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Mad About the Marquess

(Highland Brides #2)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  287 ratings  ·  72 reviews
From acclaimed author Elizabeth Essex comes the adventurous first book in the Highland Brides, a quartet of bold, brilliant lasses determined to make their own happily ever afters.


Lady Quince Winthrop has been robbing from society’s rich and giving to Edinburgh’s poor for years. But everything changes the day she can’t re
Kindle Edition, 372 pages
Published April 5th 2016 by ERB Publishing
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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Start your review of Mad About the Marquess (Highland Brides, #2)
2.5 stars

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Lady Quince has a rebel streak a mile wide but has managed to direct it for good by playing a bit of a Robin Hood. However, when the Marquess of Cairn comes back home after his grandfather's death and is charged with finding out who the thief is, Quince has a worthy adversary. Years ago, Alasdair Marquess of Cairn was courting Quince's sister but he was
Sissy's Romance Book Review
I received an eARC, from NetGalley and the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
'Mad About the Marquess" is book one in the 'The Highland Brides' series by Elizabeth Essex.
Lady Quince Winthrop has always been a little bit of a rebel but not she has taken it to a new level. Quince is tired of seeing her fellow Scottish being taken from their land in favor of sheep. Quince has went forward and tired to help the people by taking items from the 'rich to give to the poor'.

Alasdair, Marquess
Mar 21, 2018 marked it as dnf
No rating from me since this DNF is purely a result of personal preference.

I read to page 128 and I am calling it quits. The writing in this is as elegant and frothy as usual, but I feel misled by the book blurb. The story makes it seem like the heroine is a Robin Hood of sorts, trying to save her community with the only tool at her disposal...on the gray side of the law.

Unfortunately, wee Quince (I really got tired of the wee part) is just a spoiled, clever, rich girl who is bored and searching
Apr 05, 2016 added it
I will refrain from rating this book because I couldn't make myself finish the story. A woman pretending to be a man is a deal breaker for me. I don't understand the allure. It's my mistake, I never should have started reading this book once I read that the heroine was some kind of a Robin Hood.

*I received an ARC for the book from the publisher on NetGalley
I've given this a C+ at AAR, so that's 3.5 stars.

This is the first full-length novel in Elizabeth Essex’s Highland Brides series, and takes place some two years after the events of the prequel novella, Mad for Love which I reviewed here. Some of the elements I particularly enjoyed about the novella are present here – the sprightliness of the writing, the warmth and the humour, for instance – but I confess that I actually found Mad About the Marquess difficult to rate for a number of reasons.


I was really enjoying this, right up until me and the hero got slapped in the face; figuratively in my case, literally in his. Let me explain:

Okay, so the blurb already establishes that Quince is a thief, a lady Robin Hood of sorts, and Alasdair is the man out to catch her, although he has no idea Quince is the culprit he seeks. I was all for this plot, even if I had already read something similar in Karen Hawkins’ wonderful The Prince and I and more recently, the very lackluster How I Marrie
A Klue
Mar 28, 2016 rated it liked it
**Did not finish**

As this book is part of a series entitled Highland Brides, I was expecting more of a Scottish romance. However, it definitely came across more English Regency, since the characters usually used very proper English and mannerisms. They only occasionally slipped into a Scottish dialect. At 20% into, I realized the conversations were not only too prim and proper for my taste but way too lengthy and verbose, as well. For this NetGalley reviewer, it simply wasn’t living up to the sy
Tracy Emro
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Amazing a "Robin Hood" inspired romance novel where the heroine actually is just a kleptomaniac and it's not glossed over.
May 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Full review at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

I read Mad about the Marquess while at RT 2016, and the book was so good that it left me having sweaty anxiety about wanting to hide and read and go to all the panels all at the same time. Fortunately I was among my people at RT so sweaty reading anxiety is something everyone understood.

It features:

1. A heroine who decides to become a highwayman because of course she does.
2. A staid Scottish hero who is really isn’t all that staid.
3. Sass wars.
4. A heroi
Jun 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult, historical
It was okay.

If you wrote down a description of the characters, they would sound like very enticing characters.
Lady Quince Winthrop: Thief, Kleptomaniac, Robin Hood, Cheeky, Witty and Reckless.
Marquess of Cairn: Foreboding man of politics with dark past and furrowed brow, with great sense of fashion. Soft spot for Quince.

I should be a happy reader! I should! But for some reason I just couldn't give a fuck about them. What should sound like romance reader catnip became characters I couldn't fe
Dot Salvagin
May 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Quince is all of nineteen but she has been relieving the wealthy of Edinburgh of their precious trinkets for quite some time. She donates the proceeds of her larceny to the poor through a local church. But she also gets a thrill out of stealing that she can get nowhere else.

Alasdair has been charged by the British Home Office to put a stop to the thievery in Edinburgh’s high society. He has some idea that Quince is involved but she persuades him otherwise. The attraction they feel for each othe
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book and would like to read more by the author.
This is the story of a young girl who intends to enjoy her life and in her own way play Robin Hood. It is set at the time of the Enclosure Acton in Scotland and Quince is disturbed by the number of people being affected. To this end she has decided to begin pocketing small metal valuables that can be melted down and sold. When this becomes too risky she becomes a highway robber! She has meanwhile enticed the Marquess of Cairn to give
Kelly-Jo Sweeney
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. I haven't read any of Elizabeth Essex's books before, but having started with this one, I may well be tempted to read more.
I loved both Alasdair and Quince and the way that they interacted with each other. This is a character-driven book.
I also particularly liked the way that it didn't get bogged down in lots of dialogue. There are lots of these 'Scottish' historical books that are written with everyone having thick accents, no matter what their social status. This i
Jul 02, 2017 rated it liked it
I didn't actually finish reading this book, but it's been sitting in my currently reading list for nearly a year now, and that just feels like a lie, y'know?

