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How to Master Your Marquis

(A Princess In Hiding #2)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  740 ratings  ·  79 reviews
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 du
Mass Market Paperback, 292 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Berkley Sensation
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Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  740 ratings  ·  79 reviews

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Monty Cupcake ☠ Queen of Bloodshed ☠
Didn't like this one as well. I think it was the whole Lady Charlotte part of the plot that annoyed me and brought down the rating.

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
An action-packed 3.5 stars.
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
Nov 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in Ms Gray’s Princess in Hiding series which features three royal sisters from a small Germanic principality who have been smuggled to England to evade threats to their lives. I have to say that “girls in breeches” is probably my least favourite trope of all, but having enjoyed the audiobook version of the first book (This is the second book in Ms Gray’s Princess in Hiding series which features three royal sisters from a small Germanic principality who have been smuggled to England to evade threats to their lives. I have to say that “girls in breeches” is probably my least favourite trope of all, but having enjoyed the audiobook version of the first book (How To Tame Your Duke) and managed to largely get past my dislike of the premise, I thought I’d give the second novel a try.

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.
Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.75 stars

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
Feb 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Juliana Gray's "How to Master Your Marquis" - #2 in the Princesses in Hiding series  
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,
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
So maybe it was the fact that I listened to rather than read this book, but gah.

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.
Jul 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2014
Several issues with this one (possible spoilers):

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
Samia Ruponti
Oct 08, 2014 rated it liked it
some factors were truly ridiculous(view spoiler) Other than those, it was enjoyable enough.

Actually, this would have been a DNF
Debbie Lester
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Author Juliana Gray brings readers the second book in her Princess in Hiding series, How to Master Your Marquis. Gray employs humor and madcap antics to get the readers attention and never lets it go from the first page to the last. This Victorian historical is somewhat different from Regency novels and readers will appreciate the advent of technology and how it changed the ton and the times. Gray's attention to detail is impeccable and her character development impressive. A great second book i ...more
Liz F
Nov 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Review copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley

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
I reviewed the first title in Ms Gray’s A Princess in Hiding trilogy – How to Tame Your Duke – narrated by Veida Dehmlow, and enjoyed it in spite of a few reservations about both story and performance. This second book in the set boasts a different narrator, and having enjoyed Ms Wild’s performance in Julie Garwood’s Castles, I was keen to listen to her again.

The premise of the series is that three princesses from a minor (and fictional) German principality have to go into hiding following the assassi
My Book Addiction and More MBA
A captivating tale from start to finish! Ms. Gray has written a story that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat! With excellent character development, captivating storyline, and steaming hot romance, this book is simply a must buy!

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
May 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The suspense almost killed me! The whole story enfolds with a courtroom drama with the hero of the story as the accused and our youngest spunkiest princess playing a very credible law clerk working on the hero's case. What a story! I couldn't put the book down. It costed me many sleepless hours when the next day is a working day but that is how the story pulls you in and chews you slowly. You know the hero is innocent, you are confident that he is going to come out of the whole trial unscathed b ...more
Actually 3.5stars
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
Diane K. Peterson
Nov 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very good book, but not as good as the first one. The mystery was a little difficult to follow since the book consisted of several flashbacks. The hero and heroine were both very likable characters and their relationship felt very genuine.
Wendy Marcus
May 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'll admit, it took a few chapters for me to get into this book. At first I wasn't a fan of the jumping back and forward in time. But once I got into the story I really enjoyed it!
Zaxs Yacs
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it

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

Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Definitely better than the first one. Especially mixing the future (the trial) with past (what led to it) made for a very compelling read and it kept me interested until the very end, unlike the first book in the series.

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
Feb 17, 2017 rated it liked it
I liked the twist of drama within the book. The characters were funny and I enjoyed their witty banter. While the language used was definitely fitting of the time, some of the behaviour of the characters felt out of place... I enjoyed it, but could easily have imagined aspects of the story occurring in a 'modern' setting.
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dropped
Got bored. Life’s too short. DNF
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. I, surprisingly, enjoyed the way it was structured with the book jumping to the future and back again. Normally that would annoy me but it did not.
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another fun princess-disguised-as-man story. Excellent hero. Interesting back-and-forth use of time in the storytelling. Court case, murder trial, all of it was fun.
B.J. Campbell
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great nook with lots of twists and turns, could hardly put it down!! Enjoyed it very much!!🌷🌷
Anna's Herding Cats
Damn, Juliana Gray had me on the edge of my seat with How to Master Your Marquis. This was one exciting, nerve wracking, sweet and sexy historical romance and sweet Mary I loved every damn second of it.

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
Nov 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
* ARC received for an honest opinion
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
Pretty Sassy Cool
Sep 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
4 stars.

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.
"How to Train Your Marquess" follows Stephanie, third in line to the Crown of a small German principality. She and her sisters are in hiding after their father, the king, and brother in law are murdered. Rather than follow the line of succession, anarchists are trying to kidnap and I assume murder the sisters to get rid of monarchy.

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
Dec 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing



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
Barb Lie
Nov 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
How to Master Your Marquis by Juliana Gray is the second book in her historical romance, A Princess in Hiding series. If you have not read my review of the first book, the premise of the series is about three sisters (Louisa, Stefanie and Emilie), who are princesses on the run from a plot to overthrow their German principality crown, as their father has been killed. Their uncle, the Duke of Olympia, puts together a plan to separate them in disguise, until it is safe. How to Master Your Marquis b ...more
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
It has been far too long since I've read a historical romance this good. There's nothing better than a cross-dressing princess, a steamy romance, and a murder mystery to make an exciting read.

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
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 27, 2015 11:53AM  

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Other books in the series

A Princess In Hiding (3 books)
  • How to Tame Your Duke (A Princess In Hiding, #1)
  • How to School Your Scoundrel (A Princess In Hiding, #3)