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With six weeks to go before her twenty-first birthday and freedom to control her own money, Caroline Trent is running away from an unwanted marriage when she's captured by dashing Blake Ravenscroft, who mistakes her for a French spy, Carlotta de Leon. She only needs a place to hide for six weeks, so, believing that she can come clean at any time, she plays along. There's a lot of quirky comedy in this book, which is good because the plot is frankly ridiculous. Blake and Caroline are engaging characters, however and James Sidwell, Marquis of Riverdale is an excellent secondary character.
Caroline Trent finds herself in rather unfortunate circumstances ahead of her twenty-first birthday, with her guardian desperate to marry her off to his son and as such secure her fortune. Her only option is to run away, unless she wishes to spend the rest of her life married to the abominable Percy that is. However, the last thing she expects when fleeing is to be captured by a rather dashing war office hero, who for some reason mistakes her identity as that of a treacherous spy. Still, as she finds herself being held at Seacrest Manor by Mr Blake Ravenscroft, Caroline wonders if this might not actually be the ideal solution to while away her time until her birthday in a few weeks; after all at least she's safe from the odious Prewitts. Blake, meanwhile, doesn't take long to realise his error; and its just as well really, for he couldn't live with himself harbouring such lecherous thoughts for a traitor. However, still grieving the loss of his former fiancée, nor is sure he can live with himself slowly and surely falling for Caroline.
Another romantic escapade from Quinn, with rather more action and adventure thrown in than most of her books. The story started off well, with Blake mistaking Caroline's identity and holding her hostage making for some amusing incidents. Unfortunately I thought the pace began to drag rather once he found out who she really was; and most of the rest of the book principally involves Blake stubbornly refusing to admit his feelings for Caroline to himself. Whilst one could understand his sense of guilt and conflict due to his dead fiancée, at the same time it did all start to seem rather repetitive and unnecessarily protracted; and I'm not how much I brought Blake as the tortured hero. Caroline makes for an amusing and generally appealing heroine; though at times I did find her a little provoking.
I liked the appearance of James, the Marquis of Riverdale, who has his own story in How to Marry a Marquis; and I have to say that James more often than not stole whatever scene he was in, his wry and light manner much more appealing than Blake's. Overall not my favourite of Quinn's books; I often found myself losing patience with the story and simply didn't find it as engaging as most of her others.
Julia Quinn has excelled herself in this book. The stiff upper lip of the English Male aristocracy meets with the wiles of a beautiful and delightfully deceptive woman. One of them will marry her but which one remains to be seen. So many other diversions along the way. Read on and enjoy as the pages turn beneath your fingertips.
Caroline Trent is not having a good evening. Firstly her guardian's son, Percival, attacks her on his father's orders - for which she, quite rightly, shoots him in the shoulder. But no sooner has she escaped the house then she's accosted by a man who will insist on calling her Carlotta de Leon.
However, for Caroline this turn of events couldn't be more fortuitous. With just six weeks to go until she comes into her inheritance, she's more than happy to let this stranger keep her out of sight. After all, the last thing she wants is for her guardian to determine her whereabouts.
Yes, everything is going perfectly, until the Marquis of Riverdale arrives, takes one look at her and confirms that she is NOT Carlotta de Leon.
For Blake Ravenscroft, Caroline's captor, this news is both relieving and infuriating. Having worked for the War Office for nearly a decade the prospect of failing is galling in the extreme, but nowhere near as bad as being attracted to a traitor.
But Caroline is no traitor, just a young woman unconsciously tangled up by circumstance. Even so, Blake fights the attraction, because he's sworn never to marry...
The plot of this book is really quite ludicrous, and the fact that Blake is supposed to be one of the War Office's top agents never quite rings true. However, who cares, because this book is hilarious. The exchanges between Caroline and Blake veer from childishly entertaining to laugh-out-loud funny, with poor James (the Marquis) either caught in the crossfire, or doing his best to wind Blake up even further. And then there are the servants. Brilliant.
Too much of the plot remains hazy at best and unexplained (why Oliver is so desperate for Caroline's money, the traitor's plot and aftermath, etc), but to be honest it doesn't matter. Caroline is too amusing for such things to hold this book back.
Let your sense of humour loose, sit back and enjoy! (Then get hold of 'How to Marry a Marquis' because James is back, and he's wonderful.)
Totally different style. Kept me guessing what was going to happen all the way, I totally enjoyed the whole story couldn't stop til I got to end to find out the story end. Highly recommended this book. Bare in mind it is a 2 part book .what I mean is there are two books in this series
Once again Julia Quinn attempts mortal danger in her work, and once again ends up creating a heroin is more a moronic and spoilt brat than a couragious leed character. When Quinn keeps to shat she does best ie, books that focus on the romance and relationship such as the Bridgerton series for the most part she excells at enthralling and engaging writting. But she just cannot do suspense and danger - it just comes across badly written and annoying. And as for the hilarity other readers found in this book, I found Caroline to be little more than a spoilt and petulant brat, quite literally stamping her little foot when she doesn't get her way. She comes across as manipulative (crying when Blake calls her a plague? Come on people!) and just down right stupid (even if I ignore the downward spiral into idiocy with the whole epionage theme and breaking into Pewitt's house, going in after them to talk about TEA made me through the book across the room).
This book in general is badly written with too much forced wit in it, by which I mean the sort of thing you see in an American day time TV show. You can almost hear the tinned laughter with this book. And other people have said it; there is just no chemistry between the two leeds. One minute they having an infantile argument (usually started by Caroline being a contrary little madam and spilling something/ breaking something/ being a prat, and then sulking when she is called up on it) and then the next, falling all over one another. Say what!?
Anyway, I didn't like this book. Quinn should stick to what she is good at, because intrigue and psychological romance is NOT it.
Julia writes of a romance blossoming between an agent of the crown and a young heiress who has been most unfortunate in her guardians. The story is presumably well researched but some details are unconvincing. Don't let the author loose on an English garden. She will kill all the roses! Light reading. Good for a deckchair.
I am usually a Lisa Klepas fan but after reading one of Julia's books I was hooked! Her plots are predictable but funny. The dialogue between Blake and Caroline in this book is really amusing. Enjoyed it from start to finish. Can't wait to start book 2 which I presume is about James.
I enjoyed this book. It has an appealing plot, and I liked Caroline Trent and Blake Ravenscroft (yes indeed!). Of course, Julia Quinn writes well, and with some gentle humour, so I always expected it to be a good read. It is both a romance and a spy story - so there is plenty to keep your interest.
I would recommend this book, and if you haven't read any books by Ms Quinn then I suggest you start here!
The plot is a bit far fetched but Caroline is one of JQ's funniest heroines and my personal favourite. She is adorable. Blake, although not the usual "JQ" rake is just as witty as her other heroes, but much more moody because of his broken heart. Caroline too has had a tough life. They both deserve to be happy and make an excellent pairing. I also love James and can't wait to read the next book "How to Marry a Marquis" to read his story. Special mention to Perriwick the butler as well. I simply love him.