Friday, February 3, 2012

How the Marquess Was Won by Julie Anne Long

How this reader was won:

Phoebe is a schoolteacher living in Sussex. She's content to save her wages and visiting her most-coveted, most-aspired for object -- a bonnet at Postlewaite's store.

She's thisclose to getting it and it's thrilling for her to imagine owning something so precious.

Julian Spenser, the Marquess Dryden is rock star-popular. Young lords follow his fashion -- and his every move. He's used to getting his way and getting the best.

Chance brings Phoebe to the store on the same day the Marquess Dryden happens to stop by, on his way to a house party. Chance brings her to the attention of Julian's "friend" Waterburn who bets Julian that he couldn't steal a kiss from Phoebe, who overhears the challenge.

And it is by chance that Phoebe gets invited to the same house party as Julian.

But that would not be Phoebe and Julian's first encounter -- they meet before the party, when Julian tours the school where Phoebe teaches -- and Phoebe makes a memorable first impression by turning the tables on the Ton's most renowned seducer.

Because it is Julian who gets seduced -- by Phoebe's mind and attitude. He is drawn to the light that shines from within Phoebe.

Phoebe is starstruck. She has read all about the Marquess Dryden and of the Ton in the broadsheets -- and what she has read has captured her imagination. The larger-than-life stories about their exploits and escapades. And she longs to be part of that bright and glittering world.

As is the story of her life -- she is thisclose to getting it: to being with Julian and being a part of that glittering world. But it is not meant for her.

Light plays a big theme in Long's story. Light and the absence of it. Phoebe and Julian's past are fraught with shadows and their current lives are filled with light -- but of different sorts. And this is what Julian realises. His life and the luster of it is borrowed light and, like the stars, it fades when the source disappears.

But the light he finds in Phoebe is the light that warms, and nurtures and loves.

But it is a difficult thing to turn his back on his life's work -- the rebuilding of his family name and fortune. He is thisclose to getting what he wants -- the last piece of his life's puzzle (his mother's dower lands) -- but at what cost to himself and to Phoebe?

I don't know how Julie Anne Long did it -- but she has transmuted paper and ink to romance novel gold. This was an amazing, amazing, amazing read.

Julian Spenser and Phoebe Vale have chemistry -- and it is palpable. The thrill of the first touch and the first kiss -- it is enchanting and utterly breathtaking.

Julie Anne Long has woven a wonderfully captivating story -- with an amazing, amazing, amazing ensemble of characters. It is a beautiful world, Pennyroyal Green -- and I am so glad that Julie Anne Long has created it.



    My first long book was THE SECRET TO SEDUCTION and I loved it--very, very much. I was mostly amused by how droll it all was.

    Looking back, I realized that while the droll commentary was my main reason for loving the book, it's also in equal parts the way her focus on the little gestures, sighs, thoughts magnify them and make reading her books a pleasure.

  2. I just got the 4 Pennyroyal books that I was missing. Then I will backtrack and get the rest of her books. ^_^

    True -- she has a way with details. It's like facets of a diamond. ^_^

  3. Love this book - embarrassed to tell you how many times I've re-read it :) Actually, I am re-reading JAL's I Kissed An Earl right now. Breathtaking writing - can't wait for Ian's story coming up...

  4. Hi, Christy! Thank you for stopping by!

    It's my favorite JAL because it was my first. I also loved I Kissed an Earl. I am most, most excited about Lyon and Olivia -- ^_^



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