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Once Upon a Marquess

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Once Upon a Marquess (2015) Courtney Milan

Once-Upon-a-MarquessSet in London in 1866

Judith Worth has been holding her siblings together as best she can, after there family was ruined by Christian Trent, the Marquess of Ashford. Except that Christian didn’t set out to ruin anyone, he just needed to do what was right.

One thing I particularly like about Courtney Milan’s characters is that they are often atypical. Christian would today have a tidy mental diagnosis, but in the 19th century, such behaviors were usually hidden by families, seen as scandals.

Demolition, then division: He’d separated the bits first by size, and when that seemed unsatisfying on some gut level, by deviation from roundness.

Then, he’d very carefully started eating— from the most irregularly shaped crumb toward the most symmetrical.

He was almost finished with the infuriatingly oblong bits when Judith came in.

The same goes for Judith’s sister Theresa (and we slowly learn the many sacrifices that Judith has because of and for Theresa).

There is so very much I like about her writing, especially the life lessons that are seemingly dropped at random.

People get upset for good reasons. Trying to cheer them up denies what is happening to them.”

“No, it doesn’t.” Christian set a hand on the seat between them. “It’s a way of recognizing their very legitimate feelings of distress and wishing that person well. You cannot reasonably think that it’s cruel to hope that an unhappy person will feel better.

And so many parts are just plain funny.

You know how gossip is. Go to a few parties. Dance with a few young ladies.” She shrugged. “Marry one of them, and nobody will ever speak ill of you again.”

Christian couldn’t help himself. He burst into laughter. Well, at least he’d tried to be serious. “Go to a few parties. Dance a few dances. Commit yourself in a public, binding ceremony to another person for the rest of your life. One of these things is rather different in scope than the others, don’t you think?”

“We represent the British Empire,” Christian said, watching her. “Embroiling ourselves in conflicts where we do not belong is our imperial business.”

Interestingly, although this being a romance, I knew the main characters were going to work things out, but I had a very difficult time seeing how things were going to work out, so she did a good job keeping me guessing.

Especially since nothing turned out as I was expecting.

One thing, however, I did not like was that they story–the Epilogue, specifically “After the Epilogue” is a giant cliff hanger. I suppose that it was a cleaner ending than leaving that bit unresolved, but I didn’t like it. I prefer things to be vaguely unresolved with a hope of resolution in the future than a cliffhanger.

But aside from that, it was an enjoyable story.
Rating: 8/10

Published by Courtney Milan

 

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