The clever premise of the Spinster House series continues with a story where the wishes of one woman and a man are constantly at odds, and growing sexual tension between them only adds more conflict when they are together. Sally MacKenzie is known for creating stories filled with lots of hilarity, and humorous scenes are scattered all throughout the latest Spinster House installment. HOW TO MANAGE A MARQUESS is entertaining with delightful characters and engaging moments.
For many years, it has been the duty of the Marquess of Haywood to keep his cousin from being harmed because of a curse. All of those who have become the Duke of Hart in the past two centuries have died before their heirs were born, just as the curse foretold. Now his cousin is the current duke, and Nate must discourage him from marrying now that he has fallen in love. Having traveled to Loves Bridge, he hopes to keep his family member from making a mistake which may cost his life. But it appears a good friend of the woman with whom his relative is in love is going to make things difficult for him.
Since Anne Davenport does not want to live with her father if he marries a much younger woman, she hopes to be the next person selected to live at Spinster House. It is a place where she could live life without being ruled by a man, and she thinks this would make the days ahead much happier. While two other women would also like to move into the home now that it is vacant, Anne is pushing her good friend toward marriage as it would make one less person trying to be chosen. Yet Nate seems equally determined to make sure his cousin does not marry her friend.
Though at first some of Anne’s behavior was questionable, I quickly came to understand what motivated her when certain reasons became known. Times were much different for women in England during the early 1800’s, and I could see why she might be worried about her future. Anne is rather strong-minded for someone of that era, and her desire for independence kept her pressing for something better in life. Nate is someone who follows the rules of society and is always respectful, yet he can only think about pushing certain forbidden boundaries when around Anne. I really enjoyed his stern talks with himself about staying disciplined when it concerned the woman who tempts him like no other. The relationship of Nate and Anne does have many ups and downs, where several incidents are comical, while other circumstances are surprisingly affecting because of all the emotional honesty.
Several secondary characters really touched me in quite a few ways, especially the two young boys in the story. They could act and speak just like a normal child at times, but then they could turn so serious and their actions often greatly affected me. There is also a very intelligent cat connected to the Spinster House, and her antics definitely caused many smiles. The two main books in the series are taking place at the same time, and though it would probably be best to read the first story before this one, Sally MacKenzie gives plenty of explanations to keep the reader informed of any simultaneous activities. There is laughter and an abundance of emotion in HOW TO MANAGE A MARQUESS.
Received copy from NetGalley
Series: Spinster House
Releases: April 26, 2016
Author website: http://www.sallymackenzie.net/
Rating: 4 Stars