Merely a Marriage by Jo Beverley – Review & Giveaway
As England mourns the death of Princess Charlotte, Lady Ariana Boxstall has another succession in mind. Her brother, Norris, is a strapping young man, but he s also happily unmarried and childless. Norris agrees to take a wife on one condition: that Ariana take a husband first. Although she realizes she risks a lifetime in a loveless marriage, for the sake of her family, Ariana accepts his challenge.
When the Earl of Kynaston met Ariana eight years ago, he broke her heart. Since then, his own heart has been broken, and he s sworn off love…until he sees Ariana all grown-up and his resolve is threatened.
Could Ariana s bargain with Norris actually lead her to happiness? With real love on the line, she must win over the one man who refuses to be had.”
Merely a Marriage by Jo Beverley is a Regency/Historical novel. At the start, we meet Lady Ariana Boxstall , who is concerned about the future of her family, especially after the childbirth death of Princess Charlotte. Ariana fears that she would lose her beloved Boxstall residence to her drunken uncle, if her brother dies. She then sets a plan in motion for her brother Norris to marry, but the one condition is she must marry first.
Ariana and her mother travel to London to stay at the home of a family friend, and look for the perfect husband for her. The Earl of Kynaston, is also staying at the house of his aunt, and Ariana remembers him from 8 years before at her coming out ball, where he embarrassed her. Needless to say, of all the eligible men, Kynaston is now crossed off the list. We get to spend time with Ariana, as she attends various balls/events to meet the eligible bachelors, but she also must spend time with Kynaston, since he also attends. At first, they both are sarcastic to each other, and keep their distance when possible; but it seems they keep getting pushed together, since a lady is never supposed to be without an escort. Ariana also does not like that Kynaston drinks too much, and looks very unhappy, which she will later learn why.
What follows is a slow build romance, with Ariana in the forefront for most of the story. She is determined to find someone to marry, to force her brother to then get married. Things change slightly when Norris meets Kynaston’s young sister, and surprisingly falls in love. At the same time, Ariana fights off her growing attraction to Kynaston. As we got closer to the last 1/3 of the book, the romance between Ariana & Kynaston began to heat up, which also improved the story line a lot. During this time, we got to learn all about Kynaston’s tragic past which still haunted him, and Ariana’s help to open his heart again.
I liked the characters in this story, for the most they were interesting and fun. However, I did think much of the early part of the book was a bit slow reading, which does improve later on. If you enjoy historical romances, Merely a Marriage is a nice read by Jo Beverly.
Reviewed by Barb
Copy provided by Publisher
Jo Beverley’s Publisher is graciously offering a paper copy of MERELY A MARRIAGE to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe. .
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