It’s the story of Marianne, who was introduced in Ellen’s book (along with her very unpleasant husband) and her former love, Alexander. They were torn apart by circumstances beyond their control (aka Marianne’s very unpleasant husband and equally unpleasant father…plus that, you know, tiny little war going on with France at the time), but now that the war is over (woo!), the father is dead (double woo!), and the husband is dead (ultra woo!), they have a chance to renew their acquaintance and figure out how to make their relationship work again.
I do have to give a trigger warning for mentions of abuse: Marianne’s husband was not a nice man, and the author paints a very unpleasant picture, including discussion of rape, beatings, financial and social control, and emotional abuse. It’s fairly explicit, so if you’re not in a state to handle it, wait until you are.
While Alex’s life is not as violent, he has also been through trouble – he went to war and inherited a title he never expected, both of which have changed him. And the hints we get of his life during war are not at all pleasant.
They’re both older and wiser, and that shows in their relationship. Ten years apart is a long time to change, and a long time to assume things about each other which aren’t true – Alex thought Marianne got married willingly, and it very much colors their interaction.
Luckily, he does eventually learn the truth, and when he does he immediately changes his behavior along with his actions.
So by the midpoint of the book, I was 100% rooting for Marianne and Alexander to renew their love and find their way back to each other – and all the happiness that both of them absolutely deserved.
Of course, they do eventually come together, and we get to see them as a lovely couple who both recreate their earlier love and figure out new ways of relating to each other.
It was also nice to see some returning characters from the first book – Ellen and Thomas are just as adorable as ever – and to get some great new characters as well. I particularly liked Marianne’s…nieces? Cousins? Whatever the exact relation was, Diana and Clarissa were lovely and I wouldn’t mind seeing books for either or both of them. And Amelia was a true friend and if she weren’t already married, I would absolutely want to see more of her.
A+ for women supporting women.
All in all, it was a lovely book, and I give it an unabashed
You can get A Marquis for Marianne here.
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