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Merely a Marriage

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  497 Ratings  ·  99 Reviews
The New York Times bestselling author of The Viscount Needs a Wife returns with another roguishly delicious Regency romance...

As England mourns the death of Princess Charlotte, Lady Ariana Boxstall has another succession in mind. Her brother, Norris, is a strapping young man, but he s also happily unmarried and childless. Norris agrees to take a wife on one condition: that
...more
Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 30th 2017 by Berkley Books
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alexis
❈ Huge thanks to Berkley Publishing Group for providing me with an ARC for review❈

Merely a Marriage, Jo Beverley's last novel, promises a second chance romance, hijinks, and charm. In actuality, Merely a Marriage was none of those things. Instead, it was a mishmash of conflicting plot lines, see through mystery, and bland, heartless characters.

The start of Merely a Marriage was fairly promising. Princess Charlotte's recent death has changed the country, and got Ariana Boxtall, our heroine, think
...more
AnnMarie
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Merely a Marriage is a stand alone book by Jo Beverley. Knowing that the dear lady passed away a year ago made reading this book bittersweet for me. I was happy to be enjoying an entertaining book, but so sad knowing that it's author is no longer with us and that she won't be writing any more books.

Lady Ariana Boxstall is desperately upset after Princess Charlotte dies along side her baby in childbirth. It's very upsetting because Charlotte was young, but also upsetting because it makes Ariana r
...more
Sophia
May 24, 2017 rated it liked it
A last book by a beloved author had me feeling all kinds of sentimental and predisposed to love this one. A sibling challenge, a fiery unconventional heroine, and a melancholy hero were mildly engaging.

As I said, this was a swan song book by an author I have been reading her books for over two decades. With a little connection to her Company of Rogues world, I happily looked for the cameos that were there. I enjoyed the redoubtable Dowager Countess of Cawle and another visit with Mr. Peake as st
...more
Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

This is a lively Regency tale, with a charming heroine, a captivating hero, and lots of twists and turns in the plot. It may take a few liberties with the manners of the day, but overall it is a fitting final book for an author of historical romances.

Lady Ariana Boxstall tells her brother she'll marry if he will to keep their family home out of the hands of the uncle who will destroy everything if her brother dies before having an heir. But finding someone she can marry is difficult-not only can
...more
Mary - Buried Under Romance
I am much saddened by this beloved author's passing, and it is doubly unfortunate that this story is simply quite dull. It took great effort for me to finish it because almost nothing happens - most of the pages are filled with Ariana's inner monologues. Her heart is in turmoil after meeting the Earl of Kynaston again, for whom she had a tendre many years ago, except he didn't really notice her then, and now he has, after some forced proximity to each other. The problem is, Ariana just acts as i ...more
DemetraP
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book had some very depressing parts. The hero lost his beloved wife in childbirth. Then in real life history, Princess Charlotte died in childbirth.

The heroine was also over the top obsessed with a mummy that had a slight resemblance to the hero's dead wife. I found it creepy. They eventually buried the wife and the mummy in the same cemetery.

I felt the romance was lacking in this book. Heroine was obsessed with how tall she was and how she wanted a tall man.
Laura
May 29, 2017 rated it liked it
***ARC Provided by Berkley Publishing Group***

Ariana and Kynaston had, I think, the potential to be a lot more interesting than they ultimately were, which is a shame as I had high hopes for this title, especially as this is the last book by Jo Beverly.

There was a lot going on here, with scandals in papers, running off to elope, brothers who don't want to marry, trips to London, and attempts to marry off a woman who is nearing (if not already) at an age where she would be considered a spinster.

U
...more
Jane
Jo Beverley was a prolific author of romance novels until she died in 2016. I believe this is her last book. Unfortunately, it is not very good. It is dull and repetitive, with a plot that is all over the place.

It starts out well. Ariana, a young woman who is past the normal marrying age, is worried her younger brother, an earl, will die without an heir and they’ll lose the family home. She challenges him to marry and he says he’ll find a wife if she first finds a husband. She agrees to this bar
...more
Cass
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vikki Vaught
Jo Beverley was one of my all-time favorite historical romance authors. I wept when I heard she had passed last May. I have read many of her books, and I also have quite a few in audio. I never tire of the wonderful Georgian world she created in her Malloran series, along with the Regency world in her Company of Rogues series.

