Today, I’m hosting USA Today bestselling author Ella Quinn’s latest release The Marriage List, book one in The Worthington Brides series, a historical romance. Be sure to read my review. And don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.
By popular demand, USA Today bestselling author Ella Quinn returns Regency England’s beloved extended family, The Worthingtons, for the first in a sparkling new spin-off series! Determined to tame the marriage market on their own terms and make advantageous love matches, three confident sisters draw up a list of qualities they expect their new beaus to meet. But as they are about to discover, people are hardly ever perfect and the road to love is far more thrilling and interesting than they could ever have imagined…
Blurb: As part of a large, rambunctious family, Lady Eleanor Carpenter has gained some knowledge of what makes a successful marriage. She’s even compiled a list of essential qualifications in a potential husband. John, the Marquis of Montagu, seems of good character (check), with money enough to support a family (check). But what of the many other requirements on her list?
Montagu, meanwhile, believes the key to a comfortable life lies in marrying someone quiet and docile. Yet the one lady who captivates him could hardly be more different to what he envisioned. Lady Eleanor is as opinionated as she is lovely, determined to improve working conditions for coal miners, even at risk to her own safety.
From evenings at Almack’s to carriage rides in Hyde Park, this Season will contain many pleasures—and a few surprises that compel both John and Eleanor to rethink their expectations. For one thing is certain: love will not be defined by any list . . .
Elizabeth jumped off the sofa. “Zeus, Posy, come. It’s time to play.”
Madeline rose and shook out her skirts. “We know who those Danes belong to.”
Eleanor laughed. “I suppose it is only fair. We had Duke and Daisy.”
“And we will have our own dogs,” Alice added. “That reminds me. We should make a list of what we want in our husbands.”
Eleanor shot a smile at her twin. That was exactly what she had been thinking.
“What an excellent idea.” Madeline went to the desk and drew out a piece of cut foolscap while Alice and Eleanor took chairs from the round cherry table and moved them to the writing desk as Madeline dipped a pen in the standish. “I think he should be intelligent.”
“Yes.” Eleanor wouldn’t want a dim husband, but there was something even more important. “He should be kind.”
“Oh, indeed.” Alice nodded. “I agree.”
“I as well.” Madeline wrote down the first two qualities. “He must like animals.”
“House animals,” Alice insisted. “Most men like horses and hunting dogs.”
“And children.” Having been raised in a family where the children were never confined to the nursery, Eleanor believed allowing young children around was important.
“Like children more than just the getting of them,” Madeline wrote.
“Make us laugh,” Alice added. “It is not good enough that he has a sense of humor. Most people do to some extent, but the gentlemen we wed must be able to make us laugh.”
“And think that we are funny as well.” Eleanor was glad her twin thought of doing this.
“He must be interested in the plight of the poor and unfortunate,” Madeline added. “Ever since Dotty and Grace started the charities, the rest of our sisters and their husbands have added to them. I wish to do the same, and my husband must support me.”
“I agree,” Alice said.
“I do as well.” That was another good idea. Eleanor would not be happy with a man who did not care about others.
“Good-looking?” Madeline asked scrunching up her face.
Eleanor leaned back in her chair. “Well, I do not want to cringe when I gaze upon him. But his character is more important. Think of Byron and how handsome he is said to be, and he is a complete cad.”
Madeline nodded. “I shall write ‘passable-looking.’”
“That will do,” Alice agreed.
“He must allow me to be myself. I will not have anyone trying to control me.” Eleanor could not think of a worse fate.
“Indeed,” Alice and Madeline said at the same time, then laughed.
I enjoy a good historical romance, so when this came up for review, I was in. The blurb grabbed me. I love the “list” trope and looked forward to seeing how the author would use this in the novel.
Lady Eleanor Carpenter, her twin sister, and their friend are on the hunt for husbands. It’s that time when young ladies are supposed to think of marriage and families. However, Eleanor isn’t about to grab the first handsome, rich man to cross her path. She wants what her cousins have: awesome husbands who value their independence and see them as equal partners.
Marquis of Montagu on the other hand has an opinionated and stubborn sister, along with a just as fierce mother. He thinks being wed to such a woman will be too much of a headache to enjoy wedded bliss. He also has a list, and the lady must be docile and quiet.
When they are introduced, sparks fly, but they are so busy with their lists that they don’t quite present to each other who they truly are.
This is a nice easy Regency read with little tension except for a sub-plot involving a mine that I really enjoyed. The marquis and Eleanor aren’t taken on crazy adventures of romantic suspense, instead, the author concentrates on the two forming a friendship filled with chemistry as they begin to realize maybe they can comprise their lists a little.
It was funny to watch John dumb himself down while Eleanor picked away at his character. And it was enjoyable to watch them get to know each other the more they spent time together. The biggest change was John, who realized maybe he should throw his list away. As for the heroine, there was no big arc other than finding love.
There is a HUGE cast of characters from a previous series, with some even getting their own POV, which I felt was really unnecessary. This is the start of a new series, and I felt the POV should have been solely concentrated on Eleanor and John. The only one I didn’t mind having a POV was the villain. There is also considerable emphasis on the other two ladies who are husband-searching I felt could have waited until they each get their own novel. It intruded on the romance between Eleanor and John.
Still, it’s a nice light read with a serious topic woven in regarding the mines that I found fit the plot wonderfully and added depth so the book didn’t become cotton candy.
It’s a great start to the series and I recommend you give the novel a read. Just ignore all of those other characters and don’t let them confuse you. I ignored them and was able to still enjoy the story without missing anything important.
USA Today bestselling author Ella Quinn’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side (political science professor and lawyer). Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them.
She is married to her wonderful husband of almost fourty years. They have a son and two beautiful granddaughters, a Great Dane named Lilibet, and a cat named Winnie. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make their dreams come true lived on sailboat for three years. After cruising the Caribbean and North America, she completed a transatlantic crossing from St. Martin to Southern Europe. She’s currently living in Germany, happily writing while her husband is back at work, recovering from retirement. She expects to be back on the boat in 2022.
Ella loves when readers connect with her.
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