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Synopsis: When an outrageous meeting leads to inappropriate desire, will family honor and duty destroy a chance for true love?
Felix Alan Darrington, Earl of Swandon has been summoned to London by his mother. Though he has obligations to Parliament, his meddling parent has reminded him it’s time to do his duty, marry and provide her with grandchildren. But Felix refuses to wed under dictate. He’ll choose the woman and the time, and if he’s lucky he’ll marry for love.
Clarice Delacroix is a lady’s companion. Though she’s an illegitimate daughter of a duke, her mother was a French opera singer which puts Clarice firmly between worlds. Possessed of a quick temper and a penchant for making pastries, she longs for adventure, romance and acceptance, but she refuses to be anyone’s mistress. Her mother’s life is not for her.
As Felix schemes to spend more time with Clarice and find out why the Frenchwoman intrigues him, the titled lady who wishes to be his countess conspires to keep them apart. Felix quickly finds that balancing relationships between family and love is not as easy as first thought, or as black and white. Someone in his circle isn’t telling the truth, and the repercussions could prove deadly to Clarice’s future.
We’ve all heard the proverb, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Sandra Sookoo proves that in Marriage Minded Lord. Felix Darrington, Earl of Swandon can’t stop thinking about Lady Olivia’s French companion, Clarice, who happens to have a talent for cooking. Clarice dreams of a man who could love her and when Felix shows interest she’s quick to explain she’s not looking to become his mistress. While most men would walk away, Felix is willing to take the time to show her he wants her as his wife. They can’t deny the attraction, but when Lady Olivia notices the attention Felix is bestowing on her companion she quickly works to tear them apart.
Character development is a bit weak. I really liked Felix. He’s just come back from the battlefield and inherited the title upon his father’s death. He’s also struggling to find his own identity. Although, most titled men grew up knowing their responsibilities, Felix comes off at times as if he’s doing his family a favor by being the Earl of Swandon. As for Clarice, we don’t get to know her very well. We spend a lot with Felix and his family and Clarice is sort of in the background. I wanted to know more about her own personal thoughts regarding her family’s past. We have several secondary characters that make an appearance. As for Felix’s family, we have his mother and his sister Charlotte. I really liked Charlotte! I loved how she embraced the idea of Clarice and was her champion. No romance is complete without someone to dislike. We’re in luck because we have Lady Olivia and oh boy is she going to make you angry!
Marriage Minded Lord is a fast paced read. The language is a bit too modern for its Regency setting. A few times, I found myself rereading sections thinking I missed information. Again, this is where I wish we had more insight to a character’s thoughts and their background. As for the romance, I liked that both Clarice and Felix took the time getting to know each other. I enjoyed their conversations and at times, I wanted to shake Clarice because I wanted her to tell Felix what was bothering her.
I had a few issues with how certain situations are presented. It’s rumored that Lady Olivia gets around and she has no care for her reputation. I’m a bit surprised Felix’s mother would push for a marriage considering the rumors. She would have heard about them and we aren’t told exactly why she’s pushing the match other than Lady Olivia is in search of a husband. I’m not going to go into detail regarding titles and inheritance, but we’re told the reason Clarice doesn’t take the title of Countess is because her grandfather’s death was never confirmed. Clarice, herself, refuses to acknowledge her bloodlines because she believes they no longer hold any prominence. A large group of French émigrés did reside in England during the revolution and in 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte granted them amnesty and many did return to France. Then in 1814 during the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy, many émigrés became involved in politics so regardless, Clarice’s family title does hold some importance. Felix could have easily found out the fate of her grandfather by contacting someone in the Home Office to do some research.
Overall, Sandra Sookoo’s Marriage Minded Lord was a quick light read. If you like slow building romances, this is book you’ll need to read. The next book in the Darrington series is Charlotte’s story and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for her!
Sandra is a writer of romantic fiction. Her portfolio includes historical, contemporary, sci-fi, and paranormal romances in full-length books as well as shorts and novellas. No matter if the heat level is spicy or sweet, she loves to blend genres and oftentimes will add humor to the mix.
When not immersed in creating new worlds and engaging characters, Sandra likes to read, bake, taste new teas, watch The Big Bang Theory, and Psych as well as Finding Bigfoot and travel. Her favorite place to spend vacation hours is Walt Disney World: it’s where dreams come true and the soul can play. When she’s not writing, she’s keeping things interesting at her Believing is Seeing blog or spending time with her husband, who patiently answers questions she has about men, sci-fi-related subjects, and the odd “what if”.
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