‘How to Manage a Marquess’ by Sally MacKenzie

htmam skSTORY: Two possible futures loom before Miss Anne Davenport. The first option: sharing an unhappy home with her father and soon-to-be stepmother. The second: a life of independence at the Spinster House–if only her friend, Cat, would vacate the premises and marry the Duke of Hart. A well-placed whisper about the pair’s secret tryst might speed the course of true love. But the duke’s stubborn cousin poses an obstacle. A ridiculously handsome, very persuasive obstacle…

Nate, Marquess of Haywood, has spent his life looking out for the duke, hoping to stave off a family curse. The only way to keep his cousin alive is to keep him single. That means convincing the intriguing Miss Davenport that her lovely lips could be put to far better use than gossiping. Kissing, for instance. In fact, Nate is beginning to hope that Miss Davenport’s destiny lies not in the Spinster House at all, but with him …

REVIEW: Haywood Castle – 1808

Nate, the Marquess of Haywood, is sitting by his mother’s bedside as he sadly watches her die. She is begging him to keep his cousin, Marcus, the Duke of Hart, safe. As the heir, Marcus may be another victim of the family curse that says that a Duke of Hart must marry for love by the time he is 30 or he will die. In promising his mother that he will watch over Marcus, he realizes that he will be unable to wed until Marcus is safely wed.

Loves Bridge – Nine Years Later – 1817

Nate has learned that Miss Catherine Hutting, a vicar’s daughter, wants to be the next Spinster House spinster. However, he fears she truly wants to marry Marcus and become the next Duchess of Hart. He’s worried too because Marcus is now 30.

Miss Anne Davenport also wants to be the next Spinster House spinster. A lovely young woman, Nate cannot help but be attracted to her. But Nate knows that he cannot become involved with any woman because he must keep Marcus safe as he had promised his mother.

Anne wants the Spinster House because her widowed father plans to marry a woman even younger than Anne. She is a widow with two young sons. Anne fears that if she continues to live at Davenport Hall, she will not be welcome to stay and/or may simply become a governess to the children. She also has no wish to marry, has never met a man she cares for, and is quite innocent about marriage as well.

Three women vie to become the next spinster. To select the winner, they draw lots. When Anne loses, she is devastated. However, she soon gets to know Nate and an attraction between them grows. But Nate cannot wed until Marcus does and Anne needs to get away from Davenport Hall. What will happen for them? Is there a future for them to be together?

This is the third book in the Spinster House series that I have read. While I like the author, I found this book to merge with “What To Do With a Duke” so it was a bit confusing. Quite frankly, I think it’s also time to end this particular series as it’s becoming a bit stale.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

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