Review – When the Marquess Was Mine by Caroline Linden

About the Book:

In the game of love…

Georgiana Lucas despises the arrogant and cruel Marquess of Westmorland even before learning that he’s won the deed to her friend Kitty’s home in a card game. Still, Georgiana assures Kitty the marquess wouldn’t possibly come all the way to Derbyshire to throw them out—until he shows up, bloody and unconscious. Fearing that Kitty would rather see him die, Georgiana blurts out that he’s her fiancé. She’ll nurse the hateful man back to health and make him vow to leave and never return. The man who wakes up, though, is nothing like the heartless rogue Georgiana thought she knew…

You have to risk it all

He wakes up with no memory of being assaulted—or of who he is. The bewitching beauty tending him so devotedly calls him Rob and claims she’s his fiancée even as she avoids his touch. Though he can’t remember how he won her hand, he’s now determined to win her heart. But as his memory returns and the truth is revealed, Rob must decide if the game is up—or if he’ll take a chance on a love that defies all odds.

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:                                                                  When the Marquess Was Mine: The Wagers of Sin

My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Georgiana Lucas is taking a break from her enjoyable London season by visiting her friend Kitty, who lives in the country.  Georgiana has been engaged for two years to Viscount Sterling, who lives next door to her family home, and whom she has loved forever.  Kitty receives word from her husband that the notorious Marquess Westmorland has won their home in a wager, and may be on his way to cast them out into the streets.  Under no circumstances should he be admitted to their home, and the fiery Kitty is angry enough to do him bodily harm if he should appear.

The marquess is indeed on his way to Kitty’s home, but not for the purpose she imagines.  Though he is a drinker, a gambler, and a rogue, he has no intention of taking a home away from a family.  In fact, he did his best to discourage Sir Charles’s wager, but his advice fell on deaf ears.  As he gets near to the home, he is accosted by three men, who manage to beat him senseless.  He’s only rescued when Georgiana and her servant scare them away.  The marquess, Robert, looks to be near death’s door, and Georgiana has him taken to Kitty’s home and summons a doctor.

As Georgiana is washing the blood away from his face, she recognizes who the stranger is.  If Kitty discovers it’s the man who now owns her home, she may toss him out, regardless of his grave condition.  Georgiana has no love for Robert, as he and his set are often cruel, and she has been the victim of one of his mocking insults.  Still, she can’t leave anyone to die, so she concocts the story that Robert is really her fiancé, Sterling.  It’s the best she can think of at the moment, and buys her some time until Robert regains consciousness, and she can explain the situation to him.

Only, there’s one slight flaw in her plan.  The severe injury to Robert’s head causes him to waken with no memory of who he is, and the attending doctor jumps right in and introduces Georgiana as his fiancée.  This Robert, who now thinks he is Sterling, is nothing like the sarcastic wastrel Georgiana saw in London.  Since everyone thinks they are betrothed, the household allows her to spend basically all her time with him, nursing him, reading to him, and taking her meals with him.  Georgiana fears telling him the truth because of the effect it may have on his recovery.  This kind and charming man is having quite an effect on Georgiana!

This idyll is absolutely brilliant and romantic.  Robert senses the little distance between himself and Georgiana, and believes he has committed some transgression that he is determined to atone for.  He tells Georgiana how lovely she is, how lucky he is, and he begins to genuinely care for her.  Robert has lost all of his arrogance and has seemingly changed into a caring and considerate man.  As for Georgiana, she can’t deny that she’s attracted to Robert, but she is engaged, and that’s something she’s not going to change.  The longing and smoldering desire between them literally jumps off the pages.

As is bound to happen, reality intrudes in the form of Robert’s brother, who has come looking for him.  Slowly, some of his memories begin to return.  I absolutely love that he doesn’t immediately berate Georgiana for her actions, but listens to her reasons, and understands her motive.  As it’s time for him to return to his life, he finds that he truly wants Georgiana to be his wife.  Will he revert to his old personality once he’s back among his friends?  Will his feelings change once he’s away from Georgiana?  Will she continue with her engagement?  Who attacked Robert, and why?  WHEN THE MARQUESS WAS MINE is genuinely romantic, heartwarming, and entertaining.  I love this couple, and their unlikely meeting that led to a beautiful and lasting love.  This book was a joy to read and I highly recommend it.    ~Rose

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