The Wild Marquis
Burgundy Club/Book 1
Avon/March 9, 2010
The Marquis of Chase is not a reputable man.
He is notorious for his wretched morals and is never received in respectable houses. The ladies of the ton would never allow him in their drawing rooms . . . though some of them have welcomed him into their bedchambers. Ejected from his father’s house at the age of sixteen, he now lives a life of wanton pleasure. So what could the Marquis of Chase possibly want with Juliana Merton, a lovely, perfectly upstanding shopkeeper with a mysterious past?
A moment’s indiscretion?
A night’s passion?
Or a lifetime of love?
Even the wildest rakes have their weaknesses...
Little history on how this book landed in my TBR pile. Last summer Romance Writers of America(RWA) held their annual conference in New York City. The wonderful Nath from Books, Books and more Books ventured across the border to join in the craziness that is RWA. After braving the insanity of the author signings, Nath was a sweetheart and sent me a box of delicious books she got at RWA. Hilcia from Impressions of a Reader was kind enough to add The Wild Marquis to the box. I love getting books but this was especially nice since it was from two of my favorite bloggers!
[bib-lee-oh-mey-nee-uh, -meyn-yuh] noun excessive fondness for acquiring and possessing books.
With a heroine who loves books it was easy to relate to Juliana Merton. Juliana grew up literally surrounded by books. Her guardian was a collector to the point of obsession. She gained her love of books early and it continued when she met and married Joseph Merton who owned a bookshop. After her husband is murdered Juliana takes over the shop but it isn't easy for a woman in trade. I did like Juliana, very much. She's smart and witty but practical when it comes to her position in society. Her reaction to the Marquis of Chase is realistic but he does bring out a romantic side of her, which I loved!
The Marquis of Chase has made a name for himself among the ton as being The Wild Marquis. He's not the type of man you would expect to have an interest in rare and collectible books which is why he needs Juliana's help. Cain is smart but he knows when to seek assistance. He's surprised when he finds J. C. Merton is a woman. But he's quick to see the potential in obtaining Juliana's help. Cain is an enigma of a hero. His background is shady but he is a titled lord of the realm. He enjoys allowing others to think he is nothing more than a rake but there is much more behind that rakish grin.
The plot centers around an auction of rare and collectible books, all from the same collector. As the days of the auction progress, Juliana and Cain spend more time together with both revealing little bits and pieces of their pasts. When Cain's family commitments encroach on their time, we see another side of both Cain and Juliana. Cain and Juliana must also deal with an unknown enemy who is after what they are not sure of. So there is a mystery to solve as well as the romance running throughout the story.
The look into the world of book collecting is fascinating. With the collectors bidding against each other, trying to determine who is after what and how to win against their rivals. It's a small, inclusive world and with Juliana's help Cain is able to fit right in. I really enjoyed solving the mystery of who was after Juliana and how she and Cain discovered her link to the auction's collection.
The romance is a fun one with Cain and Juliana far more similar than you would imagine. Juliana shares her love of books, teaching Cain about the various bindings, origins and histories while he shows Juliana that she is far better than she believes. She was a little too stubborn when it came to her feelings of inadequacy regarding her relationship with Cain going beyond a working relationship and into a more romantic, permanent one.
Overall this was a lovely romance with an absorbing mystery to solve. It was also my first Miranda Neville but will not be my last since I have the next two books in the series sitting not so patiently on the TBR pile.
The Burgundy Club Series
The Wild Marquis
The Dangerous Visount
The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton
Confessions From an Arranged Marriage