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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Review: How I Married a Marquess by Anna Harrington



I was super excited about Thomas and Josie’s story but at the same time a little sad because it’s time to say goodbye to Thomas, Edward and Nathaniel. Don’t you just hate saying goodbye?

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: April 26, 2016

A SHOCKING DECEPTION . . .
Josephine Carlisle, adopted daughter of a baron, is officially on the shelf. But the silly, marriage-minded misses in the ton can have their frilly dresses and their seasons in London, for all she cares. Josie has her freedom and her family . . . until an encounter with a dark, devilishly handsome stranger leaves her utterly breathless at a house party. His wicked charm intrigues her, but that's where it ends. For Josie has a little secret . . .

. . . LEADS TO AN EXQUISITE SEDUCTION
Espionage was Thomas Matteson, Marquess of Chesney's game-until a tragic accident cost him his career. Now to salvage his reputation and return to the life he loves, the marquess must find the criminal who's been robbing London's rich and powerful. He's no fool-he knows Josie, with her wild chestnut hair and rapier-sharp wit, is hiding something and he won't rest until he unravels her mysteries, one by one. But he never expected to be the one under arrest-body and soul . . .



As the adopted daughter of a baron, Josephine Carlisle has everything a woman could need yet she still feels out of place and unwelcome in her family’s world. Now that she’s considered “On the Shelf” Josie feels more relaxed and free until one night at a house party she meets the Marquess of Chesney.

As a former spy Thomas Matteson is used to finding out people’s secrets and he’s sure Josie is hiding something. He’s at the house party to find out who has been robbing the rich but Josie is proving to be more distracting than he originally thought.



Almost since the beginning Thomas Matteson, the Marquess of Chesney had been a bit of a ghost character. In the first book he appeared briefly but in the second he was laid up with an injury. However that incident was the catalyst for his sister to find her happy ending. Now it’s Thomas’ turn and I was delighted with him as a hero. He had a lot of internal conflict that centered on his desperate need to return to his life as a spy and his battle with PTSD. I was surprised at how vulnerable Anna Harrington made this character given that he’s a man and a former spy but with his PTSD looming over him like a dark cloud it was very clear why it was rumored that he had lost his edge. That fed into his doubts of not being the man he once was and needing a purpose in life. Thomas’ enemy wasn’t really his feelings for Josie, it was his feelings about himself and that made him stand out to me.

Josie was delightful. She was fun and energetic and unafraid of life. She had unique circumstances as the adopted daughter of a titled man, she was a titled lady on paper but of course in that time period it was all about the bloodlines and Josie didn’t even know who her real parents were. I liked that she was similar to Thomas in that her internal conflicts were the true obstacles to her happiness. Josie never felt like she belonged in her family because she was adopted and that led her to make dangerous decisions but they were made for the right reasons most of the time. I loved that she didn’t expect or even want Thomas to save her and that she took steps to solve her own problems but she did have this bad habit of not realizing when she was in over her head and needed help. Several times her unyielding stubbornness annoyed me simply because she was being irrational when it was clear Thomas was better suited for certain tasks and her insistence on being included in situations where it was best she didn’t draw attention was sometimes too much.

I personally love combatative couples because it spices things up and adds a great layer of tension when it’s done right. Thomas and Josie had sparks from the moment Josie initiated contact (Another reason to like her) and it didn’t stop there. Whatever Thomas threw out at her, Josie was ready to hit back at him and it really made their relationship interesting to me. The verbal back and forth was seductive in its own way and definitely didn’t go unnoticed by either character.

Hands down Josie’s brothers were the comedic relief in How I Married a Marquess. I just loved them! They just seemed larger than life to me. Sebastian, Robert and Quinton were as different as three men could be but put them together and they were loud, brash, and about a subtle as wrecking balls. They loved Josie and protected her no matter what. These three were a lot of fun and I would love to see more of them.

How I Married a Marquess was definitely well written but that seems to be par for the course with Anna Harrington. The scenes flowed into one another with ease and the dialogue was brisk and entertaining and there wasn’t an overdone amount of drama involved. Just a bit of sleuthing, seducing and saving the day. The pacing was moderate, not too slow and not too fast and while it is the third book in the Secret Life of Scoundrels series, each book can be read and enjoyed as a standalone.

Final Verdict: What a fitting end to a series about three friends who suffered through war and personal strife and then found happiness with three very special women. Thomas and Josie made How I Married a Marquess quite the reading experience and while I’m sad to say goodbye, I can’t wait to see what Anna Harrington has up her sleeve. After this, she’s just been moved to my “Auto-Buy” list.




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