This book had me laughing from the first page until the last! In fact, I would say that I had not laughed so hard while reading a book all year, and The Wrong Marquess brought that smile to my face that seems so much more difficult during these tough times. The story is so goofy and loveable and fun, so even while there were moments where the heroine felt too naive and too blinded by that naivete, I still couldn't help but feel engaged and in love with the story. Vivienne Lorret has that wonderful way of writing that makes you feel like you're watching an episode of Friends - it's comfortable, relatable, and above all, entertaining.
Elodie Parrish, Ellie to her friends, has known who she would marry since she was seven years old. When her father died and she bonded with a boy from the neighboring estate, who was also an orphan like her, they made an agreement that they would marry each other one day. Ellie took that seriously but George...not so much. Fast forward 18 years and Ellie is still 25 and unwed...and disgruntled about it. Keeping herself occupied by assisting her friends in writing a guide on the marriage habits of gentleman, she is observing several proposals at a garden party when she collides with a man. Brandon Stredwick, the Marquess of Hullworth, has had it with the marriage-minded ladies - and their mothers - chasing after him. He assumes Ellie is just another young lady trying to catch him and treats her harshly, but when she befriends his sister, he has no choice but to spend time in her company. Jaded by a past love gone wrong, he wants nothing to do with love again...until he realizes Ellie might just be that special person for him. If only she weren't in love with someone else...
Ellie was a hoot! She was without guile, carefree yet kind, and she genuinely cared about everyone around her. Except for Brandon, at first, though she couldn't help but feel for him as she witnessed how her fellow unwed ladies treated him. She had never really experienced what true love felt like, and she just assumed that George was the one for her. I think she had convinced herself that she was in love, until she met Brandon and realized what love truly felt like. It was frustrating at times to watch her continue to fight her attraction to Brandon, while we as readers read on with disgust at George and his obvious disregard for Ellie. Not to mention what we learn about him later on in the book, which caused me to literally growl at my tablet screen. The man is not a good person, at all. Brandon, by contrast, was a wonderful human being and one more deserving of love than anyone in this book. The sweet man was gruff on the outside but a veritable marshmallow on the inside. He loved his sister, went to great lengths to woo Ellie and protect her, and even as she acknowledged their love, she was still held back from fully embracing Brandon. My heart hurt watching them two sort things out. Of course, as in all romance books, things sort themselves out by the end, and I was happy to see them happy.
I was so happy to read this book prior to publication, and I can't wait to continue reading this series. You don't need to read the previous books to enjoy this one, but of course, it always helps.
**I received a free copy via NetGalley and this is my honest review.**