How the Marquess Was Won: Pennyroyal Green Series (Anglais) Poche – 27 décembre 2011
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Descriptions du produit
Présentation de l'éditeur
“Julie Anne Long reinvents the historical romance for modern readers, delivering intense, passionate characters and high adventure. Her writing glows.”
“You will love the Pennyroyal Green series.”
Rapidly rising romance star Julie Anne Long is making an indelible mark with her smart, sensual, richly emotional love stories, especially her unforgettable Pennyroyal Green novels. The fourth delectable Pennyroyal Green affair, Long’s How the Marquess Was Won is a “keeper”—the story of a beautiful orphan from the streets of Regency London, now refined, who inadvertently bewitches the dashing nobleman whom England’s scandal sheets have dubbed “Lord Ice.” A multiple RITA Award, Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award, and Holt Medallion finalist, the incomparable Julie Anne Long is certain to win the hearts and eternal devotion of dedicated romance readers everywhere with How the Marquess Was Won.
Quatrième de couverture
The Scandal Sheetscall him Lord Ice.
Ruthless, cold, precise, Julian Spenser,Marquess Dryden, tolerates only the finest—in clothes, in horseflesh, in mistresses. Andnow he’s found the perfect bride, the one whose dowry will restore his family’sshattered legacy and bring him peace at last:the exquisite heiress Lisbeth Redmond.
She's about to play with fire...
But one unforgettable encounter withLisbeth’s paid companion, Phoebe Vale,and the Marquess is undone. This quiet girlwith the wicked smile and a wit tomatch is the first person to see throughthe icy façade to the fiery man beneath.But their irresistible attraction is atorment as sweet as it is dangerous,for surrendering to their desire could meanlosing everything else they ever wanted.
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Détails sur le produit
Commentaires en ligne
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Phoebe Vale, teacher and broadsheet lover, has no clue her life is going to change when she goes into a shop to admire a bonnet and get the latest gossip. When she hears the latest scandals of Lord Ice, Julian Spenser, Marquess Dryden, she is rather amused but she is quickly startled because who just happens into this shop? None other that Julian in all his black and white glory. With just a cursory glance about the shop, Julian asks to see the fans and purchases the best one as everything is the best for Julian. Everything is neat and tidy and has its place in life and he is on the hunt for a wife and not just any wife, oh no. He is courting the perfect, beautiful heiress Lisbeth Redmond. And Lisbeth is the last piece of his future he needs to finally clear up his fathers gambling mess as Lisbeth will bring the lands that were lost in a card game. But even though Phoebe feels like she was not even noticed in the shop, Phoebe is on his mind but he has to dismiss her as she does not fit in with his plans.
When Phoebe receives an offer to be Lisbeths companion for a few days she initially hesitates but then decides to go and earn some more money for her future plans to travel to Africa. It just happens to have the added bonus of running into Julian again... who had stopped by her school to inquire about his sister attending and a tour of the school with just the two of them leads to quite a few sparks! The sparks, the attraction, the desire all continue to grow especially as Julian lets down some walls and lets Phoebe see the real him, not the Marquess that all of society loves and tries to emulate. Stolen kisses and heated embraces that are almost caught lead to some absolutely delightful situations for our pair to try to overcome! But when the ton starts to take serious notice of Phoebe, only then does the story start to take a shaky path that leads to heartbreak but Julian takes strides to right the wrongs all while possibly endangering the perfect future he had mapped out.
Overall, this was an absolutely delightful book! I really adored Julian! When Phoebe hits him in the head and it leaves a bruise on his forehead, he is forced to have a forelock to cover it and all of society copies him. The results, hilarious. But beneath the perfect facade is just a man who wants to be loved for him and seen past his fathers failures and Phoebe is just the woman who sees him. *minor spoiler* I will admit I feel in love with Julian when Phoebes cat, Charybdis (funniest cat ever I swear!), goes missing and Julian flies off to find him immediately. Sigh, yeah, I was in love with him then and I knew how deep his love was for Phoebe. *end* And Phoebe was a true delight as well. She is smart and witty and fought her way from the slums to become a teacher of girls who have the impulses and desires as she did at their younger age. Together, these two are near perfection and it is only that little shaky bit near the end I disliked. I just personally do not like that type of storyline but I have to say, I was very proud of the way Phoebe stood up for herself and Julians eventual resolution of the situation. Overall, if you enjoy an instant attraction story with some great laugh-out-loud moments this is a perfect story for you. I am sorry to say I have only read the first book in this series and I know I have to read the previous book, What I Did For a Duke, like yesterday and I know I can not wait. Julie Anne Long has made it onto my auto buy list for all future books with this delicious, sparkling, witty book . 4 1/2 stars
A quick story recap followed by what I did and didn't like below:
Marquess Dryden, Julian Spenser enjoys and wants only the best in everything. His choice of potential wife reflects on Lisbeth being the best of the pack, as an example. Lisbeth's dowry will also bring the last piece of land that he needs to complete his promise to his mother to restore his estate to former glory. Enroute to a house party at Lisbeth's, he runs into Phoebe Vale in a seemingly uneventful encounter in a shop. Phoebe is a school teacher who enjoys gossip sheets, is smart and educated, and about to embark on a life in Africa in a few weeks. Julian, who is used to gushing and awed tons folk, especially women, is pleasantly broad-sided by Phoebe's wit and originality when he runs into her again in her school and then at the house party. Wonderful dialogue, secret midnight dances and stolen kisses result. Their attraction is so strong that Julian offers to make her his mistress (unacceptable to Phoebe, of course).
