Harriet Wheatley is the mastermind behind the Ladies of Virtue's quest to rehabilitate the gentlemen of the ton. So when it comes to selecting her own target, she knows who to choose: Oliver Weeks, Marquess of Davenport—the most extravagant, handsome wastrel in all of London.
Known for his opulent lifestyle, Oliver isn't surprised by Harriet's confrontation. It's obvious Harriet longs for any way to take him down a notch. She says she'll help him find a bride, but he knows it's only because it gives her the excuse to chastise his indulgent ways. Little does she know that he’s already picked a wife—her! The hard-headed, fiery Harriet is the only woman Oliver wants, but convincing the lady won’t be easy.
Each book in the Lords of Vice series is STANDALONE:
* The Scoundrel and the Lady
* The Marquess and the Maiden
* The Earl and the Reluctant Lady
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
London, May 1851
Oliver stepped into the smaller dining room they used for breakfast and informal dinners, and his mother nearly choked on her eggs. He ignored her reaction and made his way over to the sideboard and fixed himself a plate. He'd learned long ago how to balance anything with his left hand while keeping his right hand on his cane so as to not fall over. It had taken practice, and he'd stumbled many times, not always in private, either.
"Good morning," she said, not hiding the surprise in her tone. "I had thought you'd forgotten breakfast was a customary task."
"I do eat breakfast, Mother," he said, taking his seat adjacent her at the table. "I tend to do so after you."
"Because you are out so late."
He shrugged. "Benedict's doesn't open until later in the evening. You left me a note last night expressing a desire to speak with me, so here I am."
"And so compliant." She frowned at him. "What has gotten into you this morning? Are you ill?"
"Can a son not enjoy a breakfast with his mother without it meaning anything dastardly? I can leave and go back upstairs if you prefer."
"No, of course not, darling. My apologies. I'm thrilled you joined me for breakfast." She eyed his plate piled with food. "Eat; I can see that you're hungry."
He did as she bade, and she even allowed him to eat in peace for several moments before she began regaling him about all the gossip from last night's party. He vaguely caught comments about the latest fashion trends and the excitement about the Crystal Palace exhibits. He'd already been a handful of times. The structure itself offered hours' worth of enjoyment even without the exhibitions inside.
"And I think it is past time for you to select a wife," she said.
"What did you say?" he asked, wanting to make certain he hadn't imagined her words.
"You have brooded long enough. You've rebuilt the family fortune, regained everything your father lost, plus amassed a great fortune yourself. Yet you have allowed a slight limp to prevent you from doing so many things." All of her words rushed out as if she'd been holding them in for far too long. "So, this is my proposition. Select a wife, or I shall do it for you."
He raised his eyes to look at her. His mother was a handsome woman, aging well despite her hair beginning to gray and laugh lines accenting her eyes and mouth. He'd often wondered why she had never remarried. She'd gotten close once, and then he'd had his accident.
The gentleman had then left for the Continent, but Oliver heard he'd returned from his adventures. Perhaps their affections could be rekindled. He didn't want his mother to waste any more of her life taking care of him. Shortly after the accident, and after Catherine had made it abundantly clear she had no plans of marrying him, he'd needed his mother's assistance. He'd had to rely on her and Benedict for nearly everything until he'd healed enough to walk with a cane.
She was right. It was time for him to marry, if only to grant his mother permission to have her own life. He knew his mother would never marry and leave him unless he, himself, found a wife.
He continued chewing his bread, eyeing her thoughtfully. She'd obviously given this a lot of thought. A quick swipe at his mouth with the linen napkin and then he tossed that on the table and nodded. "You're absolutely correct, Mother."
She opened her mouth, then shut it. Her head tilted, and confusion marred her brow. "Wait, you're not going to argue with me? I had more to convince you."
He waved his hand dismissively. "Unnecessary. You are, of course, right, that it is past time that I marry. I'm assuming you have a list of women you want me to approach."
She eyed him warily. "Yes."
"Well, who's at the top, we'll just go with her." That would be easier than him trying to decide. He'd been out of polite society for years with the exception of Benedict's and a few other gentlemen's clubs. Though one could argue the merits of how polite those establishments are.
She shook her head. "No, you should select someone yourself."
"But you just said you would pick for me."
Her eyes narrowed. "And I meant it. I'd prefer, however, that you select a partner yourself. It is you, after all, who will be living with her, building a family with her."
