When I saw “The Marquess and the Maiden (Lord of Vice) available for review I could not get to my Kindle fast enough to read it! I have read and enjoyed Robyn DeHart before. DeHart always writes fun and interesting characters with unique storylines. When I read her stories, I feel like they are original and I am getting unique characters and adventures. “The Marquess and the Maiden” are no exception. Although this is the second book in the series, it is easily a standalone.
The story of Harriet Wheatley and Oliver Weeks, Marquess of Davenport starts off in the past. Harriet is a debutante and in need of a husband. Oliver is a Marquess in need of a wealthy wife since his estate is broke. Luckily both Harriet and Oliver’s mothers are lifelong friends and they think that Oliver and Harriet are perfect for each other. The mothers arrange a meeting for them to agree on the marriage.
When Harriet and Oliver meet sparks do fly but Oliver informs Harriet that he cannot marry her and he leaves! Needless to say, this leaves Harriet sadden and confused. Years later Oliver is no longer penniless but Harriet is still unmarried. When he reacquaints with her he is so drawn to her that he is determined to make her his wife. Problem is that Harriet won’t have him. She thinks he is merely lusting after her-which he is-and that he just wants to play with her emotions. Oliver is tired of trying to court Harriet so he and his mother come up with a scheme to convince Harriet that Oliver needs her help finding a wife. Harriet takes Oliver up on this offer so that she can distance herself from her growing feelings from him and she does not want to be rejected again. Oliver is determined to convince Harriet that he does want to marry her and the more he spends time with her the more intrigued he becomes. Harriet is part of a secret society called “Ladies of Virtue.” They travel around London and ward off pick-pockets and other little petty crimes. Harriet loves to be a part of this society and is distraught when its existence becomes public and the group must dismantle.
Overall, this was a cute story. I like both Harriet and Oliver. I have to confess that the storyline felt very dragged out and there were moments where I found my attention waning. It was cute to see Oliver try to win over Harriet but it became very repetitive and mundane. I plan to read more books by this author and in this series, but I had higher expectations.
**ARC provided by Publisher**