Sensing Julian's interest in Phoebe, wagers are placed and action follows by folks that generally ape Julian to be cool to bring Ms. Nobody Phoebe Vale into the bosom of ton as an overnight sensation. Julian's perfectly planned future is at risk, and he has to find a way to resolve the differences between his head and his heart. There is also envy between former friends Lisbeth and Phoebe during this period at the ton, heartbreak, and eventually a declaration of love.
Here's what I liked:
1. BRILLIANT dialogue - I don't think I've ever read a book where I felt like a fly on the wall actually hearing two people talk and become involved. It was natural, oh so witty and funny at places that I was laughing out loud and eagerly turning pages because I couldn't get enough. I could FEEL the attraction between them beginning to grow because of this dialogue and interaction, not just because the author told me so. Wonderful!
2. Humor - I really love romances where the author and characters don't always take themselves seriously and have a sense of humor. I love Julia Quinn because of that, and Ms. Long has just joined the list of authors whose books I will automatically purchase because of that. It also shows that the author put some thought into making her characters normal and human. There was sarcasm and witty humor in the dialogue in the first half of the book. There were outright funny situations (sometimes created by a cat, sometimes by the trend-setting hero) that lightened up what might otherwise have been a tense second half.
3. Expect the unexpected - From the beginning of the book to the end, what I thought was going to happen did not happen. Whether it was how Phoebe would react to Julian in the school or when I thought Phoebe was going to disappear on a ship enroute to Africa in the end - none of the cliches I would have expected in this book ever happened. This is remarkable because I read a LOT of romances, and it is very rare to come across a book and storyline that surprises me as a reader. I loved that!
4. Great characters - Every single character in this book had a purpose and was wonderfully written - even if they were sort of negative characters. I understood why the twins - Marie and Antoinette - were airheads, why Lisbeth felt so entitled and behaved as she did, and why Phoebe was so out of line with the general way females of the Regency period are depicted.
What I didn't like:
There honestly isn't much I didn't like in this book. It is now in the favorites and recommended section. :)
I hadn't read the other books in the series, and I didn't feel like I was missing anything. But I will definitely be going back to read them all now.
I highly recommend you pick up this book and start reading right away.
The H and h of this new one are only very tangentially connected to Pennyroyal Green. The h, Phoebe Vale, plucked from the slums of Seven Dials as a young girl and educated at Miss Marietta Endicott's Academy in Pennyroyal Green, is now a teacher at said academy. The H, Julian Spenser, Marquess Dryden, is visiting Pennyroyal Green to attend a Redmond house party. Julian inherited his title from a dissolute father who managed to lose everything not entailed to the estate and Julian has been in the process of restoring the marquessate to its original wealth and extention of land. One last property he wishes to repossess is now owned by Isaiah Redmond, so he's courting Lisbeth Redmond with that goal in mind. It doesn't hurt that Lisbeth is gorgeous and one of the most sought after of heiresses.
Julian is pretty gorgeous and sought after himself by the women of the upper class and is much admired and emulated by the men. Everyone wants to be like him and imitates his every lifestyle choice, from clothing to hair to horses, you name it, they all want to be the same to the point of ridiculousness. This lends itself to some relatively amusing scenes in the book.
Long is an excellent writer of romance and could probably make the Yellow Pages romantic. She has a great way with dialogue and witty repartee and the way her heroes and heroines fall in love is stellar, just the way romance should be. Unfortunately, this particular romance did not touch me as much as hers usually do.
Lower-class Phoebe and upper-class Julian meet initially at Postlethwaite's Emporium in Pennyroyal Green, where Phoebe is admiring a bonnet far out of her price range and Julian is buying a pricey gift to take to Lisbeth. They meet again at the Academy where their interaction really begins and it carries over to the house party, where Phoebe is serving as companion to Lisbeth. I have to confess that I did not see the reason for the initial attraction between the two. It felt contrived, and the banter, which is usually very witty in a JAL romance, seemed to be trying too hard and came off as more "cute" than it did "witty". However, after establishing the attraction, Long makes it become quite lovely and palpable.
In addition to the banter being more cute than witty, the whole story felt too cute to me. Now, I'm not blaming the story. I think the problem lies with my age. There are HRs that appeal universally to the romance reader, whether she be 20 year old or over 60. This wasn't one of them. Instead of my enjoying the incidents with cat, hat and hair styles, I found them perhaps a bit over the top and tending at times toward the silly. But, as I say, it's me, not the book. If I had read this some 30 years ago, I would have totally loved it.
