The Making of a Marquess (The Society for Single Ladies, #2)
The Society for Single Ladies is a crime-solving club founded by the wealthiest woman in London. Yet even Miss Angela Childers’ charming detectives are not immune to the forces of love...Dorothea Rowland attends a country house party to investigate a long-lost heir—not to find a husband. But when the dashing American claimant discovers her prowling for clues, she is startled—and then seduced—by his provocative kiss. It’s all Dorothea can do to remember her mission. Especially when a series of accidents adds up to something far more dangerous...Benedict only meant to silence lovely Dorothea—not find himself enamored. What’s a gentleman to do but join forces—and propose to the clever beauty? Yet as Ben and Dorothea pursue the truth about his inheritance, their faux betrothal threatens to become the real thing. Soon, Ben’s plan to return to his life in America is upended—not only by his deepening bond with his bride, but by someone who wants his fortune badly enough to jeopardize his future—even end it. And Dorothea can’t let that happen. Not for the title, but for Ben...

The Making of a Marquess (The Society for Single Ladies, #2) Details

TitleThe Making of a Marquess (The Society for Single Ladies, #2)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 31st, 2020
PublisherLyrical Press
ISBN-139781516109531
Rating
GenreFiction, Romance

The Making of a Marquess (The Society for Single Ladies, #2) Review

  • Elodie
    January 1, 1970
    The Making of a Marquess The Society of Single Ladies Series #2Lynne Connollyhttps://www.facebook.com/LynneConnoll...Release date 03/31/2020Publisher Kensington LyricaBlurb :The Society for Single Ladies is a crime-solving club founded by the wealthiest woman in London. Yet even Miss Angela Childers charming detectives are not immune to the forces of love . . .  Dorothea Rowland attends a country house party to investigate a long-lost heirnot to find a husband. But when the dashing American The Making of a Marquess The Society of Single Ladies Series #2Lynne Connollyhttps://www.facebook.com/LynneConnoll...Release date 03/31/2020Publisher Kensington LyricaBlurb :The Society for Single Ladies is a crime-solving club founded by the wealthiest woman in London. Yet even Miss Angela Childers’ charming detectives are not immune to the forces of love . . .  Dorothea Rowland attends a country house party to investigate a long-lost heir—not to find a husband. But when the dashing American claimant discovers her prowling for clues, she is startled—and then seduced—by his provocative kiss. It’s all Dorothea can do to remember her mission. Especially when a series of accidents adds up to something far more dangerous . . Benedict only meant to silence lovely Dorothea—not find himself enamored. What’s a gentleman to do but join forces—and propose to the clever beauty? Yet as Ben and Dorothea pursue the truth about his inheritance, their faux betrothal threatens to become the real thing. Soon Ben’s plan to return to his life in America is upended—not only by his deepening bond with his bride, but by someone who wants his fortune badly enough to jeopardize his future—even end it. And Dorothea can’t let that happen. Not for the title, but for Ben . . My review :Will their past history doom a possible future together ...Oh my!What a fabulous read it was.This story is the epitome of what I love to find in a book, clever characters, strong without being too much, resilient, a dash of sleuthing, some actions without overdoing it, the right dose of steam ...I loved this book even more than the previous one, the heroine is just perfect, with her flaws and insecurities, she was able to draw a future for herself and when things move, she adapts herself to the situation.Dorothea has loved and lost, have been overlooked for shinier, showier ladies, then discarded because she was not pretty enough. I admired her because she could have become bitter and resentful. Instead she gave a purpose to her life.So when the man, she loved and left her, comes back from the dead, when she could have lashed to his hurtful actions, she is content and willing to help him regain his rank. But cautious she must be, as her heart is still a fluttering thing, easily swayed. Benedict was an arrogant man and it was life’s lessons that taught him to regard it under a different radar. For long, he just wanted what was seen as the most beautiful item, what shone the most. Unable to see beauty could be a hidden gem. When his temper cost him his place among the English ton, he did not understand the full length of this life’s lesson until he reiterated it in his second chance life. Now, older, wiser, he thinks he has everything mapped out.Until he crosses road with the one woman he cowardly abandoned without the courage of a word to explain himself.And this same woman is now everything he would want for himself, as beauty is a fickle thing and Dorothea has grown in a gorgeous woman, determined, making her own decisions.I loved Mrs Lynne Connolly didn’t let the past define her characters, both when they meet again are very different from their younger self, why anger found no room between them. There might have lingering hurt, but it is easily left behind when the future is threatened. Dorothea is very rational, she examines her every feelings and refuses to go blind. She tells and asks. She stands and does not cower. Benedict knows he must make amends for the pain he selfishly even if unknowingly inflicted her. And the more he gets to know her, the more he sees the error of his past, even if he needed to grew up to become the man he is now.Mrs Lynne Connolly offers with Benedict and Dorothea’s story a full of layers tale with action, suspense, friendship and love. A big 5 stars for a tale forgiveness and going forward.I was granted an advance ecopy by the publisher Kensington, I preordered my own.Here is my true and unbiased opinion.https://www.facebook.com/429830134272...
