How to Master Your Marquis
Of all her sisters, Princess Stefanie is by far the least amenable to law and order, which is why she’s appalled to find herself masquerading as an unbearably drab clerk for the most honorable barrister in England. But her du ...more
Stefanie was the bit of comedy in this book with her cheeky retorts. I enjoyed that about her and her musings on Hatherfield's beauty. The negative would be her impetuousness and immaturity. It's not too bad, but she definitely came off as the youngest sister.
Hatherfield is a very staid and charming figure, but with a tortured past, of course. Maybe because the pre ...more
This was a fun book with lots of action and adventure for the second of the three princesses in hiding. I liked her- she was gutsy, straightforward, intelligent and very comfortable with her sexuality, (which was great.) He had a few hang-ups, including a rather ghastly story from his adolescence, but was a protective hunk of gorgeousness - with a spectacular sex-drive, apparently :) - and they got their HEA without too much emotional trauma. It was more of the d ...more
I’m glad I did, because I think it’s a stronger book than the first one. It’s tightly written and plotted with the story being told in a mixture of current day and flashback scenes, which is a device I rather enjoy. I like getting snippets of the characters’ futures and wondering how they got there while also knowing that I’m not going to have to wait too long to find out!
The heroine of this book is the youngest of the sisters, Princess Stefanie. She’s headstrong and mischievous, clearly one for breaking the rules, playing practical jokes, and generally causing mayhem. So dressing her up as a man (complete with itchy, false moustache) and then making her act the part of a dry-as-dust law clerk is probably not the best fit for her. But someone is out to kill her and her sisters and she has no alternative but to follow the instructions given to her by her uncle, the powerful and enigmatic Duke of Olympia.
When, in her first meeting with her new employer, Stefanie gets a good look at his young friend, the stupendously gorgeous James Lambert, Marquis of Hatherfield… well, she decides that maybe living in disguise won’t be such a hardship after all.
I still find it difficult to get past the idea that a curvaceous woman could pass as a man and go undetected for a long period of time. What makes the concept a little more tolerable in this book is that Hatherfield sees through Stefanie’s disguise straight away and appoints himself in the role of protector until he can find out what on earth such a young woman is doing masquerading as a man. The problem, of course, is that I then started to wonder why Hatherfield could work it out and nobody else could.
But okay, I decided to let that one go and continued reading.
But he wouldn’t be a true romantic hero without a dark secret in his past, and Hatherfield’s is a nasty one. He may now be a model of sexual restraint, but it wasn’t always that way, and he’s not proud of the fact that he shagged practically anything in a skirt in his younger days. Even though those days are over, he still regards himself as tainted because of the events which led to such promiscuity (I was immediately reminded of the hero of Alyssa Everett’s Lord of Secrets, whose past experiences engendered a similar reaction). I do think that Hatherfield was able to overcome both his issues and his scruples rather quickly, and that once he’d done so, he seemed to have made a complete recovery. This is a problem often encountered when a character in a novel is given a past which involves some kind of trauma and that trauma is used to inform their actions and as a method of creating tension and angst in the story. Because the author can’t spend chapters detailing months of therapy (and in historical romance, can’t even do that because it didn’t exist as such), there’s always the danger that the addicted/abused hero or heroine will appear to be magically – and quickly – cured by lurve.
Stefanie is an engaging heroine and a good match for Hatherfield. She has rather a rude awakening as to how the other half lives on her first morning among the gainfully employed, and finds it difficult to curb her natural vivacity and impish tongue. But she’s courageous, insightful and unfailingly honest, and her sense of fun really shines through, especially in the good-natured to-and-fro between her and the marquis –
”You know, there’s this delightful invention called a staircase. Paired with a door, it’s a really remarkable way of gaining entrance to someone’s room.”
Or in the refreshingly pert way she addresses the guests at a dinner party:
”My fault, I’m afraid. I kept him up far too late last night. I won’t say what we were up to – “ a devilish wink as she stepped past several pairs of astonished eyes on her way to the drinks tray – “as the subject is not at all suitable for ladies.”
She poured her sherry to the brim and clinked her glass against Hatherfield’s with a happy, crystalline chink.
“Your health, sir.”
“By God,” said the Duke of Southam, stunned. “Who the devil’s that?”
There’s a fair amount of comedy in the book, which nicely balances the sombre aspect of the murder trial; the love scenes are romantic and sensual and there’s plenty of action along the way, too, as the would-be assassins turn up and are thwarted by Hatherfield, aided later by Ashland (hero of the first book) and Dingleby, the princess’ inscrutable former governess. There are also a couple of beautifully written real lump-in-throat moments towards the end when Hatherfield is forced to contemplate the worst.
The structure of the novel worked very well, serving to ramp up the tension from the get-go. Even though I knew all would end well (this is a romance, after all), there were still plenty of questions to be answered as to how it would be achieved and the direction the story would take.
I still think it’s implausible to believe that Stefanie was able to fool everyone apart from her marquis into believing she was a man – nobody else seemed to have the slightest suspicion. Yet Ms Gray has managed to avoid the deception becoming too obtrusive in the book by not referring to it too often. There’s a little running joke about Stefanie’s fake moustache and occasional mentions of masculine clothing, but much of the time, I was able to forget that I was reading about a woman masquerading as a man. I think that was in part because I was immediately gripped by the story and partly due to the fact that the novel was really about Hatherfield, with Stefanie’s story being more of a secondary plotline which had some impact on the main plot of the trial and events leading up to it.