And, one more thing. Please, Ms Long, when do we get Lyon and Olivia's story?
Phoebe is a teacher who dreams of nice clothes and bonnets she can never afford. It makes you wonder how much of a salary she's making, the poor thing. But Phoebe knows her limitations in both her understated looks and upbringing, although she can speak five languages and is a very learned woman. A former student of Phoebes, Lisbeth Redmon, invites her to stay with her during a house party. Phoebe is glad to get away and have a holiday of sorts, although she will be treated only a step above a servant. While in a an emporium, practically drooling over all the lovely gloves and ribbons, Julian Spencer, Marquess Dryden enters and acts like he owns the place. He's very rich and has a respected title and expects those lesser then him to bow or cower before him. Julian is as acquaintance of Lord Waterburn who acts like a friend to Julian, but is very petty and jealous. He likes to place bets that Julian has no choice but to accept. Phoebe overhears him and Julian talking about her in not so nice ways. The word unkissable is used. Phoebe is insulted, but leaves without causing a scene.
Phoebe doesn't expect to see Julian or Waterburn again, but they both have been invited to the same party she has. Lizbeth wants to marry Julian and even though she turns to Phoebe for advice, she treats Phoebe poorly mainly because of her station. Julian notices this and goes out of his way to make Phoebe comfortable. Phoebe assumes Julian is being nice to her because he wants to win his bet, but he doesn't care about the bet. Soon these two become close through their interactions, and after a few kisses, Julian wants Phoebe as his mistress. Phoebe refuses, but instead of going back to the school, she's invited by two sisters, friends of Lizbeth, who want her to stay with them and have a season in London. Phoebe accepts, not realizing this is all part of Waterburn's wicked plan to not only make her look like a fool based on another bet, but to get back at Julian for some reason.
Phoebe and Julian's dialogue is the reason the first part of How the Marquess was Won was so good. These two are mature adults, who want to give into their passion to one another, but know they can't because of the consequences and the fact they don't really have a future together. Phoebe is too reasonable and respectful of herself to give up her life and fall into Julian's arms without marriage. Julian is irked by this, but listens to Phoebe's reasons and respects them. The scenes at the house party where Julian falls for Phoebe are lovely, but then everything goes downhill when Phoebe is invited to London in the guise of a cruel prank that most of the London ton is a part of.
Waterburn is the villain here, but he's too one-dimensional and has no real personality. Why he dislikes Julian is so is immature and silly. Also the way Lizbeth treats Phoebe makes no sense. At first we're told that Lisbeth isn't too bright, but a kind soul, who eventually has a personality transplant and becomes a major witch. There seems to be no valid reason for Lizbeth to act the way she does and she becomes more of an annoyance if anything.
How the Marquess Was Won had the makings of a great book, but it fell flat when it should have shined. I don't understand what was the point of making Phoebe the victim of such bullying by the titled London society. It really didn't evoke an emotional response from me and seemed to take something special away from the story. I guess it was to show how Phoebe can rise above the cruel nature of people and come out stronger? If so, I missed that. This is one read that will surely please readers of historical romance, but as for myself it's a pass.
RRAH's THOUGHTS AND PONDERINGS:
Julian, the Marquess of Dryden, is a man that the entire ton is looking up to. They copy what he wears, what coach or horses he drives, and even his hairstyle. Ever since his father passed away, Jules has determined to slowly, and with a studious purpose, rebuild his family's fortune, especially their family's properties, which his father gambled away. He plans his life carefully and meticulously, in minute detail, so it comes as no surprise to any of us when we find out that he chooses his bride in the same way.
Miss Lisbeth Redmond is a suitable young woman of good `stock', and she would bring him a property that was in his family before his father lost it. With a proposal in mind, he heads to Pennyroyal Green, but makes one mistake. Stopping by a local shop to buy a gift for his intended, he sets his eyes on a school teacher, and his life is altered forever. With a wonderful sense of humor and self-deprecation, this young woman is everything our hero never wanted or planned for in his life.
Phoebe Vale is a school teacher with no illusions of who she is or what she wants and expects of life. She's content with her life and in a place that she single-handedly carved out for herself with hard work and an optimistic outlook. I got the feeling that she liked herself; and that, in itself, gave her confidence and was what also attracted Jules to her. She wasn't afraid of life and took it one day at a time. She may not have wanted to be a spinster, longing for love like all young women do, but she wasn't afraid of it, either. As she stops by the local store and jokingly talks to the proprietor about `Lord Ice', whom she has been following like everyone else through the broadsheets, the man himself walks in, and our poor girl had no chance at all.
What follows is a romance that will melt your heart. Everything was so well written that I was left panting, sighing, and praying that this author NEVER stops writing!
The characters, plot, setting, secondary characters, pace and prose were out of this world! I swear, you'll be devouring the pages with such speed that you just might have to reread it at a slower speed as soon as you finish it.
Julie Ann Long is fast becoming an author to be pre-ordered! I am looking forward to her very, VERY long writing career. As with all her other books--not just this series--this one's keeper shelf worthy and a reread MUST!