Author: Julie Anne Long
Original Title: How The Marquess Was Won
Release Year: 2012
Literary Genre: Romance
Setting: England, regency
Series: 6° of Pennyroyal Green series
I think the author should improve her novel starts: by what I've read so far, I have the impression that the stories beginning share a not particularly captivating factor, clearly isn't the same in every Long's romances. Truth be honest, when the plot increases, the opening dissatisfaction is forgotten, becoming much more interesting, more thrilling and surely more fascinating.
How the marquess was won is a good romance, Long's ironic style is quite interesting, she describes thoughts and embarrassing and tragicomic circumstances, creating really funny moments for the reader.
Phoebe Vale, beside her young age, is a teacher with and impressive culture and a remarkable inclination for foreign languages; grown up in a not particularly happy context, now she lives a lonely but gratifying life: she teaches in renowned school, she has a really good relationship with her pupils and she is going to fulfil her dream to go to Africa and work there. However Phoebe isn't quite the calm girl, she is exuberant, cheeky, smart and sharp, and when she meets the notorious “Lord Ice”, Julian Spenser, Marquess Dryden, she becomes involuntarily the subject of a wager between the above-mentioned lord and the Viscount Waterburn: the latter bets that Drydan can't get a kiss from the young teacher.
Julian sees the girl again shortly after because he's interested in enrolling his niece in Phoebe's school; it's in this very same occasion that Phoebe, feeling offended by the wager which accidentally learn about, shows her claws astonishing the marquess who is shocked and fascinated by her culture, her wittiness and her boldness.
Unexpectedly he meets her again, some days later, at Redmond's place as his future fiancée's companion, the catty, egocentric and far too self-referential Lisbeth. The thing is that he has never stopped thinking about her since their first encounter and now they are going to live together for the next fortnight.
The beautiful marquess can't resist the passion he feels toward that inspiring, unpredictable and provoking girl with whom he feels free to open and to reveal himself as he never did before.
Lisbeth is hideous, but I see that, from my point of you, almost every Redmond is unpleasant (the offspring is excluded), fortunately there are the Everseas, which are far better; Waterburn is unbearable too but the worst are (this is a spoiler) the awful Silverton twins.
I liked Julian, maybe sometimes he could have been a bit more forward-looking, but in the story it's all grist for the mill; Phoebe is a good character and I was delighted when (this is another spoiler) she left with her head held high after she had been humiliated by a ton which had proven all his foolishness.
Charybdis, Phoebe's cat, which is more a beast than a kitten, is praiseworthy: it was priceless imagining the scene/fight between him and Julian, who was trying to rescue him from the London's bedlam.
I read three romances (so far) from the series, and this is the one in which there is more about the dramatic-and-never-ended-love-story between Olivia Eversea and Lyon Redmond; I can't wait to read their story and their happy ending.
Pennyroyal Green series: 1. The perils of pleasure (Colin Eversea & Madeleine)
2. Like no other lover (Miles Redmond & Cynthia)
3. Since the surrender (Chase Eversea & Rosalind)
4. I kissed an earl (Violet Redmond & Asher)
5. What I did for a duke (Genevieve Eversea & Alexander)
6. How the marquess was won (Julian & Phoebe - Lisbeth Redmond's companion)
7. A notorious countess confesses (Evie & Adam Sylvaine - Everseas' cousin)
8. It happened one midnight (Jonathan Redmond & Thomasina)
9. Between the Devil and Ian Eversea (Ian Eversea & ?)10. ( ... )
Julie Anne Long's bibliography