"I have long been absent from polite society, Mother. I know no one, save a bunch of men. If you have a list in mind, simply tell me and I shall do my best to get an introduction."
"Attend the ball with me tonight. Then we can see what sort of girl you have an inclination toward," his mother said. "I'd prefer not to select a girl for you myself, if possible. The last time I did wasn't successful." She gave him a wry smile.
He leaned back and gripped the handle of his cane. "A ball."
"No one will expect you to dance, my love. You will be the catch of the season." She smiled brightly and clapped her hands. "Once everyone knows you are on the hunt for a bride, they will be clamoring for your attention."
"I highly doubt that." He exhaled slowly. "Who will be there?"
"That you know?"
"Oh, well, Harriet will be. You remember her, my love, she is Lady Lockwood's daughter."
Yes, he remembered her. Remembered the way their mothers had so flagrantly tried to secure a union between them so that Harriet's dowry could save Oliver's coffers. He had dismissed her, rejected her offer, but he'd not wanted to marry anyone at the time. She'd been so bloody cheerful and talkative. "She is still unmarried?"
His mother smiled brightly. "As a matter of fact, yes."
He held up a hand. "Do not. That is not what I was asking." Though he had to admit he was curious as to what the pretty Lady Harriet looked like now and if she was still so inexplicably cheerful.
* * *
Harriet looked around the ballroom. Everything was beautiful; the lights glowed just so, roses and topiaries decorated every square inch. She hated all of it. She was so tired of the routine — dress up, pretend to be kind and accommodating. For what?
Another evening so dull she might as well be a doddering eighty-year-old woman. A quick altercation in a darkened alleyway where she caught a thief — that was more her idea of fun.
Would that she could skip all this and focus totally on the Ladies of Virtue. For four years, she'd been a member of the secret group of women who hid behind the guise of being a charitable organization when they were actually specially trained and focused on ridding the streets of petty crimes.
Agnes, her closest friend, stepped over to where Harriet stood at the edge of the ballroom. Her dear friend was beautiful, stunningly so, yet at the moment annoyance marred her lovely face.
"Whatever is the matter, my dear?" Harriet asked.
"'Tis my brother. I do not understand why he must always be in every part of my life."
"Would that Malcolm were as adoring and protective as Christopher. Instead, my brother is far more interested in wooing every pretty girl who crosses his path."
"You wouldn't actually want that," Agnes said.
Harriet chuckled. "You're probably right about that." She scanned the room. "Have you seen Iris this evening?"
"I believe she intended to stay home in hopes of catching her own wayward brother for a conversation."
"At least our brothers are older and we don't have to worry about them overly much," Harriet said.
They each grabbed a glass of champagne from a passing tray and clinked them together before taking a hearty sip. Harriet closed her eyes, relishing the way the crisp bubbles danced across her tongue and down her throat.
"Who is that?" Agnes asked, her eyes locked on the short staircase that led into the room.
Harriet followed her friend's gaze and saw a tall man with long blond hair. A scruffy beard covered far too much of his face. He descended the stairs with the assistance of a cane. Aside from his unfashionably long hair and beard, he was impeccably dressed. It was the cane, though, that gave her pause.
No, it couldn't be him. He never attended parties or balls. In fact, if she was correct, he hadn't been to a Societal party in nearly six years, though she knew he'd remained in London. His name had become synonymous with luxury and opulence. His flagrant disposal of his monies was truly an embarrassment of wealth.
Harriet tore her gaze away to look at Agnes. "If I am not mistaken, that is the Marquess of Davenport," Harriet whispered. He was distracting to look upon, but at least she knew she wouldn't have to talk to him. Obviously, since he disliked her as much as she disliked him, and that would make everything easier because he would avoid her. And she wouldn't have to relive the humiliation of their last encounter.
"We'll know for certain soon, as he's coming this way," Agnes said.
"What?" She glanced up. Oh no! It did look like he was walking over to her. Why would he do that? He must be heading toward someone else, perhaps standing behind her. No, wait, he was definitely walking toward her.
He looked every bit a man with a purpose as he strode toward her. Harriet looked for a way to escape, to avoid any would-be confrontation with him, but there was no time.
Harriet held her breath. His steely blue eyes pierced directly into her soul. She inwardly cursed him for still being so blasted handsome; it was truly wasted on such a coldhearted man. "Lord Davenport." She curtsied.
