Title: Once Upon A Marquess (Worth Family Saga, book #1)
Genre: Historical Romance/ Victorian
Author: Courtney Milan
Publisher: Courtney Milan, Dec. 2015
Source: Free for review from the author.
Sexy Rating: 5
Description from Amazon.com:
The last man Judith Worth wants to see again is Christian Trent, the Marquess of Ashford—the man who spent summers at her family home, who kissed her one magical night…and then heartlessly ruined her father. But when a tricky business matter arises, he’s the only one she can ask for help. With any luck, he’ll engage a servant to take care of the matter, and she won’t even have to talk with him. But Ashford has never forgotten Judith. He knows she will never forgive him for what he’s done, but when offered the chance to assist her, he arrives in person. His memory of Judith may have haunted him, but it pales in comparison to the reality of the vivacious, beautiful woman he rediscovers. Throughout his life, he has always done what is correct. But now, he finds himself doing something utterly wrong…falling in love with the one woman he can never have. Once Upon a Marquess is the first book in the Worth Saga.
The Worth family has had their share of tragedy and dysfunction. Judith Worth is trying to hold together what is left of her family after her father and older brother’s conviction of treason against the crown. It has been eight years since the trial, her father’s suicide and her brother’s transportation to a penal colony. Her next younger sister Camilla is missing from her uncle’s home, her sister Theresa is an uncontrollable teenager and brother Benedict at twelve years of age is refusing to go back to Eton. All of this would be enough for anyone to bear but now someone is embezzling money that Judith can’t afford to lose. Her only recourse is to seek help from a member of the ton who will still acknowledge her, Christian.
We are treated to Courtney Milan’s beautiful prose, and her ability to place us right into the Victorian England scene so that we are caught up in the pulse of daily life and the emotions of Judith, a woman who marches on when others would have stumbled. Christian, a man who is obsessive-compulsive and has multiple problems of his own, is drawn so well that we feel his heartache.
I was put off only a bit by so much familial dysfunction and then more from Christian. It was a bit over the top and I longed for Judith to have someone who was not a problem to her or for her. But as with any of Ms. Milan’s novels the beautiful writing, unique plot and superb characterization outweighs any minus.