tested at every turn by his need for the infuriating, but enticing, Lady Evie. Before too long he is faced with making an impossible choice…
Lady Evie hatches a daring plan to secure her marquess…
“I need lessons in seduction.”
“Bloody hell. If you must work to ensnare your gentleman’s regard, he is a bloody fool,” Richard said gruffly. “You are beautiful, Evie. Clever, witty, and kind. He should be damn well fortunate you would consider him.” He scrubbed a hand over his face. “Who is this idiot?”
You, my darling. “I would rather not say.”
“Why in damnation not?”
“I already know you are going to investigate Ponsby, as you did all the other suitors who have approached me over the years. I would…prefer you not to do so with my secret gentleman.”
“And if I gave you my word?”
“I will still be directed by my desires and withhold his name from you.”
“And what makes you think I have any notion of what in God’s name you must do to attract this buffoon?”
Evie couldn’t help laughing. “Rumors says you’ve had various lovers—actresses, famed courtesans, ladies belonging to high society and ladies of questionable morals. Surely you have some idea of how they caught you so thoroughly?”
“Perhaps it was I who caught them,” he said with some amusement and with such arrogant superiority she wanted to slap him.
She settled with an inelegant shrug. “Unquestionably it was mutual.”
“And what do I get from this?”
“You get to make a dear friend the happiest of women.”
After a pulse of silence, he responded, “And that is all the incentive I need.”
A wide smile split her face, and he sucked in a harsh breath. Evie pushed out her hand for him to shake. He held her palm lightly. “Then we have a bargain. You will teach me how to kiss properly, in secret of course, how to flirt, and you will attend balls and dance with me so that he can be dreadfully jealous.”
Richard shook her hand. “I may be present at a few balls, I may dance with you, I may give you meaningful insight on how to attract this unmitigated idiot, but there will certainly be no kisses.”
It was something, Evie conceded grudgingly, but just not quite what she needed. “And why no kisses?”
The air tightened with an unexpected tension, and the pulse jumped in her throat.
“That would be too dangerous.”
“You have kissed me before.”
A powerful heat flared in the depth of his gaze. “That has no bearing on how we must go forward now. And those kisses were chaste.”
“Chaste? You’ve intrigued me, Richard, I quite thought at the time they were illicit and daring. Are you suggesting there is more?”
He narrowed his gaze in warning.
She pursed her lips. “You would prefer I seek someone else’s tuition for lessons on how to kiss properly?”
“Good Christ, I implied nothing of the sort.”
“Without lessons in the art of delicate seduction, I am certain I am to muck it up. The very idea is intolerable.”
He swallowed, at an apparent loss of word as she moved to sit beside him. She quite liked ruffling the feathers of a man of the world like Richard. Acting on pure feminine instinct, she lifted the veil from her face and lightly kissed the firm side of his jaw. Her heart pounded an exhilarating yet terrifying tempo. When he didn’t shift from her tentative exploration, her anxiety lessened, and her curiosity increased. How far could she tempt him?
This is just one hell of sexy romance. Most of the time in historical romance it can be very tame until the ONE time the hero and heroine finally make it a bed. Not in this one. The build up is from the very first page and doesn’t stop. Now, I will warn you that the book starts when our heroine, Evie is about 16 and the story unfolds through 6 years. You actually get to see their friendship bloom and see the respect that they have for one another. It’s refreshing in a historical romance that our couple is actually friends first. That said, their friendship is unique. At times, I was giggling because of just Evie.
Evie is just one of those heroines that you can’t help but love from the beginning. A bit unconventional but also very dutiful. I loved how in the end she finally said enough is enough. I will marry for love, not just for money. Good thing because Richard was beyond wealthy. And sexy. And ruthless. And smart. And had the biggest heart. I could go on but you will just have to read the book to find out his many attributes. 😉 And yes, Richard is the type of historical hero that I like. See above. Plus, I also liked that he just didn’t care what the ton thought about him. Only Evie and his daughter mattered. Oops. Let that one slip.
And yes, there are children involved and it changes Evie’s mind about her upbringing. Her parents are a complete trip and very stereotypical of the time and they made me giggle, like a lot. Especially her mother. I swear Ms. Reid wrote her for pure comic relief. Evie’s dad and brother were good secondary characters even if they didn’t have a lot to do. Adel is great, too and I really need to her book now. I was smitten with her, too.
Overall, if you are looking for a great historical romance where the characters are real, the situations realistic, the smexy times slow but when they come together you will swoon and did mention Richard just by himself? Oh, my…I’m in love. Thank you, Ms. Reid.
ABOUT STACY REID
I am an avid reader of novels with a deep passion for writing. I especially love romance and adore writing about people falling in love. I live a lot in the worlds I create and I actively speak to my characters (out loud). I have a warrior way “never give up on my dream.” When I am not writing, I spend a copious amount of time drooling over Rick Grimes from Walking Dead, watching Japanese Anime and playing video games with my love. I also have a horrible weakness for Ice cream.