Title: Her Wicked Marquess (Sinful Wallflowers #2)
Author: Stacy Reid
Published: December 2020
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Genre: Historical Romance
I received a copy of Her Wicked Marquess from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Miss Maryann Fitzwilliam is too witty and bookish for her own good. No gentleman of the ton will marry her, so her parents arrange for her to wed a man old enough to be her father. But Maryann is ready to use those wits to turn herself into a sinful wallflower.
When the scandal sheet reports a sighting of Nicolas St. Ives, the Marquess of Rothbury, climbing out the chamber windows of a house party, Maryann does the unthinkable. She anonymously claims that the bedchamber belonged to none other than Miss Fitzwilliam, tarnishing her own reputation—and chances of the dastardly union her family secured for her. Now she just needs to convince the marquess to keep his silence.
Turns out Nicolas allows for the scandal to perpetuate for his own reasons… But when Maryann’s parents hold fast to their arranged marriage plan, it’ll take a scandal of epic proportions for these two to get out of this together.
Stacy Reid’s first book in the Sinful Wallflowers series, My Darling Duke, was one of the first historical romance books I read, and so I was really pleased to receive a review copy from Netgalley of the second book.
Maryann Fitzwilliam has no desire to become the wife of a man she doesn’t know, and so she conceives a plan to use the rakish reputation of Nicoles St. Ives, the Marquess of Rothbury to her advantage and claim he has snuck into her room and spent the evening. Her reputation thus tarnished, she should find herself (happily) unmarriagable. What she doesn’t count on is the Marquess hearing of her plan, of the unlikely alliance and friendship that blooms between the two of them, following by a romance no-one saw coming.
Her Wicked Marquess is a book that features a strong, feisty heroine who is determined not to be run-down by men (and women) who do not approve of a woman having a brain and being able to hold a decent conversation. Maryann seeks to use her situation to her advantage as she tries to find a way out of the future marriage her parents have planned for her so that she can live the life she dreams of. For all that, she’s relatively innocent and so she’s constantly having to learn how to adapt each time her schemes take a turn she didn’t expect.
Nicholas has a lot of admiration for Maryann, from their first (unintended) meeting where in he anonymously assists her in a small spot of revenge against a young woman determined to undermine anyone she believes unworthy. He also has his own demons to fight, taking revenge against the wealthy men who attacked a young woman years earlier, which is why he allows Maryann’s ruse to continue for as long as he does – it affords him a cover story of sorts for his own business.
The romance was fun and adorable as Maryann and Nicholas begin to learn about each other. It’s not without its ups and downs, but the two do come to understand each other’s motivations and when they relent to their mutual attraction, they have a series of steamy affairs under the nose of everyone.
There were so many things I enjoyed about Her Wicked Marquess, but I did finish reading with the nagging feeling that something bothered me. At this stage, I haven’t quite worked out what was prompted the feeling, but should that change I’ll update this review.
Overall, the story is fun, well-written with engaging characters and I look forward to the next instalment of the Sinful Wallflowers.