Merely a Marriage

Jo Beverley. Jove, $7.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-0-399-58353-7
Beverley’s Regency romance touches on an important historical event, the childbed death of Princess Charlotte, but never makes it feel real. Princess Charlotte’s tragedy leads everyone to confront mortality, including Lady Ariana Boxstall, who fears the demise of her family’s earldom if her younger brother, Norris, does not marry and procreate immediately. Norris, who’s not in any hurry, challenges Ariana to marry first, which sets her on a quest to London in search of a suitor. When she first debuted in London at the age of 17, Ariana felt awkward and Amazonian compared to the delicate other debutantes. Eight years later, she’s more self-assured, but she spends an inordinate amount of time seeking tall men and considering her own height. The widowed Earl of Kynaston is likewise obsessed with death; he remembers Ariana warmly, but he refuses to risk his heart, which shattered when his wife died. Longtime Beverley readers will appreciate small cameos from her Company of Rogues series characters, but they’ll be disappointed that Ariana and Kynaston’s story moves rather slowly, propelled by a minor scandal that’s resolved too neatly. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/17/2017
Release date: 05/30/2017
Genre: Fiction
MP3 CD - 978-1-5200-7276-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-5200-7272-2
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