The Marquess of Marsden always follows the rules. Expected from birth to adhere to decades of tradition, he plans to marry a proper young woman from a good family. But when a beautiful, and completely unsuitable, woman snags his heart, he begins to realize that to get what you want, sometimes you have to break the rules.
Linnie Connor dreams of the independence of running her very own bakery. And while she may be allowed to be a marquess’ childhood companion, the baker’s daughter never ends up with the handsome nobleman. Determined to achieve at least one of her dreams, Linnie makes plans to leave her sleepy village for London, intent on purging him from her heart. And yet, when an invitation to the Marsden annual ball arrives, she can’t refuse her one chance to waltz in his arms.
It will be a night that stirs the flames of forbidden desires and changes their lives forever.
Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link: When the Marquess Falls
George St. John became Marquess Marsden at age twelve when his father died under less than stellar circumstances. After his father’s funeral service, he hears the guests gossiping about how his father died in the arms of a woman who wasn’t his wife. Angered and hurt by their callousness, he runs off in tears to be alone. Instead he finds a little girl, who somehow knows all the right things to say to help him feel better. Soon George and the baker’s daughter, Linnie, are best friends, who spend their time together playing and becoming closer, much to the dismay of George’s mother.
Now George and Linnie are all grown up, and they are both aware that circumstances have changed. There is no way a marquess could marry a baker’s daughter, and have her be accepted in society. So Linnie has changed her dream to owning her own bakery in London, as she knows that she can never stay in the village here and watch George marry another. George’s mother is now pressing him to marry, and she’s invited several eligible ladies to their Christmas Eve ball. George, realizing he needs to do his duty, makes a bargain with his mother. If she will invite Linnie to the ball, and provide her with a lovely gown, he’ll peruse the potential brides with an open mind. He knows that Linnie has always dreamed of attending one of these balls, and he realizes that this may be the last Christmas he sees her, so he wants to provide her, as well as himself, with a lovely memory.
When it comes down to it, George cannot imagine anyone as his wife but Linnie. He thwarts convention and asks her to marry him, and she accepts. They have a wonderful few years together, and, finally, Linnie is going to have a baby. Their son Killian (Locke) is born, and then tragedy strikes.
The three books in the Hellions of Havisham series have given us glimpses into the Mad Marquess’s (George’s) life, particularly THE VISCOUNT AND THE VIXEN, which is Locke’s story. I recommend that, at minimum, that book be read first.
I knew that this was going to be an emotional read. Lorraine Heath is one of my favorite authors, and she also has the dubious honor of bringing me to tears more than any other. Strange as it may sound, I enjoy crying when reading. It shows that I am invested in the characters and the story, and is a testament to the author’s skill. George and Linnie are wonderful characters, and they have a deep and strong love that surpasses what can be considered the norm. This love is so strong, that if circumstances change, it could drive one to madness. Or, could it? Though I knew what was going to happen in this story, when it did, I was devastated, and was literally sobbing. Not just crying – sobbing.
WHEN THE MARQUESS FALLS is not a conventional happily-ever-after story, yet Lorraine Heath devises a way for George to find some measure of contentment. For sheer emotional impact, genuine lasting love, and a magnificently told story, this book receives my highest recommendation. I caution you to be prepared for the unconventional, and to be ready for your heart and your emotions to be genuinely touched.