How to Marry a Marquis (Lady Danbury's Influence Series #2)

How to Marry a Marquis (Lady Danbury's Influence Series #2)

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by Julia Quinn
     
 

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When James Sidwell, Marquis of Riverdale, offered to help Elizabeth Hotchkiss find herself a husband, he never dreamed that the only candidate he could propose would be himself..

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Overview

When James Sidwell, Marquis of Riverdale, offered to help Elizabeth Hotchkiss find herself a husband, he never dreamed that the only candidate he could propose would be himself..

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780380800810
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/28/1990
Series:
Lady Danbury's Influence Series, #2
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
118,803
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

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How to Marry a Marquis

Chapter One

Surrey, England

August 1815

Four plus six plus eight plus seven plus one plus one plus one, mark down eight, carry the two . .

Elizabeth Hotchkiss added up the column of numbers for the fourth time, came up with the same answer she′d come up with three times before, and groaned.

When she looked up, three sombre faces were staring at her-the three faces of her younger siblings.

"What is it, Lizzie?" nine-year-old Jane asked.

Elizabeth smiled weakly as she tried to figure out how she was going to put away enough money to buy fuel to heat their little cottage that winter. "We, ah . . . we haven′t much in the way of funds, I′m afraid."

Susan, who at fourteen was closest in age to Elizabeth, frowned. "Are you absolutely certain? We must have something. When Papa was alive we always --"

Elizabeth silenced her with an urgent stare. There were a lot of things they′d had when Papa was alive, but he′d left them nothing aside from a small bank account. No income, no property. Nothing but memories. And those at least the ones Elizabeth carried with her-weren′t the sort that warmed one′s heart.

"Things are different now," she said firmly, hoping to put an end to the subject. "You can′t compare the two."

Jane grinned. "We can use the money Lucas has been stuffing away in his toy soldier box."

Lucas, the only boy in the Hotchkiss clan, yelped. "What were you doing in my things?" He turned to Elizabeth with an expression that might have been termed "glowering" had it not been gracing the face of an eight-year-old. "Is there no privacy in this household?"

"Apparently not," Elizabeth said absently, staring down at the numbers before her. She made a few marks with her pencil as she tried to devise new methods of economy.

"Sisters," Lucas grunted, looking excessively put out. "I am plagued with them."

Susan peered at Elizabeth′s ledger. "Can′t we shuffle some of the money about? Do something to stretch it a bit further?"

"There′s nothing to stretch. Thank goodness the rent on the cottage is paid, or we′d be out on our ears."

"Is it really as bad as that?" Susan whispered.

Elizabeth nodded. "We′ve enough to last the rest of the month, and then a bit more when I receive my wages from Lady Danbury, but then . . ." Her words trailed off, and she looked away, not wanting Jane and Lucas to see the tears pricking her eyes. She′d been caring for these three for five years, ever since she′d been eighteen. They depended on her for food, shelter, and, most importantly, stability.

Jane nudged Lucas, and then, when he didn′t respond, jabbed him in the soft spot between his shoulder and collarbone.

"What?" he snapped. "That hurt."

" ′What′ is impolite," Elizabeth said automatically. " ′Pardon′ is preferable."

Lucas′s little mouth fell open in outrage. "It wasn′t polite of her to poke me like that. And I′m certainly not going to beg her pardon."

Jane rolled her eyes and sighed. "You must remember that he is only eight."

Lucas smirked back. "You′re only nine."

"I shall always be older than you."

"Yes, but I shall soon be bigger, and then you′ll be sorry."

Elizabeth′s lips curved into a bittersweet smile as she watched them bicker. She′d heard the same argument a million times before, but she′d also spied Jane tiptoeing into Lucas′s room after dark to give him a goodnight kiss on the forehead.

Theirs might not be a typical family -- it was just the four of them, after all, and they′d been orphans for years -- but the Hotchkiss clan was special. Elizabeth had managed to keep the family together five years ago when her father had died, and she was damned if she′d let a shortage of funds tear them apart now.

Jane crossed her arms. "You should give Lizzie your money, Lucas. It isn′t right to hoard it away."

He nodded solemnly and left the room, his little blond head bowed. Elizabeth glanced back up at Susan and Jane. They were also blond, with the bright blue eyes of their mother. And Elizabeth looked just like the rest of them -- a little blond army, they were, with no money for food.

She sighed again and levelled a serious stare at her sisters. "I′m going to have to marry. There is nothing else for it."

"Oh, no, Lizzie!" Jane shrieked, jumping out of her chair and practically clambering across the table to her sister′s lap. "Not that! Anything but that!"

Elizabeth looked at Susan with a confused expression, silently asking her if she knew why Jane was so upset. Susan just shook her head and shrugged.

"It′s not that bad," Elizabeth said, stroking Jane′s hair. "If I marry, then I shall probably have a baby of my own, and then you get to be an auntie. Won′t that be nice?"

"But the only person who′s asked you is Squire Nevins, and he′s horrid! Just horrid."

Elizabeth smiled unconvincingly. "I′m sure we can find someone besides Squire Nevins. Someone less . . . ah . . . horrid."

