Marrying the Marquis
Patricia Grasso
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Buy *Marrying the Marquis (Flambeau Sisters)* by Patricia Grasso online

Marrying the Marquis (Flambeau Sisters)
Patricia Grasso
352 pages
December 2009
rated 1 of 5 possible stars

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There's one reasonably good thing about this book - or at least about the half of it that I managed to read: the horse-racing aspect, with its insight into the Jockey Club and how horses are trained (although I have no idea if this information is actually accurate).

Alas, this book has a HUGE problem for this reader: it is completely unbelievable. Setting aside the fact that our heroine can communicate with animals, her behavior is completely out of character for a woman of her time (19th-century England). She seems to be able to get her way in anything - interrupting her father's business meetings to ask him to buy her a horse (a matter of life or death, apparently), masquerading as a jockey in a horse race, behaving in an entirely unchaperoned manner, and - the final straw for this reader - going to bed with someone because of a very thin piece of blackmail, but prior to that telling her stepmother about it. No way! It also seems that the unusually-named Blaze is singlehandedly inventing horseboxes and suggesting removal of cockfighting at horse races, replacing them with additional races, which no one else had previously thought of.

Blaze is an unlikable heroine, particularly with regard to her lack of empathy with people, lack of manners, and general lack of believability. Her suitor, Ross, is also a bit suspect:  he has a one-track-mind (fortunately headed toward marriage) but is prepared to blackmail her. It also seems that he's laughing at her a lot of the time.

The author slips into many uncomfortable Americanisms throughout this book. Yes, these are very common, and yes, most readers can see past them, but when there are so many other irritants in a book, these add to an overall feeling of disappointment.

After the aforementioned sex scene, I had to give up on this book - I couldn't face the rest. Knowing that Blaze is one of seven daughters and that two of her sisters have already married rich and titled men (presumably in previous books), it appears this author has written several books before. On the evidence of this one, I'm surprised anyone is buying them.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Helen Hancox, 2010

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