How to Best A Marquess
by Janna MacGregor
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Pub Date 25 Apr 2023 | Archive Date 09 May 2023
St. Martin's Press, St. Martin's Paperbacks
Beth Howell needs to find her dowry, post haste. After her good-for-nothing first husband married her—and two other women, unbeknownst to them all—she’s left financially ruined and relegated to living with her brother, who cares more for his horses than he does his blood relatives. If Beth fails to acquire her funds, her brother will force her to marry someone fifty years her senior and missing half his teeth. She’d prefer to avoid that dreadful fate. But her now-deceased husband, Meri, absconded with her money mere days after their illegitimate marriage. To find it, Beth will have to leave town and retrace Meri’s steps if she’s to take her future into her own hands.
Julian Raleah, Marquess of Grayson, cares not a whit for social norms and generally growls at anyone in his path. Grayson has had a heart of stone ever since his engagement to Beth Howell went down in flames—long before she married that cad, Meri, and sealed her own fate for good. But now she’s on his doorstep, asking for use of his carriage and accompaniment on the hunt to find her lost dowry. Surely Grayson cannot go on the road with the woman who has occupied his thoughts for the past decade. Yet, knowing she needs him, how can he resist helping her this one last time? And maybe that’s just enough time to change the ending to their over-too-soon love story.
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Janna MacGregor is one of the best historical romance authors I have had the pleasure of reading. I was extremely fortunate to receive an ARC of How To Best A Marquess from Netgalley. This is the story of the third woman that Meriwether had married, Beth Howell who is trying her best to find what happened to her dowry. She asks Julian Raleah, Marquess of Grayson, a former almost fiancée, who was also her best friend to accompany her on this journey. Both are down and out on their luck with money but have big plans to help others if they find some. The journey becomes an exciting adventure full of suspenseful intrigue with a crescendo building up to why did Meri do what he did by being married to three women at the same time. Trying to solve this puzzle together while never having stopped loving each other creates a beautiful love story of never giving up hope.
How To Best A Marquess is an excellent historical romance by Janna MacGregor. Ms. MacGregor has once again provided readers with a well-written story, she's also added a spectacular cast and a prize that may not be found. Julian was crushed when Beth's brother denied his request to marry her. Beth was crushed when Julian didn't find another way for them to be together. Years pass and Beth finds herself widowed, along with 2 other women married to her husband. Yes, there was a scandal. Now Beth is on a quest to learn what her non-husband did with her dowery and asks Julian for his help. Their story is packed with drama, humor, sizzle, action and suspense. I loved every page of this book and I look forward to my next book by Janna MacGregor. How To Best A Marquess is book 3 of The Widow Rules Series but can be read as a standalone. This is a complete book, not a cliffhanger.
Psssstt...books 1 & 2 are also awesome!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
The last book in a series & it's the best one in my opinion.
We have two ex-loves striking a deal to recover Beth's lost/missing dowry which brings about a road trip second chance romance.
How to Best A Marquess was so entertaining! I think the set up for the plot was done really well and it was believable. There's a complicated past between Beth and Julian that provides angst and tension too. The sexual tension between them was palpable! They were both stubborn at times but you understand their reasons. I think the pacing of the romance was well done too.
The mystery was intriguing and kept me interested too. I was anxious to finally get some answers about the cad Meri.
Overall, I enjoyed this addition to the series & am sad to see it end. I would recommend reading the series in order even though this can be read as a standalone. I think you'll just get more out of the story that way. Plus there are reoccurring characters too.
Would recommend to those who enjoy lovers to enemies to lovers, road trip romances, second chance romances, light mystery, angst, family drama, and steam.
I'm all teary-eyed and absolutely mush after finishing this enchanting book! I loved this so very much and the ending was just the perfect bit of whismy. Janna MacGregor writes with spellbinding magic and spectacular wit. This series conclusion was everything and so much more! My heart is overflowing with joy.
Beth is stubborn and wounded, she the perfect heroine because we get to see so many changes happen within her heart. She's always loved another but fate was never kind to her.
Julian is such a perfect hero! He's strong and dedicated and realizes that past missteps don't have to define his future. He's not willing to let his lady love slip away again, but he knows when to pull back. And that only adds to his worthiness.
If Regency romance makes you melt, please do yourself the honor of reading this unputdownable series. You're going to want to re-read these unforgettable books again and again.
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
This is the second book I have read from Janna MacGregor and this has only made me love her writing style even more. I was a little worried as this is the third installment of the "The Widow Rules" series, and I was concerned I would be confused as I missed reading the second book. However, I found out quickly that each book is a standalone story that you can jump into without reading the previous books. I recommend reading the others as it does reference the previous books and will shed more light on each character. But Janna MacGreggor does a good job recapping important information the reader needs. I will be going back to read the second book "Rules for Engaging the Earl" as I forgot how much I love these characters as it has been some time since I read "A Duke in Time". Each book is the point of view of each of the three widows and this is the final installment of this series.
I love historical romance books and this one did not disappoint, how can you not like a victorian era romance? With any romance book, you know exactly how it will end, however, I was surprised at how many times I kept thinking this would take a negative turn and end on a low note. I found myself enthralled with the mystery and unsuspecting twists and turns this book took. There were a few times I was left speechless at the sheer misfortune Beth and Julien faced that I had to double-check that this was in fact listed as a romance book. You don't normally see this kind of plot in a romance and it was refreshing. Don't get me wrong, you still get all the steamy swoon-worthy moments but it was intertwined within the main plot.
I will say the characters were done really well, you can see Janna MacGreggor has grown as an author from the first book in this series. I loved how both Beth and Julian are flawed but both show growth in character throughout the book. Most times I find myself bored by the way characters are written in a romance, as they are extremely unrealistic. With these two they don't shy away from their attraction, but face it as a fact and continue on.
I will finish off by giving this book a 5-star rating as I really enjoyed this book, I honestly don't have anything negative to say about this book. I will definitely be reading more books by Janna MacGregor.
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