on April 5th 2016
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From acclaimed author Elizabeth Essex comes the adventurous first book in the Highland Brides, a quartet of bold, brilliant lasses determined to make their own happily ever afters.
WHEN A LADY TAKES TO THE ROAD TO PLAY ROBIN HOOD
Lady Quince Winthrop has been robbing from society’s rich and giving to Edinburgh’s poor for years. But everything changes the day she can’t resist the temptation to steal from the Marquess of Cairn.
SHE MUST BE ON HER GUARD AGAINST HER SHERIFF OF NOTTINGHAM
Alasdair, Marquess of Cairn, has come back to Scotland to stop a thief, never thinking that the lass he’s trying to woo is about to give a lesson in larceny he won’t be able to forget. From the twisted streets of Auld Reeky, to the hills of the highlands, Quince leads Alasdair on a merry chase, and finds the one man she shouldn’t fall for, is the one man she can’t resist.
LOVE IS EVEN HARDER TO RESIST THAN TEMPTATION.
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
Mad About The Marquess is the first book in the Highland Brides series by Elizabeth Essex. There is a novella before this, an introduction to the series as it were, called Mad For Love, which I have read and thoroughly enjoyed too.
This book is about Lady Quince Winthrop. She is what she considers the bad sheep in the family. She is a thief of sorts. She attends balls and parties and watches for when somebody puts down something of value, such as a silver snuffbox, and when they have forgotten it, she picks it up. Everything that she takes she then gets melted down into silver ingots, they get sold, and she gives the proceeds to the poor people via the church. It is a very noble cause, but Quince knows that it’s the thrill of the thieving that makes her carry on rather than the nobility of the cause. She is honest about herself to a tee. Another thing she steals is silver buttons from men’s coats, and at one particular party she sees a lovely set on the back of a beautiful red velvet coat. She sidles up to the man, and quickly snips them off, pushing herself against him so that he doesn’t feel what she is doing. When he grabs her arm and goes to bring her to face him, she quickly puts the buttons down her ‘stays’ and has the shock of her life when she sees who the man is.
He is none other than Alasdair, Marquess of Cairn, a man that 5 years ago seemed as wild as Quince, and who tried to no avail to court her sister, Plum. Quince had a mad crush on him back then, and can’t believe how much he has changed. Not only in looks, but his 5 years in England have made him more staid and proper. He is actually back in Scotland to help find out who is behind the spate of thefts which unknown to him have been done by Quince. She couldn’t have picked a worse man to steal from. Still, thankfully he didn’t realise what she had done.
So that is how the couple are reacquainted again. Quince still has feelings for Alasdair, and when he asks for her help in trying to solve the crime, you’ll see why when you read the book, she jumps at the chance in exchange for him to teach her how to kiss. And what passionate amazing kisses they share.
The story goes on further to tell how their relationship develops, but knowing that Quince has been stealing, and that it is his job to discover who has been doing it, you just know there are going to be fireworks if he finds out. Will their relationship end, will Alasdair turn her in if he discovers her secrets. What about Quince, will she be able to stop thieving if she isn’t caught? She doesn’t believe she can because it’s in her blood, wanting the thrill of it all. She’s bad, and that’s all there is to it, she can accept that, but will Alasdair be able to?
This story was a joy to read. I especially liked that I could not see a way that things could work out for the best between the couple. As the story developed Quince just seemed to be getting deeper and deeper into trouble, and I could see no way that she could not end up in prison. I love a book that isn’t easy to guess how it ends. There are some wonderful light hearted scenes that had me giggling, especially some of the sayings that Quince comes out with. There were also scenes that had me holding my hand over my mouth in shock. A book that has light and shade is definitely a good book and makes for an exciting read. I am very much looking forward to the next book in this series. I hope it won’t be too long.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book.