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  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    This is the second book in the Society for Single Ladies series. I haven't read the first. I would make a guess that you should read the first, as I was left with no idea about exactly what the society for single ladies was, or how our heroine ended up a part of it, or what exactly her role was to be there. So perhaps that is explained in the first one, but I haven't read it so I have no idea. I wouldn't recommend this as a standalone for that reason.Benedict and Dorothea are betrothed but This is the second book in the Society for Single Ladies series. I haven't read the first. I would make a guess that you should read the first, as I was left with no idea about exactly what the society for single ladies was, or how our heroine ended up a part of it, or what exactly her role was to be there. So perhaps that is explained in the first one, but I haven't read it so I have no idea. I wouldn't recommend this as a standalone for that reason.Benedict and Dorothea are betrothed but Benedict is young and passionate and finds he just doesn't care. He makes a bunch of rash, dangerous mistakes with his friends and family and breaks off the engagement. He's left with a huge mess that changes his life in drastic ways.The story picks up about 7 years later. Dorothea and Benedict are at the same country house party. Dorothea has her duties for the society of single ladies, which is to find who the real heir is. Benedict is trying to get his life back together. I didn't like this book for a number of reasons. The beginning wasn't bad, even though I don't usually love the second chance romance trope. But it was a little silly how quickly they jumped into a relationship with each other with their history. But, okay, I can get past that. But I felt like as the book went on, I didn't know Dorothea at all. Benedict you get to know a bit, but I was left with Dorothea just being such a flat character. I didn't really understand how or why she got into the society of single ladies or what her real purpose was there, what her family life had been like, basically any history on her at all. The end of the book just got absurd and basically turned into a classic game of Clue. Who dunnit? There were multiple house guests that wasted page time with nonsense and conversations that weren't needed. There's crimes being committed and everyone has a guess who does it, yet none of the guests seem to care enough to leave the house party. It was just strange. So many unlikable characters. In some ways it was a little boring, even though there was a lot going on. It just wasn't stuff I cared about.It was fairly steamy with a few scenes that were pretty detailed but I just didn't feel the pull between the characters that much to appreciate it, unfortunately.Thank you netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All of these opinions are my own.Safety warning: (view spoiler)[ suicide/death (hide spoiler)]
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  • Tracy Emro
    January 1, 1970
    As a member of the Society for Single Ladies, a crime solving club headed by Angela Childers, Dorothea Rowland is thrilled to be assigned a case. She is currently at a house party at Cressbrook House, being given by Louis Thorpe. Louis is planning on having Benedict Thorpe, Lord Brocklebank declared dead and have himself declared the successor to the title of Marquess of Belstead. Ben disappeared after he and Louis dueled over Lady Honoria. Thinking he had mortally wounded Louis, Ben fled to the As a member of the Society for Single Ladies, a crime solving club headed by Angela Childers, Dorothea Rowland is thrilled to be assigned a case. She is currently at a house party at Cressbrook House, being given by Louis Thorpe. Louis is planning on having Benedict Thorpe, Lord Brocklebank declared dead and have himself declared the successor to the title of Marquess of Belstead. Ben disappeared after he and Louis dueled over Lady Honoria. Thinking he had mortally wounded Louis, Ben fled to the colonies and hasn’t been heard from in years.Dorothea is sadden to learn that Ben is to be declared dead, once upon a time, Ben and Dorothea’s families had proposed a match and Ben was happy to oblige, until he met and fell in love with Honoria. Dorothea had loved Ben, but she was gracious when he proposed to Honoria without even telling her and she was heartbroken when he fought the duel and disappeared. So she is shocked and is not sure how to feel now that he has returned from the dead.Ben is not the same man Dorothea loved, he has matured and has become a successful business man in the years he had been away. He would have been content to let Louis inherit, but his friend Hal, who has been the only person he stayed in touch with has told him of the decline in the estate and the debts Louis has amassed, draining the estate and endangering the livelihoods of his tenants. Despite his desire to stay in the colonies, duty to the title has been ingrained deeply in Ben and he couldn’t let the estate suffer. When he returns Louis tries to claim he is an imposter and that the title belongs to Louis. Ben turns to Dorothea for help proving he is in fact who he claims to be.Dorothea agrees to help him and they both begin to develop stronger feelings and Ben decides that Dorothea would make a perfect partner for him, but it is soon clear that someone doesn’t want Ben to inherit and they are willing to do whatever is necessary to ensure that he doesn’t! This was a good story, albeit wordy and stuffed with random facts that did nothing to move the story along. I enjoyed the relationship between Dorothea and Ben, it was not “instalust” and developed in a believable fashion, the mystery was decent and not immediately obvious (but the villain didn’t really come as a surprise), the love scenes were on the warmer side and the epilogue is very heartwarming. As I mentioned, I did find the book a bit wordy, it also dragged a bit and then the ending was rushed and anticlimactic. I didn’t love the book, but I didn’t hate it either – it was an “OK” read and I will definitely continue with the series.*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provide to me by NetGalley and the Publisher.*
