Review – Merely a Marriage by Jo Beverley

This is a lively Regency tale, with a charming heroine, a captivating hero, and lots of twists and turns in the plot. ~ Shadow, Guilty Pleasures

As England mourns the death of Princess Charlotte, Lady Ariana Boxstall has another succession in mind. Her brother, Norris, is a strapping young man, but he s also happily unmarried and childless. Norris agrees to take a wife on one condition: that Ariana take a husband first. Although she realizes she risks a lifetime in a loveless marriage, for the sake of her family, Ariana accepts his challenge.
When the Earl of Kynaston met Ariana eight years ago, he broke her heart. Since then, his own heart has been broken, and he s sworn off love…until he sees Ariana all grown-up and his resolve is threatened.
Could Ariana s bargain with Norris actually lead her to happiness? With real love on the line, she must win over the one man who refuses to be had.”

This is a lively Regency tale, with a charming heroine, a captivating hero, and lots of twists and turns in the plot. It may take a few liberties with the manners of the day, but overall it is a fitting final book for an author of historical romances.

Lady Ariana Boxstall tells her brother she’ll marry if he will to keep their family home out of the hands of the uncle who will destroy everything if her brother dies before having an heir. But finding someone she can marry is difficult-not only can he not repel her personally, but he has to at least match her in height. At six feet herself, finding a tall man without overwhelming liabilities is a trial.

And one of the few potentially eligible husbands, Titus, the Earl of Kynaston, broke Ariana’s heart when she met him during her first visit to town 8 years ago. Now he appears to be a drunken wastrel-but things aren’t always what they seem.

Can Ariana find the truth about the Earl’s situation -and deal with the fallout from that truth?

I liked the fact that Ariana overcame her youthful heartbreak to become a strong, clear-headed woman and that Titus simply couldn’t resist her, as hard as he tried. Some of the interactions between these two are where the accuracy of the time period break down-they would have been forced to marry long before they came to the conclusion they should, but otherwise, this was a fascinating glimpse into the life and times of the aristocracy of England in the early 1800s.

Review copy provided for a voluntary review.

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