I have read one Laura Lee Guhrke historical romance already, Scandal of the Year, and while it had some nice moments, I did not rush out to track down her catalogue. Guhrke does have a book on All About Romance’s Top 100 list, And Then He Kissed Her, that I keep meaning to read, but for now, I’m reviewing the book they happened to have at my library.
When the Marquess Met His Match is the first book in Guhrke’s new “An American Heiress in London” series. The heroine, Lady Belinda Featherstone, came to England with her ambitious parents and a fortune. In short order, she was married, alternately ignored and insulted by her spouse, beggared, and, mercifully, widowed. She has set herself up as a matchmaker for rich American women and English men looking for a generously dowered spouse. Belinda prides herself finding suitable partners for her clients and sincerely tries to ensure their matches will be more successful than hers.
Nicholas, Marquess of Trubridge, is a classic romance rake: handsome, spoiled, and charming. He’s also beset by a difficult father. Cut off without a farthing until he marries according to the Duke’s wishes, he hires Belinda to find him a rich wife who can a. support him and b. tick his father off as much as possible. She is, of course, instantly attracted to him, but leery of his mercenary goals and his seeming resemblance to her twerp of a husband. Belinda agrees to work for Nicholas and he goes to work on her. Thrown constantly together through their efforts, Belinda decides to ignore her attraction and tells Nicholas that he needs to grow the hell up. Nicholas takes the scolding to heart and moves his life in a productive direction. They get married. The end.
The book was perfectly satisfactory, passing the time pleasantly enough, but not particularly involving. Guhrke described their attraction well, but beyond the physical appeal and some biographical details, there wasn’t a lot of time devoted to the falling in love portion of the story. Guhrke does gets my appreciation for not setting her books in the Regency, and for the evocative detail of the costumes, in particular the love scene including the time-consuming and exhaustive removal of a woman’s complete ensemble, buttons, bows, ribbons, hooks, and all.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go watch The Buccaneers as it has similar themes and is a costume bustlegasm.