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Monday Puzzler > Monday Puzzler - October 3, 2016 - Secondary Romances

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message 1: by Irisheyes (last edited Oct 03, 2016 06:13AM) (new)

Irisheyes | 892 comments Books that I read that include a secondary romance are a bonus as far as I'm concerned. There are some authors that excel in this area. This author, in my opinion, is one of them. This also happens to be one of those books where I really, really wished that this couple got their own story. I liked their journey/story better than the main hero and heroine.


“He was interested only in your dowry?”

“That was the main reason. But apart from the money…” She swallowed, not sure she could continue. The marquess put an unthreatening arm around her shoulders, and she relaxed a little.

“[Deceased husband] told me once when he was drunk that he made a list of girls who had decent fortunes, but who were not such great heiresses that he wouldn’t be allowed near them. Then, after he had met us all, he chose me because of… because of my breasts.” She spoke baldly, amazed that she could say aloud what had scarred her soul.

Wordlessly he pulled her closer to his side. She sensed that he could understand how humiliating she had found her husband’s declaration; His own experiences had been equally humiliating.

“The basic, underlying transaction in marriage is sex for money,” he said reflectively. “The male supports and protects the female in return for sexual access. It’s not very flattering for either party. Certainly I didn’t enjoy learning that the hard way.” His arm tightened. “You had the misfortune to be forced into marriage because of both lust and money. That seems particularly unfair.”

“Lord, what fools these mortals be!” she said with a rueful laugh. “Is that what all the fine romantic phrases come down to: the man choosing the female who most arouses him, the woman accepting the man who can best provide for her?”

“That may be the basic transaction, but it is only a beginning. Humans are complicated creatures, and a good marriage must satisfy many needs and desires.” He looked down, his slate-blue eyes glinting with amusement. “But in addition to affection, companionship, and trust, it is not inherently a bad thing to find one’s partner physically attractive.”

She looked away, shy again but content to stay within the circle of his arms. “Are we back to the fact that I look like a harlot?”

“Not really. I’ve never found such women very interesting – at least, not for more than an hour or two. You, on the contrary, are nothing if not interesting. I admire the idealism of your political work, and what you have done on behalf of a niece you have never met. I like your directness.” He chuckled. “I also like the fact that your blushes make it easy to know what you are thinking.”

The wave of color that went over her confirmed his last words. She found herself on the verge of scuffing her toe in the carpet like a child.

He finished his recitation of her virtues by saying, “The fact that I like and respect you as a person is the foundation. However, I am absolutely delighted that you also look like the most expensive kind of opera dancer.”

She had to laugh at his absurd and marvelous chain of logic, and the way it dissolved her self-consciousness about her unladylike appearance. For perhaps the first time in her life, a man’s admiration was pleasing rather than menacing.

message 2: by Janice (new)

Janice | 30 comments This is lovely! I'm excited to say I don't recognize it, so I'm looking forward to the reveal.

message 3: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2065 comments Mod
I definitely don't recognize it either

message 4: by Manda (new)

Manda Collins (manda_collins) | 1886 comments Mod
It seems familiar but I don't have a guess either.

message 5: by Leigh-Ayn (new)

Leigh-Ayn | 1138 comments No idea!!!!!!

Stacey is Sassy (staceyissassy) | 1229 comments It seemed familiar to me too, but I'm not sure. :-) ♥

message 7: by Janga (new)

Janga | 1070 comments Mod
I know! This is one of my favorite authors. And I agree that the secondary romance is wonderful--funny and poignant at the same time. But I also adore the hero, a popular secondary character who finally got his HEA.

message 8: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (nikanne) | 222 comments So familiar...curious to see if I have read it.

message 9: by Susan (new)

Susan (susaninaz) | 992 comments Expensive opera dancer! Does she get emeralds, then?

message 10: by Irisheyes (new)

Irisheyes | 892 comments The answer is Angel Rogue by Mary Jo Putney

message 11: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Hill | 487 comments Ooo! That's a TBR book for sure!

message 12: by Manda (new)

Manda Collins (manda_collins) | 1886 comments Mod
Ahhhh! I knew I'd read it. I haven't reread Putney's rogues in years... Great pick!

message 13: by Irisheyes (new)

Irisheyes | 892 comments I really love this trope and know I've read other historicals with the same premise - heroine seems like a shrew but is actually hiding a hurtful past and the hero eventually sees past her demeanor to appreciate the strong woman beneath. I'm wracking my brain trying to remember the books in question - I'm really in the mood for a good historical! I'll have to skim through my list of Baloghs, Kellys, Putneys and Beverleys. It's got to be in there somewhere. LOL

message 14: by Manda (new)

Manda Collins (manda_collins) | 1886 comments Mod
Irisheyes wrote: "I really love this trope and know I've read other historicals with the same premise - heroine seems like a shrew but is actually hiding a hurtful past and the hero eventually sees past her demeanor..."

First one that comes to mind is Freya's book in Balogh's Slightly series. Also To Wed a Stranger by Edith Layton.

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