"Lady Harriet," he said. His deep voice vibrated through her entire being.
Had his voice always been so entrancing? She didn't recall it having such an effect on her before, as if he'd caressed her with his hand instead of speaking a simple salutation.
While he didn't bow, he did incline his head. He hadn't completely lost his manners in his absence. She hated the way he made her feel. The last time she'd seen him, she'd nearly begged him to marry her, yet he was going to proceed as if they were friendly. As if she hadn't offered herself up to him with a bow made from banknotes. She could do this. If he wanted to pretend they were allies, she could as well. She'd been pretending to like people and be friendly with people whom she didn't particularly care for her entire life. This was not a game in which he could beat her.
Pretend though she would, she couldn't deny that the manner in which he had rejected her still stung after all these years. Not that she had actually wanted to marry the great beast of a man.
Humiliation crept over her skin, damp and unwelcome. Suddenly everything felt too tight, her dress, her corset, her skin. Was he here to gloat? He'd been successful without the assistance of her dowry, yet she remained unmarried, plump, and alone.
"Are you lost?" Harriet asked.
A ghost of a smile crossed his lips, though she could barely see the change. She suddenly had the strongest urge to shave his face, to remember what he looked like without the coarse hair masking his features.
"It would seem my mother has decided this is the year I must marry, and she suggested I attend tonight's ball," he said.
Agnes released some sort of noise and glanced at Harriet with wide eyes.
"How positively rude of me," Harriet said. "Have you ever met Lady Agnes? She is the daughter of Lord Darby."
He nodded over Agnes's hand.
"A pleasure, Lord Davenport," Agnes said. And then as if he'd appeared through the floor, her brother, Christopher, was at her side.
"Agnes, I need a moment," he said through gritted teeth. He glanced at the marquess. "Davenport."
Agnes rolled her eyes but allowed him to pull her away.
"I had forgotten I could have that effect on people," Lord Davenport said.
Harriet couldn't determine if he was amused or offended. Judging by the scowl on his brow and the piercing gaze of his haunting eyes, she'd guess offended. "That wasn't about you. Christopher behaves that way whenever a gentleman approaches Agnes."
"I wasn't approaching Agnes." His steely eyes met hers. "People tend to move out of my way whenever I enter a room. It is part of why I don't normally attend these gatherings."
"It's the frown. You have to at least pretend to be friendly and more approachable. Pleasant. Behave as if you want to be here. You're never going to attract a bride if all you do is glare at everyone."
"When I walked in, you certainly weren't looking as if you wanted to be here. In fact, you appeared to be rather miserable."
How had he seen that in her? No one ever questioned her desire to attend parties. Everyone enjoyed her company, and she received invitations for several events a week. "I most certainly was not miserable. Until I recognized you." She inwardly winced. It wasn't like her to be unkind even if the person warranted it.
His eyes slid down her body, and everything seemed to tighten in response. She shuddered as if he'd touched her.
"Good luck finding a bride."
"I am richer than Croesus. That alone will get me a wife," he said.
She turned fully to face him. "You can't possibly believe that."
"I do." He nodded toward the ballroom. "The majority of the unions in this room were made for precisely that reason."
"I would say that money had ruined you, but you were already unpleasant before you acquired your fortune."
His brows rose. "Indeed?"
"You are boorish and greedy. Most families with any fortune to speak of are generous with their funds. They give to charities and don't buy properties they don't require, nor do they constantly update and redecorate their current properties."
He chuckled. "Have you been spying on me?"
"Of course not!" He was infuriating, and she wanted to scream at him, but she needed to remember where she was. Spinster or not, she couldn't afford to compromise her reputation by behaving the shrew in public. She took a cleansing breath.
It would seem that after all these years of her humiliation stewing, she had unresolved anger toward Lord Davenport. Suddenly, he had an unusual ability of getting under her skin, irritating her and making her say whatever came to mind rather than carefully weighing her words. She never spoke without first considering someone else's feelings. Except right now.
"Anyone who can read," she continued, "can see that you're purchasing unnecessary properties at an alarming rate. Including the Garners' a few doors down from my family's townhome."
He shrugged. "They needed the funds, I required their townhome. I don't recall asking you if you thought my purchases were necessary or not. I believe I make those decisions."
Thank the heavens he had refused to marry her six years ago. She couldn't imagine what it would have been like to be saddled in a relationship with him. He should be pleased she didn't have any would-be weapons within reach, or she'd likely run him through.
