Beth Howell needs to find her dowry, post haste. After her good-for-nothing first husband married her—and two other women, unbeknownst to them all—she’s left financially ruined and relegated to living with her brother, who cares more for his horses than he does his blood relatives. If Beth fails to acquire her funds, her brother will force her to marry someone fifty years her senior and missing half his teeth. She’d prefer to avoid that dreadful fate. But her now-deceased husband, Meri, absconded with her money mere days after their illegitimate marriage. To find it, Beth will have to leave town and retrace Meri’s steps if she’s to take her future into her own hands.
Julian Raleah, Marquess of Grayson, cares not a whit for social norms and generally growls at anyone in his path. Grayson has had a heart of stone ever since his engagement to Beth Howell went down in flames—long before she married that cad, Meri, and sealed her own fate for good. But now she’s on his doorstep, asking for use of his carriage and accompaniment on the hunt to find her lost dowry. Surely Grayson cannot go on the road with the woman who has occupied his thoughts for the past decade. Yet, knowing she needs him, how can he resist helping her this one last time? And maybe that’s just enough time to change the ending to their over-too-soon love story.
This is an adult 18+ story that may contain language, possible violence, and/or sexual situations geared to an adult audience.
Title: How to Best a Marquess
Series: The Widow Rules #3
Author: Janna MacGregor
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance
Published: April 25, 2023
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
My Rating: 4.5
How to Best a Marquess will bring The Widow Rules series to a close, and what an amazing ending story Beth and Julian’s romance turns out to be. Depending on how much background you personally want, this one could be read as a standalone, but I feel it’s best to read this series in order, if at all possible, for there are details in each book that will enhance the next one, in my opinion. Plus, you’ll want to know just how nasty Meri was to fully appreciate how needed he was to bring these three couples together, eventually.
The only way that Beth can gain control of her own life is to recover her dowry from her now-deceased non-husband Meri. If she can’t, then her odious brother will try to marry her off to a man old enough to be her grandfather! So she’s set out on a desperate adventure… and she needs help from a man who she once loved and destroyed. It won’t be easy to convince Julian to help her, but he’s her only hope… and perhaps her future happiness as well.
I loved this couple. I adored Beth. She’s determined, stubborn, and not about to give up her freedom without a fight. Julian was crushed a decade ago when Beth walked away; the last thing he should be doing is helping her now. But tell that to his heart, the heart that is hopeful once again. They are in for more than they bargained for when they started this trip, but it was such fun to watch two people who should have been together all this time find their way back to each other again. Perhaps maturity was what was needed to open eyes and hearts to just how right they were for each other. Their second chance to get love right was a delightful and steamy romance. I enjoyed some quirky secondary characters who added so much to this story. An epilogue that surprised me in some ways but did wrap everything up quite nicely. I’ve enjoyed this series, and if you have as well, then you won’t want to miss this one.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley, and I sincerely thank the author or publishing house for their trust. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
Release date: April 25, 2023
Available in print, audio, or for your favorite e-reader