Thursday, June 1, 2017

Merely a Marriage by Jo Beverley ~ Review

Title: Merely a Marriage
Author: Jo Beverley
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency
Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Berkley Books
Release Date: May 20, 2017
Source: NetGalley
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

As England mourns the death of Princess Charlotte, Lady Ariana Boxstall has another succession in mind. Her brother, Norris, is a strapping young man, but he s also happily unmarried and childless. Norris agrees to take a wife on one condition: that Ariana take a husband first. Although she realizes she risks a lifetime in a loveless marriage, for the sake of her family, Ariana accepts his challenge. 
When the Earl of Kynaston met Ariana eight years ago, he broke her heart. Since then, his own heart has been broken, and he s sworn off love...until he sees Ariana all grown-up and his resolve is threatened. 
Could Ariana s bargain with Norris actually lead her to happiness? With real love on the line, she must win over the one man who refuses to be had.

Lady Ariana Boxstall is frightened. She's afraid that if her somewhat reckless brother doesn't marry and produce an heir soon, that he'll end up dead and she and her mother will be left in the hands of a cruel cousin. Ariana Boxstall may or may not be overreacting. Death is on everyone's minds and she wants to make sure her family is secure.

She strikes a deal with her brother that he will marry soon, but she has to marry first....and she's not really the debutante anymore. Her first season was a disaster, and she's not looking forward to going on a new husband hunt. As a taller than average woman, she does not fit into the ton's status quo. 

I enjoyed Lady Ariana a lot. She was intelligent and curious, but also afraid to make waves with it by being too open. She was insecure and confident at the same time. She was a real person, with numerous faults balance by lovely personality attributes and a true caring about those close to her. This is balanced out by the Earl of Kynaston, who is not exactly what he appears at first (of course). 

Their rocky "friendship" was an entertaining development that will keep you wondering when they'll both get their heads of the sand and realize they're perfect for each other. There's a good scandal (of course - but who doesn't love a good scandal) and suddenly things start to fall into place.

Merely a Marriage was a fun and quick read with some engaging side characters that just might need their own story if they don't have one already.

**I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book**

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