"Why are you smiling?" he asked.
"Thinking about all the trouble you're going to have trying to find a bride." She couldn't very well tell him she'd been imagining doing him bodily harm. "If you are serious about finding a wife, you might want to heed my advice."
"I shall keep that in mind. Good evening, Lady Harriet." He bowed, then walked away from her.
He might be ridiculously handsome, but he was also a ridiculous fool believing such nonsense.
* * *
Damnation if she wasn't still distractingly pretty. Her pale green dress fell seductively off her shoulders, revealing a creamy expanse of her lovely skin and enhancing her abundant cleavage.
Pretty or not, she obviously misunderstood the way unions in this town worked. Perhaps that was why she was still unmarried herself. Women married men all the time for nothing more than a fat purse. He shouldn't have any problem at all finding a willing bride.
His mother had suggested he go tonight to catch a glimpse at the current Season's debutantes and other misses who were on the market. But he'd noticed Harriet as soon as he'd entered the ballroom, and everyone else had fallen away. He'd immediately approached her. Now he was ready to retreat home, or even lose himself in a hand or two of cards at Benedict's.
He wasn't so daft he didn't realize that there was much about him that women wouldn't find desirable. His limp and subsequent cane being the primary reasons. But he also knew the wealth would more than make up for it. He knew of men twice his age with a third fewer teeth and less hair who had married debutantes. Granted, he did seem to evoke a certain amount of discomfort around younger women. Perhaps he should set his sights on an attractive widow. Damned if he didn't want to do this. He should have made his mother arrange something and be done with it.
She had tried, once upon a time. He could have already been married, a voice reminded him. To Harriet. He allowed himself to consider that thought for a while. What would it have been like to marry her nearly six years ago when he'd been penniless and she'd been doe-eyed and eager?
Would her agreeable nature have made her pliant in his bed? Likely. Blood shifted, making his pants tighter than was comfortable. She was different now. Tonight, he'd seen something more in Lady Harriet, something he hadn't those years before. A feistiness that he seemed to bring out in her. He was certain that would translate to pure unadulterated passion. His cock twitched at the thought.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Marquess and the Maiden"
Copyright © 2018 Robyn DeHart.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a nice escape and a fun read. There was a little mystery, but it was not a dark sinister story with danger lurking around every corner. I dislike those! Give me a real romance any day,with perhaps a few less love making scenes. I will be looking for more from this author.
Oliver and Harriet's story was absolutely wonderful. From their (very painful!) first non-engagement through all of Oliver's (clueless) denied engagement through their actual relationship--even when I wanted to throttle him for his obtuseness or cry over her lack of self worth, I loved their story and couldn't wait to see them get to their HEA. Which they did. Wonderfully. (Spoiler? ;)) I haven't had a chance to read the first book in the series yet ( The Scoundrel and the Lady ) but that wasn't an issue here. I believe that at least part of this book was happening concurrently with that one; an overarching concern about Harriet and Iris's group being outed to the press wasn't resolved here and will (hopefully!) continue to the next book, so I've got time to catch up. (Which I will. Iris's story sounds wonderful.) Rating: 4 stars / A- I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
I really enjoyed this story. Harriet is a bit short, plump, curvey. Oliver is a man who is physically damaged, and who scoffs at love. He disavows love, she is determined to marry for love. Let the games begin...and then there is Lady X
My rating: 4.5 Stars The Marquess and the Maiden could have been a simple love story where a Regency couple married due to obligation. Harriet Wheatley wants to marry, well sort of, and has a substantial dowry. She sets her sights on The Marquess of Davenport, Oliver Weeks, who is drastically in need of funds. Their mothers, lifelong friends, think the two would make a fine alliance. However, Harriet and Oliver do not pair. Oliver is not going to marry for money, and he really hurts Harriet's feelings. Harriet quickly moves on with her life and becomes a part of a group called the Ladies of Virtue, a group of women who secretly guard the streets of London. Years later, when their group is threatened, their aim changes. Harriet comes up with a plan, and sets her sights on rehabilitating Oliver. She is now in need of his help, and so they make a deal. She will find him a bride, if he will do a huge favor for her. One thing about Oliver is that he was badly injured in an accident once upon a time, and most women find him appalling. This does not deter Harriet in the least, but she is determined to marry only for love. However, the two must contend with a strong passion for each other...something that will definitely get in the way with both of their plans. The Marquess and the Maiden is the second in Robyn DeHart's Lords of Vice series. Although I do wish that I had the opportunity to read the first, this does well as a standalone. It is a truly wonderful and sensual read. Both Harriet and Oliver are fantastic characters and their dance is truly spectacular to witness. In these historical romances, there is often the need to marry versus the need for love. What happens when a man decides that he can never, ever love? Why is there such a war when it comes to how Oliver feels about Harriet? I so enjoyed this couple, as well as the bit of mystery that came along with this love story. If you enjoy Regency romances with a powerful hero who finds his heart and a very strong female heroine that stands out differently than many in these books, then you will definitely enjoy this read. The plot and the romance were quite interesting, and both moved along at a pleasant pace. I rather enjoyed watching Oliver make things go his way concerning Harriet. I was able to enjoy this book in one sitting. It was truly refreshing and I do look forward to continuing this series by Robyn DeHart. I received this ARC or review from Entangled Publishing and Authors Pal in exchange for my honest opinion.
