Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Review: Mastering the Marquess by Vanessa Kelly

In this Regency-set historical romance, Meredith's Burnley must take her sickly sister and flee her awful uncle's plans to marry her off to her cousin. But this plan is complicated. Meredith's sister is actually a half-sister and their reception at Annabel's grandparents' home is uncertain as her mother had been disowned for marrying Meredith's father. And no one knows how far their uncle will go to try and marry the nearly connectionless Meredith to his son while they wait to see if Annabel's grandfather will ever accept his granddaughter. Meanwhile, Annabel's grandmother has cooked up a scheme whereby her nephew, the Marquess of Silverton, will marry Annabel and mend the family rift. But Stephen is drawn to Meredith and vice versa. The evil uncle will not be denied and matters come to a head, in love and in war.

When I need a happily ever after, I turn to romances, knowing I will get my wish and this one delivered on that desire, as expected. The writing was fine but the plot was not terribly memorable, echoing so many other books in so many small and large ways. Most genre work has stock characters or situations and this one was no exception. I have to admit I am somewhat jaded by the "just in time" rescue from a kidnapping and of the one-dimensional evil character masquerading as a slightly off-putting generally upstanding person. But in asking for a certain outcome, I hav signed on to some of these cliches and I guess I should accept that. I can sacrifice unique for the desired predictability if I get a few hours of entertainment from the book and this one provided me with that. All in all, it was what I wanted.

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