How To Best A Marquess by Tina Gabrielle

How to Best a Marquess (Raven Club Book 2)Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Raven Club #2
Publication Date: 6/10/19
Number of Pages: 202

I thoroughly enjoyed this well-written and well-plotted addition to the series. I haven’t read the first book in the series, How to Tempt an Earl, but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of this book. Actually, this book just made me want to read that book as well! I loved the main characters – both are stubborn and thoroughly convinced that their way is the only right way, and it is a delight to watch them have to figure out how to compromise – him more than her, but they both had to give.

Hugh Vere, the Marquess of Deveril, who came from cold, hard-hearted parents, had no expectations or desire to become a Marquess – he was the second son. Yet, when both his older brother and his father died, he had no choice but to resign his military commission and assume the role. One of his first acts was to banish his cold and cruel mother to the country – then, it was on to finding something to give his life meaning besides the typical aristocratic activities. Since he’d recently taken an avid interest in boxing and he’d just learned that the Raven Club was going to be sold, he thought he’d purchase it. Imagine his surprise to find he had competition – a female – a female with whom he had a history. Hugh is a control freak – mostly because in his younger life he had no control over anything and it had cost him dearly – so, he fully intends to win his right to purchase the club.

Lady Ellie Swift, sister to Ian Swift, Earl of Carleton, had her heart torn out and ripped apart five years ago by Hugh Vere. She loved him with all of her being and she thought he loved her the same – but then, he betrayed her most foully. Since that time, she’s hated Hugh and has never trusted another man. She certainly has no intention of marrying one, and if she manages to win the Raven Club from her brother, she’ll have the financial independence she craves. She cannot believe her brother is actually making her compete with Hugh Vere! Ian knows their history; how can he do this to her?

Both Ellie and Hugh have reasons for wanting the club – Hugh’s are pretty open – he wants to be in control of things – Ellie’s are more hidden because she has activities that she absolutely must keep secret and the club gives her the perfect method of doing that. Should her brother – or Hugh – find out what she does, they’d stop her. She can’t afford for them to stop her because lives are at stake if they do. Hugh is very intelligent and has a gift for business, so she could easily lose to him. She has to be very careful to hide her secrets.

Not only is Hugh very intelligent – he is also very observant. He knows Ellie is up to something and it doesn’t take him long to figure out most of it – but when he figures it all out, he’s aghast! Hugh is a protector and his only desire is to protect Ellie – even from herself. Hugh does what he did in the past for Ellie – he decides what is best for her and he acts on it. He doesn’t ask her. He doesn’t give her a choice. That just absolutely infuriates Ellie – why can’t he see that she should be consulted, she should have a say in her own life. His decisions aren’t the only correct ones – there is more than one way to do things.

I began to despair that Hugh would ever have a grand epiphany, but he finally got there for a lovely, lovely HEA. It is definitely a good, intense, lustful read and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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