"I won′t live with him," Jane said with a mutinous cross of her arms. "I won′t. I′d rather go to an orphanage. Or one of those horrid workhouses."

Elizabeth didn′t blame her. Squire Nevins was old, fat, and mean. And he always stared at Elizabeth in a way that made her break out in a cold sweat. Truth be told, she didn′t much like the way he stared at Susan, either. Or Jane, for that matter.

No, she couldn′t many Squire Nevins.

Lucas returned to the kitchen carrying a small metal box. He held it out to Elizabeth. "I′ve saved one pound, forty," he said. "I was going to use it for -- " He swallowed. "Never mind. I want you to have it. For the family."

Elizabeth took the box silently and looked in. Lucas′s one pound, forty, was there, almost all in pennies and ha′pennies. "Lucas, honey," she said gently. "This is your savings. It has taken you years to collect all of these coins."

His lower lip quivered, but somehow he managed to expand his little chest until he stood like one of his toy soldiers. "I′m the man of the house now. I have to provide for you."

Elizabeth nodded solemnly and moved his money into the box where she kept household funds.

How to Marry a Marquis. Copyright © by Julia Quinn. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Meet the Author

Julia Quinn is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five novels for Avon Books, and one of only sixteen authors ever to be inducted in the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family.

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How to Marry a Marquis (Lady Danbury's Influence Series #2) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 83 reviews.
Under_The_Covers_BookBlog More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars ~Reviewed by SUZANNE & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog How to Marry a Marquis very much fits that description it made me laugh and kept me turning the pages.~ Under the Covers Miss Elizabeth Hotchkiss is trembling on the very edge of poverty, barely keeping food on the table for her siblings by working as a companion for Lady Danbury. Her only way out it seems is for her to marry only she has no skills in attracting a suitor and leading him to a proposal and the only guidance she seems to be able to find is from a very silly book. With nothing to lose Elizabeth starts practicing her wiles on Mr James Sidwell Lady D’s penniless estate manager, only things aren’t quite as they appear and she never expected to actually fall in love… Julia Quinn books never fail me, they may not be life changing or sweep me off my feet, but they do always do two things, one, entertain me and two make me smile. How to Marry a Marquis very much fits that description it made me laugh and kept me turning the pages. Elizabeth and James were both very likable characters and had a very cute romance, it didn’t take any unexpected turns and so although predictable it was sweet and charming. A character you may recognize if you have read enough of Julia Quinn’s books is Lady Danbury, I love Lady Danbury she is a sharp tongued yet sweet older lady who manages to keep everyone around her on their toes with her cutting wit. A great book for some light reading, you may not remember much about it in a few weeks time but it will leave you with a cozy feeling and a smile on your face.
Ally1105 More than 1 year ago
I've read all of Julia Quinn's books and enjoy them all! This one doesn't fail you! It's a fast read with humor and romance. I just wish the lead up to the ending was a bit different! But overall good story!
Junie_Moon More than 1 year ago
I've read quite a few of Julia Quinn's novels, and this is one of my favorites. Quinn is a wonderful writer who specializes in creating charming, believable characters and quirky, entertaining plotlines. In addition to a good imagination, Quinn has a great sense of humor. Her books often have me, literally, laughing out loud. I'm not a big fan of period romances, but I like Quinn's so much that I'm making a point of reading them all. Try one ("How to Marry a Marquis is a good place to start) and you'll be hooked.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first Julia Quinn book I picked up. I own and have read everyone of her books. Ignore the naysayers, this story is filled with something sweet and innocent. All the characters are great, even the animals have a romp in this book. If you want better rapport and dialogue, and a little less sex, this book is perfect. Besides, Julia Quinn writes ROMANCE, not porn.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was completely and utterly hilarious. Probably the funniest book I've ever read. I was so into the book that I read it in one night. And, being afraid I'd wake up the entire household laughing, I eventually had to smother myself with my pillow. If you are interested in a romance novel full of love(obviously), intricate and amusing characters, and gut-busting situations READ THIS BOOK!!! I would recommend it to anyone. Even those who don't like romance would enjoy it's comedy. Kudos to Julia Quinn for her fantastic novel. I laughed, I cried, I was part of this book. Thank you Ms.Quinn, and to anyone reading this... You can thank me later for my wonderful recommendation.
RAW1 29 days ago
Will written story, and if you choose to read this story, you will enjoy it i'm sure
skelley55 More than 1 year ago
I love Julia Quinn's books. This series of Lady Danbury's influence is no exception. The characters are charming and witty. The plot interesting. A wonderful read.
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It was, like all Julia Quinn novels, a thouroughly enjoyable story to read.
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While this story isnt as exciting as catching an heiress i still love it this story shows a different side to james that you dont see in the previous book its a cute story i just think that he was different in the other book i really liked him. in this book he just doesnt live upto the glimpse you get of in the previous he i guess just turns into everyother main hero. There was something reckless and charming i had hoped his pursuit would be more exciting and while shes cute patient responsible and all that shw could have been a little more
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