The Marquess Next Door
A dashing new neighbour…
Temptation on her doorstep!
To avoid an unwanted suitor at a ball, Hope Brookes asks another gentleman to rescue her. He obliges – with a surprisingly passionate kiss! Revealed as her sinfully handsome new neighbour, Lucius, Marquess of Thundersley, they forge a friendship over their balconies. It’s refreshing that Lucius is more interested in her writer dreams than her looks, so why can’t she stop thinking about that kiss?
When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Despite that, it still takes her forever to fall asleep.
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Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: The Talk of the Beau Monde, #2
Release Date: June 29, 2021
Hope Brookes and Lucius “Luke” Duff, the newly minted Marquess of Thundersley meet quite by chance in the gardens while attending her sister’s engagement ball. Hope asked Luke’s help in discouraging a persistent suitor and he complies by kissing her. Outraged Hope pushes him into the pond and storms off.
Later they meet again when Luke moves into the house next door and it turns out their balconies connect. Hope is an aspiring author and is currently working on a gothic novel, she and Luke strike up a friendship and he soon becomes her biggest fan. He begs Hope to trust him with her novel, trust is not easy for Hope as men have never treated her as an intelligent woman, mostly because she is gorgeous and has a body that makes men stupid, that is until Luke. She is still scared to trust him but relents when trusts her with his darkest secret.
Luke’s mother was the marquess’ second wife and went a bit mad after Luke’s birth, the marquess subjected her to many “treatments” before giving up and banishing her and Luke to an estate in Cornwall. In time his mother gets better and she and Luke enjoy a quiet life. Luke never expected to inherit and didn’t get along with his brother. When their father died, his brother had Luke’s mother committed and ban Luke from visiting her – it was years before he was able to have her released and the damage was done, but with good care and Luke’s devotion to her, she once again seemed to recover, and when Luke unexpectedly inherits, encourages him to go to London. What he finds is his brother’s widow who is bent on marrying him and a mountain of responsibilities he was never trained to deal with. He is trying to do his best and is feeling like a fish out of water until he meets Hope. His friendship with her quickly progresses into more and soon he can’t imagine a life without her in it.
Things are going well and he brings his mother to London, worried that she will have a setback, but is happy that she thrives. Everything seems to be going perfectly and HEA seems to be within reach when it all comes crashing down and hearts are broken.
This was a great read; I am going to go as far as to say that it is my new favorite book from this author. I loved it, it is well-written, nicely paced, and just about perfect. Luke and Hope are wonderful characters who are both likable and relatable, their chemistry was spot on and you can’t help but root for them! This book has it all secrets, witty dialogue, warm to steamyish love scenes, excellent secondary characters, misunderstandings that are quickly resolved, and HEA that is bound to leave you with a smile on your face! This is the second book in the series, but it can easily be read as a standalone title. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would happily recommend this title.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.*