It’s a tribute to Ms Gray’s skill as a writer that I enjoyed a story that features my least favourite trope in historical romance. How to Master Your Marquis is well-written and strongly characterised, and I especially enjoyed the way the novel was structured. I will certainly be reading the third book in the series to discover how everything turns out. ...more
This book was so lovely, I'm dying a bit. Stefanie and Hatherfield, like Emilie and Ashland from the first book, love so fiercely that I just can't even handle it. So romantic, beautiful and heartwarming. A tinge of wickedness as well. ;) I absolutely loved this book like the first and I can't wait to finish this trilogy.
It is did start slow for me like the first book but it does pick up fairly quickly. I was surprised how fast Hatherfield realized Stefanie was a woman. He ...more
This book takes place at about the same time as the first book in the series, "How to Tame Your Duke". The heroine of this one is Sophie, the youngest of the three sisters, and she's disguised as a male law clerk working for an eminent barrister and friend of Sophie's uncle, the Duke of Olympia, to whom the author has given almost supernatural powers.
The hero is the Marquis of Hatherfield, ...more
I get that the drama, the plot, the story line, all of it worked. And this book truly did these fascinating moments that sucked me in, dammit, if I have to hear someone yelling "Hatherfield" one more damned time, I am gonna poke my ear drums out with a chopstick. Seriously, said name, the hero by the by, had to have been said something like 58 times or more.
Likes: the book flashes back and forward in the story. ...more
1. Wright starts out as a smarmy sort who's trying to more or less coerce James into marrying his sister, but James trusts him so much that he wants the guy to marry/protect Stefanie and take care of their child if he hangs? Did I miss something? When the hell did that shift occur?
2. The total nonissue it seems (socially and societally) to be that a number of people have drawn the conclusion that James and "Stephen" are sleeping toge ...more
Actually, this would have been a DNF ...more
How to Master Your Marquis is Book 2 of the A Princess in Hiding series by Juliana Gray. I really wanted to like this book. I enjoyed the first book in the series and had high hopes for this one. I don't know if the premise of princesses in hiding is only good for one book or if this book just wasn't as good as the first one. I'm going to take a closer look at the characters and see if I can figure out why I didn't enjoy this book ve ...more
The premise of the series is that three princesses from a minor (and fictional) German principality have to go into hiding following the assassi ...more
When Princess Stefanie is sent to be a boring clerk, she is less than pleased about her situation, until she sees James, the Marquess of Hatherfield. Seeing him every day may be the only redeeming factor about her situation, not to mention all the u ...more
The second hidden princess, Stefanie Victoria Augusta, is given the persona of a dry and naive male law clerk to hide her from the dark and dastardly 'shadow agents' after her and her sisters. Their uncle, the renown and powerful, Duke of Olympia certainly has a variety of situations to shield his nieces. Stefanie's situation is with one of the premier barristers in the region.
Stefanie's unsettled with the dreary wardrobe and chafes at the idea of masquerading ...more
Three intrepid princesses find themselves targets in a deadly plot against the crown—until their uncle devises a brilliant plan to keep them safe...
Of all her sisters, Princess Stefanie is by far the least amenable to law and order, which is why she’s appalled to find herself masquerading as an unbearably drab clerk for the most honorable barrister in England. But her dull disguise turns out to have its privileges: namely, the opportunity to consort unchaperoned with her employer’s exceedingly handsom...more
I just have one little note: in the scene where Hatherfield makes his father think he's gay (which was honestly really funny, but also...) were some really big historical innacuracies. For starters, no man would bat an eye that another man got himself made a tailored ...more
The gist is that Princess Stephanie's life is in danger and to keep her safe from a group of men intent on assassinating the royal family she's forced to go into hiding as a male clerk. Different, right? And she of course manages to catch the eye of her employer's nephew--Hatherfield who has a whole set ...more
review also posted on: http://ramblingsfromthischick.blogspo...
This was a great story but I will admit I had a difficult time at the beginning… I put the book down a couple of times and kept coming back to it. I had difficulty understanding what was going on in the story. After I did a little research I understood what was happening and then became very interested!
When the book starts we have a trial James Lambert, the Marquess of Hatherfield is on trial for the murder of ...more
This was a well-done, entertaining story about a madcap heroine and her handsome protector. First of all, I love when writers of historical fiction/romance successfully weave their historical research into the backdrop of the story. Ms. Gray does a great job of creating the tapestry of life in England and Europe during the late Victorian/early Edwardian era. There was one curious inconsistency. The title says marquis, but the hero of the story is a marquess, the title used by the British aristocracy. ...more
In all three books, each sister is sent to a part of England in the disguise of a man and to live with titled man. Stephanie is the most mischievous of th ...more
HOW TO MASTER YOUR MARQUIS Is a Thrill Ride
E-Galley provided by publisher via NetGalley for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
Even though there’s a 99% chance of a Happily Ever After to be had in a historical romance I was on the edge of my seat throughout. I just wasn’t sure until the last ...more
When Princess Stefanie and her sister are threatened by assassins, the sisters must separate and hide away in places no one would ever think to find them. Defiant Stefanie finds herself masquerading as a male clerk for barrister in England. What she doesn't expect to find in England, though, is the irresis ...more