ARC Review: Her Wicked Marquess by Stacy Reid

Title: Her Wicked Marquess

Author: Stacy Reid

Series: Sinful Wallflowers (Book 2)

Page Length: 400

Publication Date: Dec. 29, 2020

Publisher: Entangled

Synopsis: Miss Maryann FitzWilliam is too witty and bookish for her own good. No gentleman of the ton will marry her, so her parents arrange for her to wed a man old enough to be her father. But Maryann is ready to use those wits to turn herself into a sinful wallflower.

When the scandal sheet reports a sighting of Nicolas Ives climbing out the chamber windows of a house party, Maryann does the unthinkable. She anonymously claims that the bedchamber belonged to none other than Miss FitzWilliam, tarnishing her own reputation—and chances of the dastardly union her family secured for her. Now she just needs to convince the marquess to keep his silence.

Nicholas Ives, Marquess of Rothbury has purposefully cultivated a reputation as the most ruthless, unprincipled libertine, all so he can slip beneath the guards of those whose vile actions caused him to lose the only girl he’s ever loved. Despite his intrigue, Nicolas is determined to ignore the deceitful and enticing Miss FitzWilliam. However, his enemies are drawing close, and he soon discovers he must keep her closer to protect her. Nonetheless, she rouses a soul-burning passion within him, causing him to question who will protect her from his devilish wiles.

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My Review:

Her Wicked Marquess focuses on Nicholas and Maryann. Maryann is trying to escape an unwanted engagement and thinks Nicholas, a Marquess with a rakish reputation, is her ticket to freedom. Nicholas has put his personal life on hold to seek vengeance against the men who destroyed someone he loved. The closer Maryann gets to Nicholas, the more her life is in jeopardy, and Nicholas will do whatever it takes to protect her. With so many obstacles in their way, can Maryann and Nicholas find their happy ending?

Maryann is a fantastic protagonist! A self-proclaimed wallflower, Maryann is strong in her opinions and not willing to be a submissive wife. She yearns for the freedom to be herself and not who her parents and society expect her to be. She is a perceptive woman and an excellent judge of character as well. Nicholas puts up a convincing and rakish façade, and Maryanne is the only person to see through his disguise. She sees the kind and honorable man that Nicholas really is. Maryann is also the only one to recognize some of the scoundrels of the ton for what they really are.

I am a blazing star that no gentleman has any notion what to do with. My wit skewers, my laugh enthralls, and they are daunted by my mouth.

Nicholas is smart, determined, and guilt-ridden. He blames himself for something that happened in the past and spends his present consumed with thoughts of revenge. Nicholas is a good man with a haunted past, and his selflessness stands in stark contrast to the selfish rake he presents to the ton. Of course, when he meets Maryann, everything changes. From his first meeting with Maryann, Nicholas is thrown off his guard, and the way he reacts to her is endearing. He fights his feelings, as does Maryann, but it’s impossible. The way he feels about her is romantic, intense, and wonderful!

You obliterate even my darkest thoughts and replace them with sunshine and want and hunger and dreams of things I’ve never thought about. I do not like it.

The romance between Maryann and Nicholas is epic! It’s spicy and sweet, intense and playful, and so powerful. They are a well-matched pair who challenge each other, bring out the best in each other, and make each other feel things they never expected to feel. I think they give each other hope, and I loved watching them slowly grow closer.

I also love that they developed a strong, layered relationship. They have meaningful conversations, enjoy each other’s company, and listen to each other. In the same token, their desire is intense, and their romantic moments are steamy! I enjoyed their witty banter and flirtatious antics as much as I enjoyed their swoon-worthy romance.

Both Maryann and Nicholas reject the expectations and rules of the ton and want more in their lives than the gossipy hypocrisy they experience among their peers. There are great messages throughout the book about good vs. evil, the abuse of power, the unbending societal rules, and the gender inequities of the time. Additionally, several unexpected twists surprised me, especially toward the end of the book. I like that, just when I thought I knew what was going to happen, new revelations and obstacles unfolded.

I loved Her Wicked Marquess! It has great characters, a swoon-tastic romance, and a little bit of intrigue. Though this is the second book in a series, it can easily be read as a standalone and will appeal to readers who enjoy swoon-worthy historical romances with a HEA. Thanks so much to Entangled Publishing and the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Favorite Parts:

  • The romance, of course! Maryann and Nicholas have fantastic and spicy chemistry!
  • The intrigue. What happened in Nicholas’ past? Will he find the men that ruined his childhood love?
  • The excellent dialogue. Reid’s writing style gripped me from the start, and I particularly liked her use of dialogue to develop the characters and progress the plot.

Favorite Lines:

He often wondered if those who had never felt its sting understood the absolute power of guilt. There were days its claws and talons ripped into his gut and tore him apart.

Fear is not an indication of weakness, but that we are highly perceptive enough to sense the latent danger which surrounds us.

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