The Marquis She's Been Waiting For by Ella Quinn
When Alex, the Marquis of Exeter, comes home from his Grand Tour after his father’s unexpected death, he’s woefully unprepared to manage his estates and has no real idea what to do with his teenaged sisters. The obvious solution is to find a wife, and Lady Dorie Huntingdon seems to fit the bill nicely - except Dorie wants a love match and Alex doesn’t even know what that is.
The first thing that bothered me about this is that marquis is a Scottish title. Exeter is a real town in southern England - so it should be marquess. This might seem like a small thing, but after a while it really started to get to me, and frankly Alex not having been prepared at all by his father was just unbelievable. People died a lot younger in those days, and of ailments which are easily cured today. There’s no way a marquess (or a marquis) would have left his only male heir completely ignorant. Alex should have been learning from his father from the moment he could follow him around. Now, the fact that he has dyscalculia could have affected things, but there was never any indication Alex’s father even knew about it.
Dorie was a likeable enough heroine - she describes herself as ‘extremely managing’ but ladies of her rank were expected to do a great deal, so I thought she just came across as admirably competent. The biggest problem with the whole thing is that there are no real stakes. There was no pressure on Dorie to marry at all because of her extremely nice family. There’s a vague mention of her distrust of handsome men because one did her wrong, and then it never comes up again. She wants to fall in love and she does, and though there’s a brief bit of concern that Alex might be planning to offer for someone else, we never get to explore how Dorie feels about that. There’s nothing ever really at stake here for her and it makes the whole story feel pretty dull. There’s never much more for Alex to worry about either, and I finished reading the book with a resounding feeling of meh. Two stars.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review via NetGalley.