More Or Less A Marchioness by Anna Bradley
Iris Somerset is the perfect debutante - or so she portrays to the world. Beautiful, wealthy and meek, she’s everything Finn, the Marquis of Huntingdon, thinks he wants in a wife. Until one day she looks him in the eye and tells him they will not suit and she is breaking their engagement.
This isn’t just a romance; it’s a story of two people finding out and accepting who they truly are. Iris plays the part of a demure debutante to perfection… right up until the moment she realises she just doesn’t want to anymore. And Finn, confronted with his own faults, must recognise the inherent hypocrisy of his position and come to terms with his own nature in order to understand that what he wants is very different from what he thought.
Can I just say how much I loved Iris? She’s very young and very naive, but she’s wise enough to understand there is a lot she doesn’t know. Being taken under the wing of an older and wiser woman, ‘a wicked widow’, she learned fast and was finally able to define herself as the person she wanted to be. From that point, Finn ending up head over heels in love with her was utterly inevitable.
Finn did come across as autocratic, unlikable and hypocritical at times. He reminded me intensely of Mr Darcy from Austen’s seminal novel; a proud and somewhat spoiled man confronted with his own faults who finally comes to an understanding that he’s been on the wrong path all along. His reversal and redemption was Austenesque and I absolutely adored it. (My personal pet peeve is when a hero is set up as a heel and doesn’t do the epic grovel at the end to make up for it. Finn didn’t disappoint me.)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I’ll be looking out for the rest of the Somerset Sisters series. Five stars for a great read with plenty of genuine character development.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.