Merely a Marriage paints the picture of her Regency world. While this book may not have had her final touches on it, I still enjoyed it. All the sexual tension she was a m
...more
Kim Gasparini
Jun 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
I love Jo Beverly. Absolutely love her. But this book was awful. We have a female lead who is tall. And we find out she is tall on most of the pages. And then we read about her being tall some more. We have a male lead that drinks for some reason. And is therefore unsuitable. And we read about him being unsuitable on every page.
I think there could have been a good story in there somewhere, but this was just a train wreck.
❇Critterbee
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
After reading and enjoying The Viscount Needs a Wife by Beverley, I was a bit underwhelmed by Merely a Marriage. The characters in Merely a Marriage were likable enough (as with The Viscount Needs a Wife), but I found the premise rather predictable and the storytelling lacking. I hesitate to be overcritical or harsh because I have read that this is the author's final work. If you have not yet read Ms. Beverley's work, I highly recommend starting with another title.

**eARC Netgalley**
Mel
Jun 10, 2017 rated it liked it
I didn't care for the heroine, in fact she did not seem to me a Jo Beverley "kind of gel". I'm wondering if someone else wrote most of the novel, because it seemed too unstructured to be penned by the marvelous JoBev. The "big miss" which caused the "love you but you disgust me" trope is not enjoyable to me, nor is sabotage something I like in a novel. All in all the story was bland with trite situations and barely sketched characters, except for the tedious Lady Ariana. Ms. Beverley is one of m ...more
Kaitlyn Dunnett
So sad this is Jo Beverley's last book, but it was a thoroughly enjoyable read and is going on my keeper shelf with all the rest.
Minx -The Genre Minx Book Reviews
Let’s start with what I did like. The cover is beautiful and a bit saucy. Alrighty, now we move on to what did not work for me. The main character, Ariana Boxstall. At the start of this story I was just getting to know her and she was okay. I liked that she was looking out for her family and stood up for what she felt was right. I even found it humorous that she was going to find a husband in order to ensure her family’s security.

Where the story started to go wrong for me was the introduction of
...more
Trish
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Reading this book is a heartbreaking bittersweet chore for me because Ms. Beverley has been a favorite author of mine since her early regency romances in the 80s.. I'll finish the book and then return with final thoughts. sigh.
Finished it...here are my (lengthy) thoughts (might be "mini" spoiling spoilers):

Merely A Marriage by Jo Beverley is set against the backdrop of Princess Charlotte and her newborn baby’s death. This sad event spurs Lady Ariana Boxstall into action to secure her own family
...more
Anne Morgan
May 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Recognizing that her home and family is in danger of falling to her drunken wastrel of an uncle if her brother doesn't marry and produce an heir, Lady Ariana Boxstall is determined to push Norris to get married. As a 23 year old, Norris is more interested in horses than marriage so he proposes that Arianna marry first. If she can marry in the next few weeks, he'll follow suit. Ariana hates Town but heads there to hunt a husband and accidentally ends up embroiled in scandal with the Earl of Kynas ...more
Sherry
May 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Jo Beverley has been one of my favorite romance authors for years, and it’s sad to think that this novel will be the last new one after her death from cancer in 2016. Merely a Marriage definitely can't be counted among her best books, and I have to wonder if her illness interfered with her work. It does reflect Beverley's favorite kind of plot, though, with two fundamentally good people overcoming the barriers between them to find love.

As a posthumous work, it seems fitting that the story revolv
...more
♥Katie
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I didn't know that this was Jo Beverley's last book when I picked it up to read-- as it is also the first book I have read by her, I found that news to be sad. But I will definitely check out her other novels.

Though I thoroughly enjoyed the book and stayed up late into the early morning reading it (and its earned a place on my favorites shelf), I do have a few issues with it. I kept expecting some really heated scenes to pop up between the hero and the heroine, but nothing really ever happened t
...more
Barb Lie
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Merely a Marriage by Jo Beverley is a Regency/Historical novel. At the start, we meet Lady Ariana Boxstall , who is concerned about the future of her family, especially after the childbirth death of Princess Charlotte. Ariana fears that she would lose her beloved Boxstall residence to her drunken uncle, if her brother dies. She then sets a plan in motion for her brother Norris to marry, but the one condition is she must marry first.

