Mastering the Marquess by Vanessa Kelly
Published by Zebra
Publication Date: April 1, 2009
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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.
After Meredith Burnley’s uncle threatens to institutionalize her half-sister, Meredith seeks the protection of Annabel’s family, her estranged grandparents. While Annabel’s grandfather doesn’t, at first, want anything to do with Annabel, her grandmother quickly takes her into her fold.Meredith and Annabel are quickly thrust into London society, but since Meredith is technically no relation to her protectors, and only a wool merchant’s daughter, she is spurned by society. Meredith realizes that she will never be accepted, nor does she really want to be. But she does want Annabel’s cousin, Lord Silverton. He is everything that Meredith has dreamed about but she knows that their attraction can go no further. When Silverton expresses his love for Meredith she quickly refuses his advances…well, sometimes not so quickly, and lets him know that they can never be together. Lord Silverton’s mother is quick to verbally spill poison into Meredith’s ear about how bad their life would be and unfortunately Meredith believes her.
I enjoyed the strength that Meredith demonstrated by getting her sister away from her uncle and especially the care and concern for her well-being. I did at times want to shake some sense into her when she was denying Silverton, once again. It seemed to me she did that quite a lot. She would make a decision that he was hers and then in the next instances doubt everything they had together. Some of it was for Annabel’s sake, in the beginning, but later (after Annabel had fallen in love with her other cousin, which was kind of a squicky thing for me. I know they did that back then – just ew.) it quickly became old. I do, however, think that Meredith was acting quite appropriately for the time in history…it just wasn’t something I enjoyed reading about.
Silverton was a great hero in the book. Although he was pegged in the blurb as being the most popular rake we never saw his rakish side. He was always being polite and helpful…when he wasn’t saving his cousin and her sister from harm. And he was most always respectful and loving to his family which is forever a plus in my opinion. Despite the fact that I thought Meredith and Silverton fell in love too quickly they did have ample time throughout the book to have that love grow and it appeased me.
I also think from certain scenes that there will be a sequel to this book that will deal with secondary characters; Silverton’s friend the Earl of Trask and Silverton’s cousin Sophia. If it does release that will be an interesting book to read.
Rating 3.75 out of 5