Harriet Wheatley knows many things about the ways of the world. Life is often unpleasant and those you surround yourself with are your best chance at finding happiness. Harriet surrounds herself with the ladies in her secret club, The Ladies of Virtue. Not only is the club a place where they discuss how to turn the men in the ton into purposeful members of society, but they also train themselves physically and mentally to fight crime. The one rule of The Ladies of Virtue is not to discuss The Ladies of Virtue. But someone’s tongue has wagged to a local newspaper and their club is in jeopardy. Oliver Weeks, Marquess of Davenport, was once upon a time almost engaged to Harriet. Their mothers are the best of friends and wanted the pair to married. When Oliver refused to take Harriet as his wife for her dowry, it stung her heart and her pride. Several years later, Oliver has brought his estate and the properties of the family his father swindled back to glory. With good investments and a lot of knowhow, Oliver’s family is prosperous once again. But it is time for Oliver to find a wife and Harriet is friends with everyone. The scheme is hatched with both Harriet and Oliver having their own agendas, but the final goal is to find Oliver the perfect bride. DeHart takes us on a very bumpy road to love. Harriet is full of untapped passion for life. She tries to show the world her skills, yet is stifled when their club is leaked to the papers. Oliver was desperate to show the world he could bring his legacy back from the brink of destruction. His one stipulation was he would never marry to recoup his father’s losses. While his exterior shows a man who walks with a defined limp and spends money like water, he is actually very selfless in his daily life, helping his friends and family live comfortably. I loved each twist and turn DeHart threw at us throughout the novel. The issue of Oliver’s limp might not be a problem by the standards of today, but it was almost world ending to him in the time period of this novel. Harriet never saw his limp as a problem and even though she thought his spending was excessive, she couldn’t help but be drawn to the man. The Marquess and the Maiden is a complicated and passionate love story told brilliantly from awe-inspiring wordsmith, Robyn DeHart. If you love your stories full of passion, romance, and a thrilling plot you can hold close to your heart, this novel is for you. I received this book for free. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Oliver, the Marquess of Davenport, and Lady Harriet are society misfits, who realize they are just right for each other. The road to their happily ever after is not an easy one though. Oliver inherited a bankrupt estate and was working hard to save it. An accident while working on repairs at the estate leaves him with a weak leg and a limp, which causes his faithless fiance to jilt him. His and Harriet's mother plan a bit of matchmaking as Harriet has a generous dowry that would help restore the Davenport estate. While Oliver finds Harriet attractive, he does not want to marry for money and rejects the match. Harriet is the petite and curvy daughter of a duke, who hasn't found a match after two Seasons. She was amenable to the match with Oliver since she finds him attractive, and his limp doesn't bother her. When he rejects her, she vows to only consider marrying for love or not at all. Fast forward six years, and Oliver has restored his estates and finances after some successful investments. His mother counsels him to marry, and he agrees to find a wife. He and Harriet encounter each other again at a ball, and the fireworks begin, as she hasn't forgotten his rejection. Oliver's attraction is rekindled, and he realizes that no one will do for him but Harriet. He professes his desire to Harriet but, while attracted to him, she wants love or nothing at all. Oliver claims he doesn't believe in love but is blind to his own feelings. Although I noted some historical anachronisms and errors with titles, the book kept my interest and was enjoyable. Overall, DeHart develops a steamy romance between Oliver and Harriet. He courts Harriet with a bouquet full of hidden meaning, and his sketches of her convince Harriet that Oliver really sees and desires her. Kudos to DeHart for giving us an imperfect couple who find perfection in each other. I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.
