Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Not Quite a Husband (The Marsdens, #2)” as Want to Read:
Not Quite a Husband (The Marsdens, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Not Quite a Husband

(The Marsdens #2)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  8,646 ratings  ·  833 reviews
Their marriage lasted only slightly longer than the honeymoon—to no one’s surprise, not even Bryony Asquith’s. A man as talented, handsome, and sought after by society as Leo Marsden couldn't possibly want to spend his entire life with a woman who rebelled against propriety by becoming a doctor. Why, then, three years after their annulment and half a world away, does he tr ...more
Paperback, 341 pages
Published May 19th 2009 by Bantam (first published 2009)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Not Quite a Husband, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Coral I read it as a standalone and it was totally fine. Only a cursory mention of the previous book's characters.…moreI read it as a standalone and it was totally fine. Only a cursory mention of the previous book's characters.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,646 ratings  ·  833 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Not Quite a Husband (The Marsdens, #2)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ebook
This was a Buddy Read Square of different Sherry Thomas books with 3 other hapless victims.

(Warning: GIFs GIFs GIFs)


An R U F'ing Kidding Me Production...


Critics Say: "I laughed. I cried. I wanted to kill myself. No, seriously...where's the cyanide?"

Not Quite Much of Anything A Husband

FEEL your mind expand with hot atlas action!
It was 370 miles from Gilgit, where he’d been peacefully minding his own business, to Leh, that much again ba
Al George
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bless my little heart, I am a changed woman after reading this

And my guts were rent asunder.


So here's what I know: do not listen to these books on audio. One must read Sherry Thomas to really go where she wants you to go. And this journey, my friends, is painfully amazing.

Setting / Time / Genre: 1890 somethings, India and some in England. Trust me, the India travels are amazeballs.

Length: 354 pages of some of the most beautiful writing I have come across in a romance novel. This woman, she kn
What she said:

I cannot elaborate any further.

Guys, you who are on my friend's list and have loved this book, I hope you don't get offended.


Bad news: this book offends me. It repulsed me. If you think the hero deserves to be forgiven, that's your prerogative, but as per my opinion he does NOT deserve ANYTHING. Not forgiveness, not compassion, not even a spare thought. He's just no longer significant. Heroine shouldn't have married him. She SHOULDN'T have f
UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

It’s such a treat to pick up a book by an author I’ve never read before and fall in love with their writing, their characters, and the entire world they create. Such is the case with Sherry Thomas and Not Quite a Husband. It was not just a book, but an adventure that took me to another time, one we don’t often read about – late 19th/ early 20th century in the British Indian Empire, also referred to as the British Raj. This is one of those epic novels that had me questioning exactly what it means
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hr, perfect, 5-stars
Warning: Spoilers ahead!

I recently re-read Not Quite a Husband, and it occurred to me again, what an utterly brilliant writer Sherry Thomas is, and how much I miss her historicals.

Ms Thomas knows how to push boundaries, and push them hard. Not only does she create questionable characters, she also uses tropes only few authors have the guts to pursue that fall under the unwritten laws of no-no of the romance genre. Furthermore, her clear and very unsentimental prose leaves me squirming, as if she
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hawt-sex
****Spoilers below****

Not Quite A Husband was one of the romance novels I'd already read when I joined Goodreads and I actually bothered to review it on here to get my account started. I did that because it was one of my favourites, it had stayed with me and I gave it five stars. It was a quick review, typed out in about five minutes. I've frequently returned to excerpts from the book and re-read it a couple of times, but I wanted to re-read for the purposes of reviewing it in a detailed way and
Well. I had to CREATE a did-not-finish shelf for this one.

I started this book. I was like, huh, these characters sure are casually racist. But I mean, like, if an author--especially an author who's a WOC--wants to be like 'yeah no, these white old-timey British people were probably fully on board ye olde colonialism train, and I'm not gonna downplay the ugly truth of that for the sake of this romance novel,' that's their prerogative, you know? No holds barred. No softening the nastiness of Empi
What can I say? I LOVE SHERRY THOMAS! Okay, I love her work and because of that I love her. She has the most beautiful prose I think I've ever read. She writes so evocatively, making you feel things and understand emotions so true and so pure. I loved this book! It was not only a HR, but featured an older woman/younger man, which I normally don't enjoy that much but ST makes it worth reading. It had two people so in love with each other but because they lacked communication, their marriage broke ...more
 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~*
Oct 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those who love second chance romances and dark, complex romances
Recommended to Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* by: new_user and Quinn
4.5 Stars - Also reviewed at: Lady Jayne's Reading Den

Sherry Thomas’ books have been highly recommended to me by my Goodreads friends new_user and Quinn – Thank you both! I decided to start with Not Quite Husband because I saw that the We Love Lisa Kleypas Group had read it as a Group Read and also… because I thought I’d read the red covered one to "pop my Sherry cherry”. LOL Plus, the cover is pretty sexy!