I honestly think I liked it mostly, but I found the book somewhat stressful. The heroine of the story is a liar and a thief, and the hero is—get this—someone who really hates liars. She has to lie to him, like, a lot. Bet that's really gonna blow up in her face.

When I put this book down, I honestly did think I would pick it up again. I didn'
Evelyn Goldman
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this story. Ideas and conversations regarding consent and contraception occurred in ways that felt very true to the time period. The marquess’s secretary was a free West Indian man who came off as believable and capable. The author should write his love story! The only flaw was that it could have used one more pass with an editor to catch the extra words/wrong verbs in sentences that come from rewrites and edits.
Mar 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
This story was silly, but the witty dialogue made it excessively readable. (Also, the author was considerate enough to put the gratuitous sex scene at the end, so if you prefer to skip that sort of thing, you won't accidentally miss an important plot point.)
Marina Leonard
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A female Robin Hood, how exciting. The bad between Quince and Alasdair is so witty, it had me laughing a lot. One steamy love scene at the end was done quite well.I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from this author.
Mar 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Loved her, hated him!
Sep 02, 2019 marked it as to-read
I set myself a challenge for the remainder of 2019, this is number XII. Scotland
Karen Darling
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: could-not-finish
Dull Only made it to chapter 4.
Zoë Ann
Jun 04, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 magical little stars
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it

Loved this story! Full of adventure and smart witty dialogue. The romance and plot was original. Loved the heroine.. good read.
Mar 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I was given an ARC from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Ho boy. I'm trying to process the jumbled mess that are my thoughts on this one. There were elements that I liked, some I didn't like, and some that were just ridiculous. I guess I'll organize it that way:

What I liked:

The flirtatious banter between Cairn/Alisdair/Strathcairn/Whatever you want to call him and Quince (worst. name. ever. btw) was actually pretty good. Cute even. Their love scene was actually very
Mar 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Mad About The Marquess is the first book in the Highland Brides series by Elizabeth Essex. There is a novella before this, an introduction to the series as it were, called Mad For Love, which I have read and thoroughly enjoyed too.

This book is about Lady Quince Winthrop. She is what she considers the bad sheep in the family. She is a thief of sorts. She attends balls and parties and watches for when somebody puts down something of value, such as a silver snuffbox, and when they have forgotten it
Jan Goodard
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received this free ARC ebook from NetGalley for an honest review.
This book had all the things I enjoy in a good read; suspense, strong main characters, a villain, and of course romance. Put all of this into a Scottish setting, wonderful. Lady Quince Winthrop and Alasdair, the Marquees of Cairn have an acquaintance prior to the start of this book though not a close one since he once was paying attention to her sister. He has been in London for many years, in Parliament and repairing a reputatio
Amy ~ Love At 1st Read
Apr 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Lady Quince Winthrop loves to steal. She loves the thrill of the act itself and she loves to take from the rich and give to the poor. She's good at it too. So good that her endeavors have been aiding the local church for three years now.
Alisdair, Marquess of Cairn, is back home in Scotland to investigate the mysterious robberies that have been occurring. What a surprise to discover instead a young lass he knew years ago. But she's no longer a child. There's much more to Quince Winthrop than the
Debbie Brown
Apr 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Lady Quince Winthrop aka Lady Robin hood loves to steal. She’s been robbing from the rich of society and giving to the poor for years. She can’t help herself, she is addicted to the thrill of stealing and she can’t resist the temptation to steal the shiny new silver button at a dance only to find out the coat belongs to the new Marquess of Cairn. Alasdair, Marquess of Cairn, has come back to Scotland after his grandfather’s death to stop the mysterious robberies, but little does he know the beau ...more
A.J. Tipton
Jun 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
There are times when it's nice to just set aside cares and cynicism and just dive deep into a ridiculous romp of a book about super Scottish people who talk about being Scottish all of the time, who steal and lie (at least, the lady does. A lot. Compulsively. It's great.), and vex each other constantly as an escalating form of seduction. Ridiculous in all the right ways, this book makes almost no sense from a practical stand point, but it also doesn't really try to. The title alone is the warnin ...more
1. Mad About the Marquess, Elizabeth Essex (October 16, owned ebook) - DNF

This book had the potential to be fun – set in Scotland. The hero’s a reluctant newly elevated Marquess. The heroine is a spunky younger sister of someone he once courted. She’s trying to make the world a better place by stealing small items, selling them and using the proceeds to feed the poor.

The book opens when they encounter each other at a ball and she decides to steal his silver buttons. Conversations and slight fli
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 17, 2016 10:05AM  

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When not re-reading Jane Austen, sipping tea or mucking about her garden, Elizabeth Essex can be found at her computer, making up wonderful stories about people who live far more interesting lives than she.
Elizabeth Essex

It wasn’t always so. Elizabeth graduated from Hollins College with a BA in Classical Studies and Art History, and then earned her MA from Texas A&M University in Nautical Archaeol

Other books in the series

Highland Brides (4 books)
  • Mad for Love (Highland Brides, #1)
  • A Fine Madness (Highland Brides, #3)
  • Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Marry (Highland Brides, #4)

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