Thursday, April 9, 2009

Romance Book Review: Mastering the Marquess

Author: Vanessa Kelly
ISBN: 978-1420106541
Genre: Historical Romance


Mastering the Marquess is a nice debut novel for Vanessa Kelly. I was really impressed with her writing style and the story itself kept me reading and entertained until the end. That is saying a lot because usually I'm not really a fan of historicals. The best part of the book was the feisty heroine Meredith and her fight to keep her stepsister out of an insane asylum. I also liked the development of the relationship between Meredith and the Marquess of Silverton. I will definitely be looking for more from this author in the future.

The time is 1815 when women didn't have any rights. If they had any inheritance or money it was kept by the men in their lives. Meredith's stepsister Annabel is still a child when both her parents die and it is left to Meredith to take care of her even though her uncle is still in charge of Annabel's inheritance. Out of the blue, Meredith's aunt tells her that she must marry her cousin or the uncle will put Annabel away in an asylum. Feeling this would be the death of her sister, Meredith takes the bull by the horns and braves taking Annabel to London and seeking out Annabel's grandparents. The rich society family disowned their daughter, Annabel's mother, when she married Meredith's father.

Annabel's grandfather is not very welcoming, but she does find allies within the family. Annabel's grandmother is happy to see the young woman and wants to help as much as possible. Also willing to do what he can is Annabel's cousin the Marquess of Silverton.

Although Stephen, the Marquess, knows that his aunt, Annabel's grandmother, want him to marry the young Annabel, he falls fast for the young girl's sister. Meredith is everything he has been looking for in a wife, but Stephen has always looked out for his family first and Annabel is in desperate need of his help against the other side of her family who is out to get rid of her to get a hold of her fortune.

Description from the back of the book:
London, 1815—Country spinster Meredith Burnley will do anything to save her half-sister Annabel, including risking her own life and sacrificing her only chance for happiness. When Annabel's guardian threatens to lock her up in a lunatic asylum, Meredith vows to find a husband to protect the girl, and the arrogant and powerful Marquess of Silverton seems like the perfect man to keep Annabel safe.

The ton's most popular rake, Silverton hides a growing disgust with his inability to feel any emotion for the beautiful girls thrown his way. But he needs to marry, and Annabel will serve his purposes. Silverton is stunned, however, by his fierce attraction to the unfashionable Meredith, whose quiet ways conceal a passionate and sensual nature. He's determined to claim her, in spite of his promise to woo her sister.

Meredith knows she must never betray Annabel, or succumb to the charms of the sophisticated
Marquess of Silverton. Her willpower, though, is no match for his skillful and relentless seduction, or the temptation of forbidden love. But her surrender to passion soon puts Meredith and Annabel in danger, and only Silverton can rescue them. The arrogant Marquess must be willing to risk everything--especially his heart--or lose Meredith, and his last chance for love.

About the author from her website:
...In addition to all the great literature I was reading, I discovered Amanda Quick, Stephanie Laurens, Jo Beverly, and so many other talented writers. I just loved their ability to craft elegant, thrilling, and passionately sensual stories about intelligent women and the big, strong alpha males who loved them. And I wanted to be a writer just like them.

Fast forward a few more years (after a period working in the public sector as a researcher and writer), and I finally got my wish. I began writing Regency-set historical romances, and signed my first contract with Kensington Books in May of 2008.

And like any good heroine, I did find my Happily Ever After. I'm married to a swell guy (who is also a writer), have two great stepsons and a daughter-in-law, and more good friends and family than any one person deserves.

And I get to write passionate, sensual romances about my favorite period in history. Just like Amanda, Stephanie, and Jo. It was worth the years in the swamp. Happy reading!

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