Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Book Review: Merely a Marriage by Jo Beverley

Merely a Marriage by Jo Beverley

Publisher & Release: Berkley Original, May 30, 2017

Time and setting:  1817, England

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Book Length: 384 pages

Heat Level: 2 Flames

Rating: 4 Gold Crowns

Book Description: 

As England mourns the death of Princess Charlotte, Lady Ariana Boxstall has another succession in mind. Her brother, Norris, is a strapping young man, but he’s also happily unmarried and childless. Norris agrees to take a wife on one condition: that Ariana take a husband first. Although she realizes she risks a lifetime in a loveless marriage, for the sake of her family, Ariana accepts his challenge. 

When the Earl of Kynaston met Ariana eight years ago, he broke her heart. Since then, his own heart has been broken, and he’s sworn off love...until he sees Ariana all grown-up and his resolve is threatened.  

Could Ariana’s bargain with Norris actually lead her to happiness? With real love on the line, she must win over the one man who refuses to be had.

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Vikki’s Musings

Jo Beverley was one of my all-time favorite historical romance authors. I wept when I heard she had passed last May. I have read many of her books, and I also have quite a few in audio. I never tire of the wonderful Georgian world she created in her Malloran series, along with the Regency world in her Company of Rogues series.

Merely a Marriage paints the picture of her Regency world. While this book may not have had her final touches on it, I still enjoyed it. All the sexual tension she was a master at, is in this book. The pacing is wonderful, the characters vivid and the plot is well-thought out with a great many twists and turns.

Arianna is a troubled heroine with very poor self-esteem. As a young girl, she received her fair share of unkind, and at times, brutal comments for something she had no control over. While I did struggle with her thought processes, I still liked her character and was glad she got her happy ending.

Kynaston is also a troubled character. I would have liked to spend more time in his POV to better understand his anguish, but I could still feel his pain. I sensed his struggle because he is attracted to Arianna from the beginning. I will say, I would have liked his secret brought to Arianna’s attention sooner since so many people knew his story. That would have added more to the story.

If you love Jo Beverley’s writing, then you will still want to read her last book, even though it is not her finest. She will be greatly missed by all who enjoyed her books. Happy reading!

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