Ariana and her mother travel to London to stay at the home of a
...more
Janga
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Merely a Marriage is set in Beverley’s Rogues’ world, a world Beverley introduced to her readers with An Arranged Marriage in 1991. This book is the eighteenth story set in that world, and it is Jo Beverley’s final novel. Fans of the series will be pleased to spot several connections to the Rogues and their relatives in this last book. I especially enjoyed the cameos of Hal Beaumont, Lady Cawle’s godson, and his actress wife, Blanche Hardcastle, whose story arcs through early Rogues books, and ...more
Maggie Boyd
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Merely a Marriage by Jo Beverley is not merely a book: It is the final book by a beloved, iconic author of the genre. I’m happy to say that this swan song is a fitting closure to an illustrious career.

In the custom of so many historical romance novel heroines, Lady Ariana Boxstall doesn’t want to marry. However, her reluctance to enter into that institution has not prevented her from attempting to bully her brother into doing so. After Princess Charlotte’s death in childbirth, it became clear to
...more
Zel Polev
Dec 12, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beachreader
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
I have read a few of Jo Beverley's books and enjoyed them. This book contains characters from previous books that I have not read, but that did not seem to be a problem. It is a self contained story.

Lady Ariana Boxstall goes to London with the hope of meeting a tall gentleman who can match her height and wed her by Christmas in order to advance a scheme she has concocted to force her younger brother to wed and provide an heir to save their estate from an unsavory uncle. The husband hunt contains
...more
Tera
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This romance garnered a starred review in Library Journal, and the past few romances that I've read that have gotten starred were pretty good in terms of characterization and plot. So I put this on hold at my library and gave it a shot.

It was quite absorbing, but did not make me as obsessive about finding out what happens next as the previous books I've read. I liked that the protagonist had a few flaws, and that no detail was spared at how she perceived those flaws were seen by society. I also
...more
Gena
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I found this to be a very melancholy book, not in the least because it is Beverley's last book. It is a slow-burn romance, of which there are very few these days, and it reminded me so much (after some time of digesting the book) of Jane Eyre. No, there's no crazy wife in the attic, and the heroine is not orphaned or mistreated, but we have a brooding anti-hero in the Earl of Kynaston who reminds me so much of Mr. Rochester! Our heroine, Lady Ariana, continuously denies her on-going attraction t ...more
Jessi
So bummed that this is the last new Jo Beverly we'll ever get. This book starts off strong with the introduction of the VERY tall Lady Ariana Boxstall. She is terrified that her brother will die before he gets an heir and that will leave she and her mother at the mercy of Ariana's drunkard uncle. She had a rather disastrous season eight years ago and has decided not to marry. Her brother says that if Ariana can get married by Christmas, he will marry in January. Ariana swallows her nerves and he ...more
N.W. Moors
May 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
Ariana Boxstall is tall. That seems to be the most important aspect of this story along with big feet. It's unfortunate as I really wanted to like this story. It was slow and all over the place. Most of the story was from the heroine's point of view; I would have liked to have more of Kynaston's to understand his backstory as it wasn't explained until very late in the book.
Ariana is one of the most unlikable heroines I've ever read in a Regency romance. She just whines about her height, yet deri
...more
Bookbesties
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-danielle
This story was a fun read. The characters were easy to fall in love with and root for. I love how the author used the societal expectations of the era to push the main characters together all the while giving them the opportunity to show their depth of character, in what would have been devastating circumstances. I love how the author adds humor throughout the story by showcasing some of the more shallow, narrow-minded aspects of Victorian English society such as how quickly and easily “life” al ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Nov 05, 2016 04:27PM  
924 followers
Mary Josephine Dunn was born 22 September 1947 in Lancashire, England, UK. At the age of eleven she went to an all-girls boarding school, Layton Hill Convent, Blackpool. At sixteen, she wrote her first romance, with a medieval setting, completed in installments in an exercise book. From 1966 to 1970, she obtained a degree in English history from Keele University in Staffordshire, where she met her ...more
More about Jo Beverley

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