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Review: How I Married a Marquess by Anna Harrington

How I Married a Marquess (The Secret Life of Scoundrels, #3)HOW I MARRIED A MARQUESS
by Anna Harrington
Series: The Secret Life of Scoundrels #3
Genres: Historical, Romance
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: April 26th 2016
Source: ARC received for review purposes
Rating: ★★★
Amazon - Barnes & Noble


Josephine Carlisle, adopted daughter of a baron, is officially on the shelf. But the silly, marriage-minded misses in the ton can have their frilly dresses and their seasons in London, for all she cares. Josie has her freedom and her family . . . until an encounter with a dark, devilishly handsome stranger leaves her utterly breathless at a house party. His wicked charm intrigues her, but that's where it ends. For Josie has a little secret . . .

. . . 

Espionage was Thomas Matteson, Marquess of Chesney's game-until a tragic accident cost him his career. Now to salvage his reputation and return to the life he loves, the marquess must find the criminal who's been robbing London's rich and powerful. He's no fool-he knows Josie, with her wild chestnut hair and rapier-sharp wit, is hiding something and he won't rest until he unravels her mysteries, one by one. But he never expected to be the one under arrest-body and soul . . . 

How I Married a Marquess was an impulse request for me. One of my reading goals this year is to expand my historical romance horizons by trying out more authors and one of my picks was this book. The summary made it seem like it had all the elements I enjoy in a good historical romance, but there were just some things that made the book pale in comparison to some of the other excellent novels I've read in the genre.

Let me get the negatives out of the way. My biggest issue with How I Married a Marquess was Josie. I had such conflicted feelings about her. On the one hand, I admired her kindness, selflessness and willingness to help those in need. On the other hand,  her willingness to help others also made her take incredibly stupid and life-endangering decisions that had me wanting to shake some senses into her. Then, there was the matter of her being an adopted daughter of a baron. She constantly moaned and whined about how she didn't fit in with adopted family, and I just didn't get it. Her family did absolutely nothing to make her feel like an outsider. They loved and cherished her as their own and provided her with a loving and nurturing haven. So, Josie came across as very ungrateful when she would bring up the fact that she didn't belong among the Carlisles every chapter. That really left a sour taste in my mouth and an overall negative feeling towards her.

Thomas, I liked much better, though he too had his selfish moments. He was a spy with only one chance of reviving his career. Having lost his job in an accident was rough on him and he was constantly  battling with his feelings of inadequacy. Thomas was clever and smart though, but most of all I liked how genuine he came across. His and Josie's romance was very well-written and I certainly felt all the chemistry they had between them. They didn't always get along, but all that pent-up passion between them was hard to ignore. I thought Anna Harrington did a good job with all the steamy scenes! One thing I really enjoyed about How I Married a Marquess was the fact that the book had a plot besides the romance. There was a mystery weaved through the book that I thought was well-written and that I found to be enjoyable.

Overall, How I Married a Marquess was a decent historical romance and despite my not loving the heroine, I'll be picking up more books by the author.

Do you have recs for historical romances?
Let me know in the comments below!