How to Master Your Marquis


Princess in Hiding Series
Juliana Gray
PENGUIN GROUP/Berkley Sensation
Pub Date Jan 7 2014
Mass Market Paperback/ E-Book Formats 320 Pages
E-Galley provided by publisher via NetGalley for review.  No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.

Three intrepid princesses find themselves targets in a deadly plot against the crown—until their uncle devises a brilliant plan to keep them safe…

Of all her sisters, Princess Stefanie is by far the least amenable to law and order, which is why she’s appalled to find herself masquerading as an unbearably drab clerk for the most honorable barrister in England. But her dull disguise turns out to have its privileges: namely, the opportunity to consort unchaperoned with her employer’s exceedingly handsome nephew, James Lambert, the Marquess of Hatherfield.

Hatherfield quickly realizes that his uncle’s spirited new clerk is, in fact, a lovely young woman of daring habits. The outwardly impeccable marquis isn’t about to reveal her deception. After all, he’s hiding a dangerous secret of his own. But when one too many escapades with the madcap princess bring Hatherfield’s troubled past to light, it is only Stefanie’s sharp wits that stand between the marquis and utter disaster, and only Hatherfield’s daring that can save the princess from the shadowy agents bent on finding her. Penguin


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My Take!

Even though there’s a 99% chance of a Happily Ever After to be had in a historical romance I was on the edge of my seat throughout.  I just wasn’t sure until the last few pages how the story would end.  There were too many factors; any one of a number of things could go wrong, and too much to be lost.  This love story is sweet and spicy, the intrigue is thrilling and best of all the main characters are utterly unique as is the complex and well-constructed plot.

And, at the end of the 19th century it’s also an interesting change from Regency Romance, with the advent of the age of technology the world perches on the verge of new convenience, new thinking and new complications.  I love Regency romances but Victorians are good as well.  Do you have a preference??

There are some unusual and hard to believe moments at the start of the book, and some hard to follow action and there’s one hard to believe change of heart by one character.  I didn’t feel the sadness and anger that a young woman who had lost so much would, she seems a bit too sanguine about it.

It’s hard not to love the handsome, honorable, noble, hot James, Marquis Hatherfield.  There is a scene near the end of the book that is heart wrenching, beautiful and reduced me to a teary mess.

There’s more than comedic moment as well as Stephanie becomes Stephen, gluing on a fake mustache and donning trousers.  For her character, that of the daughter who was always in trouble, imagine what she would discover.  And as a princess, imagine the change to a lowly mail clerk, a working stiff. And, the freedom to spend unchaperoned time with this really, really hot guy.  The villains are not as typical as you would think.  The spurned potential fiance, is beyond mean, she’s shallow, conniving, conspiratorial and while a beauty on the outside she is ugly of spirit. And there’s one character I could not figure out — is his motive filial or financial?

The mystery and danger here feel very real, the heat between the two couples is sizzling and the emotional content is fantastic.  This is a wonderful romance novel, and has quite a bit of depth; especially in the emotions the two characters have for each other.  I HIGHLY RECOMMEND  Julianna Gray’s HOW TO MASTER YOUR MARQUIS.

Thanks for coming by for a read.  I hope you’ll comment below!

Coronet of a Marquis