Stevie‘s review of Surrender to the Marquess (Herriard Family, Book 3) by Louise Allen
Historical Romance published by Harlequin Historical 01 Mar 17
Louise Allen is pretty much an auto-buy author for me, and I particularly enjoyed her first two books about the Herriard family. We’ve had to wait a few years for Sara’s story, but it finally arrived, and I was every bit as excited on picking it up as I was when I read her parents’ and her brother’s stories. A few years have passed in the book world too, although not as many as were skipped between the first and second books, so Sara has already been married once when her story opens: now widowed, she has withdrawn from the Ton, and is leading a double-life as both a shopkeeper and a society lady in a quiet seaside town that sees very little of the nobility – and whose upper echelons, such as they are, are prepared to overlook Sara’s scandalous behaviour in order that she continues to grace their events. This slightly unusual set-up is disrupted, however, when another titled individual also retreats to the town and tries to remain inconspicuous – albeit with limited success.
Lucian, Marquess of Cannock, has brought his younger sister on an extended holiday in the hope that the sea air, as well as the change of scenery and company, will help her to recover from her recent ‘illness’ – actually the aftermath of being abandoned by her lover and then losing their baby. Lucien soon realises that his ideas for entertainment are somewhat lacking and seeks out Sara’s shop as being the place where the ladies of the town buy their craft supplies and congregate to share their artistic endeavours – not to mention exchanging the latest gossip.
Sara is at first suspicious of Lucien: he seems just the sort of brash aristocrat she hoped to avoid when she married her first husband – a quiet academic – only for him to turn out as reckless as any peer when he got himself killed in a pointless duel. Sara feels guilt both for her husband’s death – the duel was to preserve her honour, after all – and for the wasted life that must now be endured by the friend who killed him. On the other hand, she feels a great deal of sympathy for Lucien’s sister and the two soon become firm friends.
The romance between Sara and Lucien develops slowly, alongside the realisation by Lucien’s sister that she could also find happiness for a second time, although it seems she hasn’t learned her lesson about keeping her escapades a secret from her brother. All this confusion leads to the arrival of the four young persons at Sara’s parents’ country house, amid attempts to cover up various potential scandals. Lucien makes rather a mess of things, but is eventually brought to see reason by the unconventional ways of those around him.
All in all a most thoroughly enjoyable read, and I’m rather sad that this may be the last we get to see of the Herriards.
A battle of wills!
When Lady Sara Herriard’s husband dies in a duel, she turns her back on the vagaries of the ton. From now on, she will live as she pleases. She won’t change for anyone—certainly not for the infuriating Lucian Avery, Marquess of Cannock!
Lucian must help his sister recover from a disastrous elopement and reluctantly enlists Lady Sara’s help. She couldn’t be further from the conventional, obedient wife he’s expected to marry, but soon all he craves is for her to surrender—and join him in his bed!
Read an excerpt.