I'm still a little undecided about this one. Not if I liked it but whether I was 100% happy with the length. I'm going to go with 60% - Not Really and 40% - Sort of.
Format: .mobi (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Publisher: The Passionate Pen
Release Date: June 9, 2015
Mary Quinn is almost at the end of her rope. After two years under her sister and brother-in-law's protection she may soon have to return to her terrible father's house if she cannot find a husband. In her desperation, she bumps into Edward, Marquis Woodley. Drawn to each other, they are soon thrown into a scandal that leads to an engagement.
But as the pair grow closer and their wedding looms, Woodley's past and the horrific circumstances of his first wife's death may keep them from the happy ending that will save them both.
After two years of living in her brother in law’s home, Mary Quinn is running out of time to marry. While her brother in law and sister would be happy to have her remain in their home, Mary’s father knows no mercy when it comes to his social climbing plan. If she doesn’t marry soon, she’ll have to go back to him and his machinations. In her desperation to escape her father’s notice at a ball, she runs into Edward, the Marquis of Woodley.
Edward has endured his fair share of horrors. Once married to a cruel woman whose plan to manipulate and control him resulted in her death, Edward is now reluctantly searching for a new wife to carry on his family name. When he meets Mary, it’s like a second chance at a good life. But Edward’s late wife isn’t the only one whose cruelty knows no bounds and now that he and Mary have a chance to be happy, they won’t rest until they’ve completely destroyed them both.
Edward was my favorite character (second to Gemma) from The Widow Wager. There was something so haunting about him and he seemed like such an understanding and compassionate character given how he was connected to Crispin Flynn. That he was so darn logical instead of letting male ego and pride get the better of him was what made me develop a crush on him. If anyone deserved a second chance at love and happiness it was Edward. Now as the hero in his own story, he was everything I expected. A wounded, haunted soul who didn’t expect to find happiness but still took care of the people around him as best as he could. I loved how empathetic he was towards Mary. The fact that he felt that any failure in his life was a reflection of him as a person only made me love him more.
I’m glad that author Jess Michaels chose Mary as Edward’s second chance. I felt that the Flynn/Woodley connection hadn’t yet come to a solid conclusion and A Marquis for Mary gave me that closure on what was a difficult situation for Crispin and Edward. Mary was the perfect one to bring those two together as friends and brothers. She was so spirited yet kind hearted which was surprising because her father is the direct opposite. Her easy acceptance of Edward’s past made her such a good partner for Edward. Mary didn’t complicate matters more than they already were and she had a different way of looking at situations.
It was also good to have a bit of a check in with Crispin and Gemma, since they’re may favorite couple of the series so far, I was thrilled to have them play minor roles in A Marquis for Mary. While Mary’s family now consists of the Flynns in addition to her older sister Gemma, attention was shifted to Edward’s family who seem to be hiding a bit of family contention of their own. The mystery of his missing sister Claire snagged my attention and I certainly want to know more about her but with Edward having two younger brothers and another sister, Claire’s story will probably be one of the last in the series.
My only problem with A Marquis for Mary is actually a big one. It was the length. I was so disappointed that Edward’s story only warranted novella status when I felt he and Mary had such potential for a lengthier story of passion, redemption and second chances. Their romance was so dang rushed! The instant attraction and chemistry with Mary didn’t bother me, in fact, I liked that he had that connection to fuel further outings in hopes that he would meet up with her; unfortunately, there were only two “meetings” before BAM! They were engaged. I wanted more time for them to dance around one another. Edward should have been more hesitant given his previous marriage. I felt there wasn’t enough conflict for him personally to overcome. It was just too easy. He had the potential to be a tragic figure, brooding and unsure yet he wasn’t. I really felt like there was more to Edward and Mary to explore but instead I felt it was all swept under the proverbial rug in favor of making their story a bridge to the new series. So that was a letdown, particularly since I was so excited about Edward and Mary’s story.
If you were not highly anticipating Edward’s story like I was, A Marquis for Mary is still a great read. There’s a feeling of goodbye with the Flynns but also an anticipation of a hello to a new family who seems to have just as many hang-ups and oddities as the Flynns. I just hope that those books are a tad longer and fuller than this one was.
Final Verdict: I would have loved Edward's story to have been longer but A Marquis for Mary was still a passionate, fun read.