In an overcrowded genre where so many books seem merely mediocre, it's good to get stuck into a story with more depth and interest than most.
I imagine that My Wicked Marquess is one of a series, given that a fair amount of background information
is delivered throughout the story, but as someone who hasn't read any of the other books, that didn't seem to matter: enough is explained so that I could follow the plot. Although there
is a plot – a former spy looking to find the right wife and, when he finds her, persuading her to marry him – what stands out for this reader
is the development and description of the characters.
Daphne Starling is a great heroine. She's plucky, she thinks for herself, but she also feels like a genuine character from the nineteenth century, not some transplanted 21st-century woman as so often happens with these books. Daphne understands the world in which she lives and the ways in which women's lives are determined by men, but within those limits she does her bit for orphans and for her own future. The Marquess of Rotherstone
is a fascinating character, an ex-spy who has had no one in his life who really loved him.
He identifies in Daphne the possibility of something stronger. Gaelen Foley believable and interesting
narrative fashion drew me willingly into the lives of Daphne and Max.
Parts of the book deal with spying and a battle between two groups over the
course of many centuries, including a presumed-dead man reappearing with amnesia, which I imagine will be picked up in subsequent books. But the main
strength and focus of this book is the relationship between Max and Daphne, and it works excellently.
This is a book to enjoy reading more than once.