Oliver Weeks, Marquess of Davenport, after his father had died, they found he had lost everything. He and his mother were destitute. So the mothers, his and Harriet's decided that they marry. He would get her substantial dowry and she would have a husband. But Davenport told her"I don't want you and I don't want your money". He hurt her badly. Six years later, he is rich and she is still unmarried. His mother tells him he needs a wife and she talks him into going to a ball. He had a bad accident and now has a limp and uses a cane. The characters are fully developed, argumentive and has bad feelings when he tries to convince her to marry him. He had his chance and blew it. She keeps telling him, no but he is persistent. The storyline is fun and they banter back and forth. There also are some twists. The author wrote a well balanced, even paced and interesting tale. I really enjoy this book and found it drawing my attention and keeping it there until the end. I received this ARC from Net Galley and voluntarily reviewed it.
This was a lovely historical romance. The kind that sucks you in and makes you care deeply for the characters. A few things irritated me but I realize they're more a function of the age I'm born in, rather than true flaws. Usually the Big Misunderstanding trope annoys me but this time I found it oddly charming. Harriet is a lovely woman, one I want to have been real, because of her passion and rather rebellious (for the age) nature. A bit naive but ready to fight for her own happiness. Her empathy and courage are something every human being should strive to possess. Oliver is my favourite type of male lead - the broken man that needs love to see he isn't really broken. The callous way he was treated due to his disability is truly appalling but unfortunately quite common even nowadays. Yes, he did some things I found disturbing but in that day and age it wasn't considered as wrong as it is today. Still I loved him and am happy that he got his HEA. Apart from the disturbing nature of Oliver's courtship of Harriet the only other thing that annoyed me was the unresolved mystery of the book. I realize it will probably be a long running plot in the series but I still would have liked if the mystery was solved at the end. I have my suspicions and I wanted to know if I'm right. And now I'm off to read the first book of the series because this definitely caught my attention.
A delightful historical romance with a lot to love about it. Harriet is a strong female lead whose growth from the prologue to the actual story makes for an interesting novel. It helps that the POV switches between the leads so that the reader is able to truly see her evolution. She is such a fascinating, dynamic, and engaging character, it’s hard not to like her. The hero is another story. While the author should be commended for inclusion of both a overweight heroine and a disabled hero, the hero is harder to like. This is mainly due to multiple strikes against him. First, he is a childhood acquaintance of the hero who treats her poorly (for which she hates him for) but ultimately ends up desiring her. Second, he was once “burned” by a woman, because if his acquired disability, which scars him and turns him off of love. This is such an old tired trope that women everywhere are rolling their eyes. It honestly makes the hero look whiny and pathetic rather than damaged. Third, it takes him a long time to treat the heroine well despite having no qualms with repeatedly sleeping with her. The story itself is interesting and entertaining. The heroine's extracurricular activities are a highlight, giving the story a little something extra. The author has a nice style that flows smoothly. The novel is shorter at approximately 230 pages but the reader will have no trouble eating up every word.
