The Marquess Next Door is book two of The Talk of the Beau Monde series of Regency romances. Hope Brookes is an aspiring author of gothic horror, a voluptuous redhead who despises the sycophant Lords who never look further than her décolletage.
Whilst hiding from a particularly over eager beau one evening at a ball, she is interrupted by fellow escapee, a rather drunk lord whose long hair and earring giving him the look of a pirate.
Lucius (Luke) Duff has recently inherited all that comes with being The Marquess of Thundersley, including a widowed sister-in-law with remarriage in her sights. He is delighted to assist Hope to rid herself of unwanted attention at the ball and the kiss they share is memorable.
Desperate to leave his over-zealous sister-in-law, Luke moves to Bloomsbury only to discover that he is now neighbours with Hope and her artistic family. Casual conversations from adjoining balconies allow Luke and Hope to get to know each other and a secret friendship begins, but how long can it remain that way?
This was a wonderful story and I read it all in one sitting, reading late into the night as I became wrapped up in this Regency setting with two very likeable characters. Hope had an arsenal of put downs which she showered over the drivelling fools who pursued her, but it took Luke and his interest in more than just her looks to break down her barriers to all men. Luke had made himself his own man after his aristocratic family abandoned himself and his mother, and his humble hard-working background appealed to Hope and her family. There was also a theme which dealt with what would later be known as post-natal depression, and I thought that the author wrote this in a very sensitive way.
Although this is part of a series, this was can be read as a stand alone story; either way I would easily recommend this to Regency romance fans.
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A dashing new neighbor…
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! He’s revealed as her sinfully handsome new neighbor, Lucius, Marquess of Thundersley, and 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?