The Marchioness of Darlington wants nothing more than to be a mother, but after nearly three childless years of marriage, Poppy believes she is barren. Her sadness is eclipsed by anger and hurt, however, when she learns that her husband does not share her despair, and she suspects he is having an affair. Unsure where to turn, she distances herself from him and rededicates herself to helping the women and children at the poorhouse—they are all she has.

Gabriel Kirkwood, the Marquess of Darlington, is certain his wife will die in childbirth just like her mother, his mother, and his sister, so he is relieved when they are unable to conceive. Even so, he knows how desperately she wants a child and watching her struggle with her disappointment is a knife in his heart. When he meets a young pregnant woman who doesn’t want her baby, he glimpses a possibility to give his beloved a happy ever after. But feeling Poppy slip away, he only hopes it won’t be too late.

Titles in the Love Is All Around series include – The Red Hot Earl – The Gift of the Marquess – Joy to the Duke –

Title:  The Gift of the Marquess
Series:  Love Is All Around #2
Author:  Darcy Burke
Genre:  Regency Romance, Christmas Romance
Published:  October 15, 2019
Publisher:  Darcy Burke Publishing
My Rating:  4.5 stars

THE GIFT OF THE MARQUESS is the second title in the Love Is All Around series.  Poppy’s and Gabriel’s story will break your heart in many ways and perhaps heal it back up again as their marital adventures continue.  What you really need to know before picking up this story can be found in the Cover Description.  What you won’t find there is the emotional involvement you’ll find as you discover the heartache that Poppy is feeling as she remains year after year without becoming pregnant, as well as Gabriel’s absolute fear about his wife’s most personal, desperate wish to become a mother.

The love between Poppy and Gabriel is obvious throughout their story, which was never in doubt in my mind.  Their perceptions of their life together, the fears and longings are very real and dealt with in a realistic fashion.  After all, what was Poppy to think when a strange woman takes up residence in a cottage on their estate?  Although they do have some bumps in the road full of misunderstandings, they also talk which is refreshing – they simply don’t talk about their deepest fears until it’s almost too late.  Watching the lengths that Gabriel will go to in order to make his wife happy was amazing, which makes his real fears all the more poignant.  This one will touch your heart as two people already in love find that love tested and perhaps, strengthened by the events in their story.

What is up with Calder?  I need their brother’s story now for his actions have continued to confound me and I need answers.  You, too?  Hopefully, we get those answers in the next story JOY TO THE DUKE.  I would not hesitate to recommend Poppy and Grabriel’s story to any Historical Romance reader who loves watching an established, in love couple face life’s difficulties and come out stronger on the other side.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story.  It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

Available in paperback and for the Kindle