Book Review

‘The Marquess’ by Patricia Rice

STORY: Scarred in a duel over a feckless woman, Gavin Lawrence leaves America to take up his new duty as Marquess of Effingham, vowing never to care about others again. But lurking in the secret passages of his crumbling manor house is a courageous and exceedingly annoying young woman in terrible danger.

The self-sufficient daughter of a soldier, Dillian Whitnell guards her injured cousin in isolated Arinmede manor after an attempt on both their lives. Dillian hadn’t expected the new marquess to notice her, but his stubborn refusal to believe she’s a ghost turns into a hide-and-seek game that leads to increasingly close encounters. A game where irritation turns to intrigue, and intrigue to a forbidden passion as the real villain emerges from the past.

REVIEW: This story was such a pleasure to read. Patricia Rice gives us her version of the beauty and the beast, and I really liked her take on it.

Gavin Lawrence, recently titled Marquess of Effingham, a badly scarred man, has finally arrived in England to claim his title and properties, including an old and run down castle with hardly any servants. His brother Michael accompanies him for this adventure, and as younger brothers go, Michael is ever so obliging in throwing Gavin for a loop, and the latest one is particularly troubling to this impoverished newly minted aristocrat.

Dillian Whitnell has lived with her young cousin Lady Blanche Perceval for a while now, and to many in the society, she’s known as Miss Reynolds, Blanche’s companion. The pretence is deliberate even though the name is legitimate. The women have become very close confidants and mostly rely on each other, and not on Lady Blanches cousin, young Neville, Duke of Anglesey who neither of them trust and are suspecting of trying to kill Blanche.

The two main characters were very likable once you got to know them better and understand their backgrounds. Trust never came easy to them and trusting each other took some time. Once Gavin finds out who Dillian really is and learns of her childhood, he can’t help but admire the woman she’s become. The same goes for Dillian, although it was much harder for her to get to know the man behind the scars.

What I also appreciated in this story is the realness brought to the love scenes between the two. There was no coyness in them and the chemistry was purely sexual in the beginning. Both individuals knew what they wanted from each other, and frankly neither wanted nor could offer more, at the time. I liked that.

Even though the story starts off a bit slow, I understood the reasons behind it. The author chose that course in order for me to get familiar with the cast of characters as well as the setting of the plot, and I for one appreciate that she did. It helped me to understand the dynamic between the main and secondary characters, and the relationship between the hero and the heroine. As the story develops, so does the plot and the pace is picked up. Ms. Rice knows her craft and there were no loopholes left in this well written, very solid and highly entertaining mystery filled romance.

As beauty and the beast stories go, this one’s one of the best I’ve read so far. I also read the sequel to it, The English Heiress, which is Michael and Blanches story, and recommend it highly as well.

15 thoughts on “‘The Marquess’ by Patricia Rice”

  1. Melanie –

    Thank you for the review of Patricia’s new book The Marquess. Until I read the review I didn’t realize how long it been since I read one her stories! It seems lately I’ve been reading quite a few books by debut authors and this made me remember how much I had enjoyed Patricia’s book in the past.

    I’m looking forward to reading not only The Marquess but also finding out more about the next book The English Heiress,.

    Have you ever thought of having a giveaway of some of the books you’ve loved reading? At least in this house gently used books are always appreciated as much as something brand new! After all that way it’s already “broken in” and you don’t feel guilty about turning the pages to be able to go back and re-read those special scenes that have made you stop and think or just because you enjoyed reading them so much!

    Hope you had a great 4th of July!

    1. Hey J!

      Are you staying cool, woman?! This is un-FN-believable! HOT HOT HOT! My home is 90 and it sucks! I stay in the basement all evening long 😀 I’ll share my rev of The English Heiress as soon as it is posted on RCJR…

      BTW we did a giveaway in November (for our blogoversary)in which authors pitched their fave reads and gave them away! We’ll be doing another one soon too. But you’ve given me an idea to work with and having books laying around EVERYWHERE, I think another giveaway looms on the horizon ;D

      1. Mel –

        Yeah! It’s only in the high 80’s and low 90’s here but that means lots of people are going to the beach on the ocean and I can take my grandson down to the lake just a block away!

        I don’t have to fight all the beach practice that well and my husband leaves early to get everything ready for his hot dog cart down at the ocean beach just 3 miles away!
        The more the temperature rises the more hot dogs he sells! He’s the owner/operator of Rhode Island’s Famous Doug’s Dogs at Narragansett Beach!

        Obviously we love the hot weather and if you and your husband want to visit your hot dogs are free!

      2. As long as he has Vienna Dogs, we should be there by tonite! LOL! Will take you up though if we ever venture in your direction 😀

    1. You’re welcome 😀

      I love bringing you books that you haven’t read and even the one you have, but might have forgotten about. Neecy, you have to promise me to read the sequel to this one, and I’m looking forward to you reading my review of THE ENGLISH HEIRESS 😀

    1. Thanks Chick!

      But you’ll have to read the next one too, and trust me when I say, the hero of that one will warm your toes!!! I call him the ultimate ‘roling stone’!!!

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Reading your name woke me up (reason being pure guilt at reading your book and never rev’ing), so I’m sitting here at my comp trying to correct that and hope to have it done some time today, and post.

      As for The Marquess, I liked it a lot, but the next book (which I rev’d and soon will be posted at Romantic Crush Junkies Reviews eZine), The English Heiress is A.W.E.S.O.M.E.!!! Made me want to hug Michael every time he popped up, which being a hero of the book, was ALL the time 😀

      Will do and you too ;D

  2. thank you for the marvelous review and understanding my eccentric characters! It’s so much fun seeing this book on the market again, and I can’t wait for everyone to read Michael’s story. Hi, everyone, from steamy Baltimore today.

    1. Pat,

      You are welcome, but truly, the review can only reflect the well written word, the human element of your characters and your prose. Keep up what you’re doing. We ARE here and we DO love what you do 😀

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