How to Manage a Marquess

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How to Manage a Marquess

Spinster House, #2

“How to Manage a Marquess” by Sally MacKenzie is a story that blends superstition and social commentary while giving a glimpse of the limited alternatives available to women during this era. There are poignant moments sprinkled throughout the story, including those that deal with the heroine’s understandable phobia, and I was touched by the way the hero struggles to help his sister and nephews but for some reason, I was more interested in one of the secondary romances. I was frustrated at the way Anne’s father dealt with her, not quite impressed by Poppy’s mystical presence, and almost felt that the romantic relationships were a little too contrived and didn’t give me a chance to connect with the characters. It was also puzzling that the possible victim of the curse seemed less concerned about it than Nate, and I was surprised that chastity was not a major concern in either story. I did appreciate the bonus novella, “In the Spinster’s Bed,” which detailed some of the events alluded to in the main story, but it also had a somewhat forced quality, some of which was undoubtedly due to the abbreviated length of the tale. I think there are good elements to these two stories but I couldn’t really feel a rapport for any of the main characters, nor could I appreciate why the friends couldn’t share the house they are all so covetous of.

This historical romance is part of the ‘Spinster House’ series and follows Miss Anne Davenport, whose life is about to be turned upside down yet again, as her father is about to marry again. Her unexpected interactions with Nate, Marquess of Haywood, are complicated by his distrust of her actions and his obsession with ensuring his cousin does not fall victim to the family curse. The two of them are at cross-purposes and the result of their machinations may not quite be what they expected, but maybe the purpose of the curse will have unforeseen side effects.

Book Blurb for How to Manage a Marquess

In USA Today bestselling author Sally MacKenzie's charming Spinster House series, love is always a welcome guest…

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 …

Night Owl Reviews Nov, 2016 3.50