Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Bookworm: How To Marry A Marquis - Julia Quinn

Review by
Setting: Regency England
Sensuality: 8
Elizabeth Hotchkiss needs to marry a wealthy man, and fast. The oldest child of four well-bred orphans, she's managed to keep the wolf from their door for years, but she's running out of options. The only marriage prospect in sight is her landlord, Squire Nevins, but his lecherous gaze makes Elizabeth's skin crawl. So when she discovers the book How to Marry A Marquis in her employer's library, she impulsively stuffs it into her reticule and takes it home. Encouraged by her insistent sister, Elizabeth reluctantly agrees to learn the book's rules well enough to catch a monied husband. But first, she must find a man to practice her wiles on. Enter James Sidwell, the Marquis of Riverdale. Posing as the new estate manager per his beloved Aunt Danbury's instructions, he just happens to arrive at the Danbury estate on the very day that Elizabeth discovers the book. Is it too coincidental that James's Aunt Danbury needs his assistance in catching a blackmailer at the precise moment that Elizabeth needs a guinea pig? Perhaps, but neither Elizabeth nor James have reason to suspect that they're being lovingly maneuvered.

James begins to search for a blackmailer, and Elizabeth is high on his list of suspects. While purposely spending time with her to explore her guilt or innocence, however, he's irresistibly drawn to her beauty and kindness as well as her practicality and sharp tongue. And when he learns that she's practicing to entice a husband, he can't resist offering to tutor her in courtship. Before long, the two realize their growing feelings for each other. But the course of true love never did run smoothly, and the lovers encounter a few obstacles along the way. Will the evil Squire Nevins easily give up his designs on Elizabeth and her sisters? What about the nefarious blackmailer? And how will Elizabeth react if she discovers that James is not who he pretends to be?

My Review
This is my very first venture into Julia Quinn after hunting for a romance novel to quench my thirst. I'd just exhausted my last novel by my fave author and was looking for something new to read. And then I stumbled upon this novel with its cute and catchy title (it worked by the way, I bought it!) I must say I am not disappointed with this book. The reason why I picked this book rather than one of her more famous books is because this one is a standalone whereas most of the others belong to a list of sequels.

I must say I disagree with's sensuality rating. This one is definitely tamer than my normal novels but it is a tender story about two unsuspecting lovers. Unsuspecting being the key word here but I'm not spilling! To me, a great romance book is one that offers twists and turns at every angle. A good book however where you get the feeling like you know how it ends but it's the getting there that counts. How To Marry A Marquis for me, is a good book. I knew the answer to the mystery as soon as it had started. Such a shame, although it is pretty straightforward when you get to reading it.

What I like about this book is its characters. The heroine, Elizabeth Hotchkiss is akin to a historical Bella Swan ala Twilight. A real klutz, a simpleton, an underestimated individual. And yet somehow manages to get the hot hero. James Sidwell is someone who in normal situations wouldn't get caught up by the simple life. But there is that something special about Elizabeth that sucks him in and won't let go. The side characters add sizzle to this story. Lady Danbury, James' aunt is the real sparkler for me. If anyone made a movie of this book, she'd win the Oscar. Another lovely inclusion to the list is the man of the house, Lady Danbury's cat, who ignores Elizabeth to no avail yet is her best friend in the most important of times. I wouldn't mind a cat like that. The latter bit anyway.

Overall, this is a good read and a good choice for beginners to romance and historicals. There isn't a lot of mention of the normal customs associated with period pieces so this is as good a starter as can be.

  • Title: How To Marry A Marquis
  • Author: Julia Quinn
  • Format: Paperback 375 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • Release Date: 16 February 2000
  • Genre: Romance, Historical Romance
  • ISBN-10: 0380800810 
  • ISBN-13: 9780380800810
Disclosure: I was not compensated for this review financially or otherwise. Everything mentioned are my own thoughts based on my experience.


    1. funny how the cat figures in. been meaning to try a quinn novel.

    2. Thanks for the comment vvb32 reads, yeah the cat is a real naughty one. Do try her novels, I plan on adding to my collection!


    Thank you for adding to my blog! I love reading your thoughts