I wanted to say thank you to Beanbag for urging me to not get distracted from rea
Oct 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pub-2009
It's this time of the year again when I had to read some girly porn.

Sherry Thomas is one of my favourite girly porn writers. She is actually quite clever, and she spends a little more time building her characters than your average romance writer.

"Not Quite a Husband" is all about forgiving and trusting, because even dashing romance heroes make mistakes. It's also about expecting nothing short of perfection from your other half and how it will make you unhappy eventually (an idea that avid roman
Dec 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, series

This comes close to visually representing how I felt reading this.

I'll let you soak that in for a sec.

What stupid children they had been, to cause each other such pain and then to hold on to their wounds so fiercely.

The book page count for this claims it is 341 pgs, my friends, I blew through this like it was an author newsletter free story. The first half felt like one huge exposed raw nerve. There are three main characters, Bryony, Leo, and India. The research! The scenery! The settin
4.5 Stars

”You were the moon of my existence; your moods dictated the tides of my heart.” ...Sherry Thomas

Not Quite A Husband is a brilliantly crafted, deeply emotional love story. It’s an engaging tale of betrayal, forgiveness, and finding the courage to trust again. And It's one of the BEST HR I've had the pleasure of reading.

The book opens with a prologue told from the heroine’s POV, giving small details of the wretched condition of her short marriage to Leo Marsden; how it came about and the
Sherry Thomas is an extraordinarily talented author. Her prose is letter perfect, and her study of a fractured relationship is second to none. She is a master of the slow-reveal, feeding the reader the pieces of the puzzle with a brilliant sense of timing, steadily drawing the reader in, engaging their emotions exquisitely and placing them firmly and personally within the hidden, private depths of a broken marriage.

In Not Quite a Husband, Sherry will lead you to question your notions of right an
Beanbag Love
Feb 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
The main two reasons I bought this book were the good reviews and it wasn't an anti-free market price fix by one of the greedy publishers that have become my arch nemeses. After a few chapters, however, I wondered what I'd gotten myself into.

The first part of the book is very staid. A married couple who simply can't communicate. A heroine you want to drop off a cliff she's so bitter and hurtful. It takes a tad too long to find out why she behaves the way she does. I really had developed a strong
Sam (AMNReader)
Note: Maybe don’t read this review if you’ve not read the book? Complicated, lots of quotes. Maybe spoiler. I dunno.

well hell.

A kiss that felt oddly like falling, and oddly like flying.

Despite this being one of the favorites of my book soulmate's: “Give me Bryony and Leo and I cry like a baby,” I waited to read it. I waited almost a full two years after the first historical I enjoyed. Why? Because I was scared.

And I should’ve been. Look, this book is problematic. There is undoubtedly a consent
Mar 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Mary Jo Putney fans
Sherry Thomas pretty much writes my favorite type of romance -- an angsty read written in elegant concise prose -- so this book suited me to a T.

Some parts - reunited married couple working out their past against an exotic backdrop - reminded me of Mary Jo Putney's SILK AND SECRETS. The part of the hero, Leo, being fascinated/in love with the older heroine all his life reminded me of a bit of Jude Deveraux's THE INVITATION. I am just glad that the heroine Bryony NEVER baby-sat Leo and changed h
Well written.

Well researched I presume.

Depressing, depressing, depressing.
Jane Stewart
Feb 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
I did not like it. I wanted it to be over.

Leo did one stupid thing which Bryony saw. She assumed he did it all the time which was not true. And then she was cold and frigid to him but never told him why. She had their brief marriage annulled. She then ran away to a remote area of India to practice medicine. Four years later her father is ill. So Leo travels to India to tell her and bring her back to England to see her father. Leo has always loved Bryony and does not understand why sh
Preeti ♥︎ Her Bookshelves

This is a book I’ve been meaning to read for a while, and I’m glad I did. The prose was beautiful and elegant, and the tone was so different – whimsical and at times almost lyrical.

The prologue gives us a view of a marriage gone sour within a year of marriage and the h’s decision to get a divorce/annulment. The quiet, reserved h is unutterably desolate and heartbroken, while the debonair and dashing H is out (presumably) painting the town red.
She’s older to him and amazingly a doctor in the ea
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was my second Sherry Thomas book and I became a firm fan of this author who has a very real and deep understanding of the complexity of the human psyche.

