Type: Historical Romance
My Copy: Sent
Three intrepid princesses find themselves targets in a deadly plot against the crown—until their uncle devises a brilliant plan to keep them safe…
Of all her sisters, Princess Stefanie is by far the least amenable to law and order, which is why she’s appalled to find herself masquerading as an unbearably drab clerk for the most honorable barrister in England. But her dull disguise turns out to have its privileges: namely, the opportunity to consort unchaperoned with her employer’s exceedingly handsome nephew, James Lambert, the Marquess of Hatherfield.
Hatherfield quickly realizes that his uncle’s spirited new clerk is, in fact, a lovely young woman of daring habits. The outwardly impeccable marquis isn’t about to reveal her deception. After all, he’s hiding a dangerous secret of his own. But when one too many escapades with the madcap princess bring Hatherfield’s troubled past to light, it is only Stefanie’s sharp wits that stand between the marquis and utter disaster, and only Hatherfield’s daring that can save the princess from the shadowy agents bent on finding her.
An enjoyable addition to the series, the second in the A Princess in Hiding series that had me frantically turning the pages until the end. As in the first book, I love the premise of the series, princesses who are in danger and are hiding throughout London posing as young men. The possibilities of getting into trouble are endless and Ms. Gray does a great job seeing that they find plenty of it.
Princess Stefanie Victoria Augusta is about to embark on a new adventure, this one is to save her life; she is the newest law clerk of Sir John Worthington. Unfortunately she is not doing anything revolutionary for the female population in the late 1800’s as she is posing as a young man. The Duke of Olympia, her uncle, is friends with Sir John and he has placed her in good hands until they are able to find who killed her father and the husband of her sister.
James Lambert , the Marques of Hatherfield spends most of his idle time with Sir John so is often present when Stefanie or Stefan is around, the two strike up a friendship and are fast friends, it helps that Hatherfield immediately knows that Stefan is a woman and talks to Olympia to find out the real reason she is in hiding.
As the two basically parade their friendship throughout London they find that there are many problems about to come to a head, the princesses “mystery” is becoming more dangerous, someone is blackmailing Hatherfield’s father and there is a murder to solve.
How to Master Your Marquis is another wonderful story that moves the series along nicely. I felt this was a more intense book, with mystery and action that kept me turning the pages until the conclusion. I like Stefanie; she speaks her mind, knows what she wants and often spoke out of character for a young working man, which gave way to some humorous moments. She was raised a princess and at times expects others to treat her like one, then she would catch herself – too funny, especially when she meets Sir John’s secretary. I fell in love with Hatherfield, a man tortured enough that he believes he does not deserve love or affection, he always looks composed, so charming and lighthearted yet the darkness he holds inside is eating him up. As many have known, I love the tortured hero and Hatherfield fulfills the role nicely.
I believe Stefanie and Hatherfield are perfect together, the attraction is immediate but he holds himself back from her because of how he feels about himself. I do not know how true this would be for the time period, but I love that the two would spend so much time together, and almost flaunt the fact that they were attracted to each other, and there was almost an acceptance with many in the ton, as even his father was resigned to the fact and did not shun him.
Throughout the book, the story goes between two time periods, at first I was put off as I am not a fan of flashbacks or forwards, as this one is, however I was soon hooked and enjoyed the duel stories. I thought the author pulled it off perfectly, and the intensity of the story increases as the two periods collide and we race toward the conclusion. This book can easily be read as a standalone as the author works characters from the previous book in seamlessly although the overall story arc is not complete. I am looking forward to Lusia’s story which is up next to see what troubles she gets into.
I give How to Master Your Marquis by Juliana Gray 4 stars!