How to Impress a Marquess showcases the hypercritical snobbery of “high society” in England in the late nineteenth century. However, it begins to sizzle and sparkle when Lilith Dahlgren and George, Marquess of Marylewick have to seriously deal with their unique relationship.
Lilith and George are about as far apart in their thinking as two people can be. Yet, both have been shaped by traumatic events in their younger years. George is all about responsibilities, duties, drudgery, orderliness, family, position and “proper” behavior—all childish things have been put away. Lilith is about art, freedom of spirit, and survival in a world where people have failed her time and again. Her natural compassion and joy for life make her an easy target for people who take advantage of her. These traits keep her in hot water with George much of the time, and he is the one who controls her money.
As the author filtered in bits of back story, my heart ached for those two. But Lilith’s “atrocious behavior,” according to George, made me laugh and want to encourage her. She can almost make stern George smile at times with her antics.
Lilith has a secret, special talent. She is the writer of “Collette and the Sultan” a serial story that all of London, regardless of class, waits eagerly to read week by week. She and her muse get her in a spot that threatens to break her heart—creating stay-up-late reading!
Some of the secondary characters like Penelope, George’s sister, Beatrice, Lilith’s half-sister, Lady Marylewick, and Lord Charles add sub-plots and depth to the story that makes How to Impress a Marquess remarkably good reading while giving the reader a glimpse of the political and social tensions of that time in history.
Compliments to Ms. Ives for a creating a compelling love story, beautifully written, with spicy but nice! .
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