On the face of it, Leo Marsden and Bryony Asquith are a most unlikely pair; he an Adonis, beautiful, popular, outgoing, and a favourite with his family and peers alike; she cold, aloof, serious, a confirmed spinster by choice, and wedded to her work until she meets Leo. The two have been acquainted from childhood, although Bryony is four ye
Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
I was just so bored???? So many things were happening but it was very event driven more than character couple driven.
*~o~/*o*\~o~* Beware of SPOILERS *~o~/*o*\~o~*

Initially, I didn't think this book would be a page turner. I’m a quirky reader. I usually read the beginning & the ending first, ‘cuz I can’t stand the suspense =)~. I read the 1st 40 pages & the Epilogue, both didn't really grab me, so I switched to another book. Boy, was I wrong. I ended up loving & savoring ST’s luminous prose. Older heroine / younger hero is 1 of my fav themes.

The perilous journey of 2 people ( in love yet disillusioned w/ each
Whoar- this book. It's been a long time that a book brought a tear to my eye. More than once. From desperate sadness to sweet joy.

Started this book about 6 months ago and hated the beginning, so left it to languish on my unread shelf. After chatting with my GR friend Christina, who is an ST fan, I thought I would try again. (I had read The Luckiest Lady in London some time ago and was very conflicted, so I was rather cautious about trying her again.)
I am so glad I did.

I am not going to re-hash
Jul 30, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I struggled with my finally rating. I really had to think about it. First thing first, this isn't and probably never will be a review of a book, but rather a self-reflection.

There are a few things that I did not quite appreciate in the book. For example, I am not certain that the pull between Leo and Bryony (I hate this name) is as strong as it should have been. With such heavyweight material, I did not buy that Leo and Bryony really wanted to be together. This is naturally just my personal view
Princess under cover
I like her writing. Intense, emotional. Sex not too hot but not too tame either. And it’s more about emotions than the sex itself, which I adore.

Here’s why this book isn’t getting 5 stars:

She destroyed their marriage, not ever even giving him a chance, not ever letting him know why she was so awful to him, even tho SHE proposed to HIM! Even tho he was barely 24! Even tho he “betrayed her” BEFORE they got married!!

Look, if I were her, as infatuated as she was with him, i’d Be pissed too that the
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
“He’d gone into their marriage determined that she would never be alone again. In the end, she’d made him as alone in the world as she.”

Sounds like my kind of book, someone recommended it to me, i totally forgot who it was. But thank you for the recommendation. ;)

So, this did not disappoint point me. This just reminded me why i love HR so much! I think I just found my new favorite author. I'll rant about little more when I get home...

Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Yes, that's right; this story finally made me go back to my good reading days. I am so happy!
Loved this. What a story. What a couple.

p.s- This cover: it needs to be upgraded.
Aug 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
This story evoked such deep and strong emotions that my written account of it could not do it justice. While reading this book I truly felt pain for the hero and heroine and I yearned for their story to have a happy ending. Much of the time I would find myself thinking that I would have reacted the same way to their different circumstances, making it even more painful as their mistakes became my own in a sense.

The marriage between Leo Marsden and Bryony Asquith was over before it even began. The
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Historical Romanc...: BOTM June 16 to 30 - Not Quite a Husband (Wallflower) 41 55 Jun 28, 2016 07:05PM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 6 Mar 05, 2015 10:58AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Lady's Lesson in Scandal
  • The Duke of Shadows
  • A Lady Awakened (Blackshear Family, #1)
  • And Then He Kissed Her (Girl Bachelors, #1)
  • Bound by Your Touch
  • What I Did for a Duke (Pennyroyal Green, #5)
  • Waking Up With the Duke (London's Greatest Lovers, #3)
  • The Marriage Bed (Guilty, #3)
  • How the Marquess Was Won (Pennyroyal Green, #6)
  • The Proposition
  • A Gentleman Undone (Blackshear Family, #2)
  • A Lady's Code of Misconduct (Rules for the Reckless, #5)
  • Flowers from the Storm
  • A Wicked Kind of Husband (Longhope Abbey, #3)
  • Beast
  • The Sins of Lord Lockwood (Rules for the Reckless, #6)
  • The Countess Conspiracy (Brothers Sinister, #3)
  • Fool Me Twice (Rules for the Reckless, #2)
See similar books…
USA Today-bestselling author Sherry Thomas decided years ago that her goal in life is to write every kind of book she enjoys reading. Thus far she has published romance, fantasy, mystery, young adult, and three books inspired by the martial arts epics she grew up devouring. Her books regularly receive starred reviews and best-of-the-year honors from trade publications, including such outlets as th ...more

Other books in the series

The Marsdens (2 books)
  • Delicious (The Marsdens, #1)

News & Interviews

Some interesting news for book nerds: According to recent industry research, book sales spiked dramatically in 2020–otherwise a rather...
8 likes · 1 comments
“It doesn’t matter where I am; I’m yours.” 169 likes
“Sometimes limbs must be re-broken to set properly, her heart too needed to shatter anew before it could truly heal.” 73 likes
More quotes…