THE MARQUESS AND THE MAIDEN by ROBYN DEHART is book 2 in her "Lord's Vice" series, but cam br read as a stand alone. A steady paved, quick and fun read. Well written although. I wanted to learn more of the Ladies of Virtue a mysterious, crime fighting team composed of women, including Harriet, our heroine. Follow, Harriet Wheatley, one of the Ladies of Virtue and Oliver Weeks, Marquess of Davenport, on their adventure to love, and finding a HEA. Ms. Dehart has a way with her character conceptions, her development, her execution of the romance, mystery with a bit of humor and wit. I did feel, the ending was a bit abrupt, and left a few unanswered questions, hopefully, leading into the next book. Overall, a really great book with charming characters and an enjoyable and entertaining storyline. #NetGalley,#TheMarquessandtheMaiden "I voluntarily received a complimentary copy, however, these are my honest opinions. I was in no way required nor compensated to write a review." Rating: 4 Heat rating: Mild Reviewer: AprilR
I received an ARC of this book to read through NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. The Marquess and the Maiden by Robyn DeHart is the second book in her Lords of Vice series but each book is written to be a stand-alone. The Entangled:Scandalous imprint of which this novella is under features Alpha Heroes, Confident and Unconventional Heroines and lots of sexual tension. Five years ago Oliver Weeks, Marquess of Davenport was broke, permanently injured, and had recently been dumped by the woman he planned to marry. So when his mother and her best friend propose that he marry, the best friends daughter Lady Harriet Wheatley whom he’s known all his life, as her dowry will bail him out of the financial trouble created by his father, he very bluntly says no. Present day he’s restored the family fortune on his own and is ready to marry, Harriet catches his eye as really the only woman he wants, but too bad for him because she’s having none of it. Quite Steamy. Publishing Date September 10, 2018 #TheMarquessandtheMaiden #NetGalley
I read the first book in this series and was excited to read this one. I was not disappointed and loved revisiting with this quirky group of ladies who formed the Ladies of Virtue with Harriet Wheatley, the heroine, being one of the founders. Harriet leads a campaign to rehabilitate the gentlemen of the ton in whatever their vice might be. She chooses, Oliver Weeks, Marquess of Davenport to stop him from wasting money and give to charitable endeavors! Of course she and Oliver had a past that she could not forgive. Her mother had the idea that she and Oliver should marry because she had funds he desperately needed to repair his holdings that his father had gambled away. He rejected her badly because he was determined to restore the family wealth on his own. Now six years later, as Harriet tries to talk to him about his spending habits, he asks her to help him find a wife. What is up with that? Oliver was a wounded man due to having had a bad fall years ago and walked with a cane. As the two interacted, some surprising emotions come out for both of them and the game was on. I loved the interaction between these two. I just never knew what was going to happen next. This was really a very entertaining story and I cannot wait until the next in the series!! This can be read as a standalone. I read this through NetGallery Lori Dykes
Just imagine a group of young women, the Ladies of Virtue, who are determined to “rehabilitate” the gentlemen of the ton! One of their founder members, Harriet Wheatley, is a headstrong, determined young lady and the man she’s determined to rehabilitate is the Marquess of Davenport, Oliver Weeks, the man who told her he wouldn’t marry her six years ago, not even if her substantial dowry would help him restore the bankrupt estate he’d inherited. Now Oliver has restored his family fortunes his mother suggests it is time for him to marry. He agrees but acknowledges he needs help. . . . from Harriet! Will she even attempt to help him find a wife? They need to come to an agreement first but once their terms are agreed little does she know that he’s already determined who he wants to marry - her! Now he has the biggest obstacle to overcome - how to convince her after his previous hurtful attitude and comments. This is a Regency romance with a very strong heroine who doesn’t believe herself to be attractive and a hero who lacks confidence in himself because of the limp he acquired in an accident. Their interactions, the attitudes of their peers and the continuing mystery regarding Lady X make this an entertaining read for anyone who enjoys Regency romances. I requested and was given a copy of this book, via NetGalley. This is my honest review of the book after choosing to read it.
I loved Harriet and Oliver's story! Harriet was on a quest to reform Oliver and his spending. She doesn't feel like he should be throwing away all of his money and should be spending it on helping others instead. What she doesn't know is that there is a reason he spends so much of his money. They've known each other most of their lives, but they don't really know the other. I loved watching these two really learn what the other was like. Their bantering had me laughing out loud. This was a great addition to the series and I can't wait to see what DeHart has in store for us with the next Lords of Vice book!
I loved it! It's a great story about two people who never really understand each other and always end up misinterpreting each other's intentions. But in the end they realize that it doesn't really matter as long as they have love, it's more than enough. A great historical fiction that I'd definitely recommend to all historical fans. It has exactly the right amount of humor and romance to keep readers entertained.
Oliver, Lord Davenport has been thrown at Lady Harriet. He walks with a cane and has no fortune. She is considered everybody's little sister and has not had any offers. He rejects her totally. He comes back to London after several years and thinks Harriet is beautiful, but she can't believe anything he says after the set down he has given her. He asks Harriet to play matchmaker and find him a bride.. There's no one but Harriet for him. While at a house party, he meets his formally betrothed who left him after he had his accident. Harriet sees her and leaves the room. Oliver comprises Harriet so she will have to marry her. She realizes that she has fallen in love with him but he has told her that he will never fall in love. Harriet is gone and he cannot find her. Has she left him? Will he be able to win her back? Great story with a wonderful ending. I received this book from Net Galley and Entangled Publishing, LLC for a honest review and no compensation otherwise.