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  • eyes.2c
    January 1, 1970
    Second chance romance combined with an interesting dilemma Requisite amounts of the dramatics for a good read. A high society lady detective Dorothea Rowland is investigating on behalf of Childers Bank the security of existing loans made to Louis Thorpe in order to increase his loan debt. Dorothea had been on the brink of having marriage settlements drawn up with Ben, until he fell under the spell of Lady Honoria Holt. Is Ben the friend she once knew, or an imposter.? The heir Benedict Thorpe, Second chance romance combined with an interesting dilemma Requisite amounts of the dramatics for a good read. A high society lady detective Dorothea Rowland is investigating on behalf of Childers Bank the security of existing loans made to Louis Thorpe in order to increase his loan debt. Dorothea had been on the brink of having marriage settlements drawn up with Ben, until he fell under the spell of Lady Honoria Holt. Is Ben the friend she once knew, or an imposter.? The heir Benedict Thorpe, Lord Brocklebank, the Marquess of Belstead, is seeking the truth about his inheritance before returning to America. Due to the law surrounding duals he'd been secretly hustled out of the country after a dual over implied slurs to his fiancé Lady Honoria by his cousin Louis, whom he thought he'd fatally injured. All presumed he was dead. Now the time of seven years is nearly up and his cousin Louis who'd survived, is set to have Ben declared legally dead and step into His shoes. Ben's sudden returned to England has left his cousin Louis and his wife Honoria's noses out of joint, especially as they'd been living off the estate's expectations for years.Ben joins a house party, ironically at his country seat, Cressbrook House, where the officer from the Crown Office, Sir James Hunstone, will make a decision regarding the legitimacy of Ben's claim.Previously he and Dorothea had been courting until Ben had fallen for Honoria. Now they need to work together to find out the truth surrounding the past events. In that process they find themselves being drawn to each other.As it turns out their investigations become dangerous and fatal.I thought I'd picked the culprit who engineered the whole situation early on but wasn't absolutely sure until the end. Dorothea is interesting woman who finds love where it was once lost.An enjoyable dip into the world of inheritance and titles, allied with an enlivening mystery and romance during the Georgian period of 1750.A Kensington Books ARC via NetGalley
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  • Brit Andrews
    January 1, 1970
    My first introduction to this author was when I read the first book in this series last year... as I was completely obsessed I was beyond thrilled to get my hands on this one to see what the Society of Single Ladies got up to this time. And naturally I was not disappointed....Dorothea is our single lady this time around a 30 year old spinster on a secret mission for Angela Childers the bank owner/head of the SSL. Seven years ago the heir to a marquess went missing after a duel with his cousin My first introduction to this author was when I read the first book in this series last year... as I was completely obsessed I was beyond thrilled to get my hands on this one to see what the Society of Single Ladies got up to this time. And naturally I was not disappointed....Dorothea is our single lady this time around a 30 year old spinster on a secret mission for Angela Childers the bank owner/head of the SSL. Seven years ago the heir to a marquess went missing after a duel with his cousin over a woman. Nobody knows if he still loves and his cousin is poised to take the title. The problem is said cousin has done sone financial damage to the estate and owes a whole lot of money to more than one bank. Before he can get his title the question of what happened to the missing man and if maybe his cousin did something to him comes into question. Dorothea is working with an agent of the crown to see if they can figure out the truth. During a house party hosted by Louis the potential marquess in anticipation of him receiving the title at long last is the perfect time to investigate. And coincidentally the perfect time for the long lost man to decide to return home...Benedict hadn’t exactly planned yo leave home and never return it just sort of happened. The events after that fateful night where he dueled with his cousin had him boarding a ship. It took him to Boston a whole world away where he started over and made a life for himself where nobody knew who he was or anything about his family. He was co tent to stay away never returning to the life he left behind until he learns that his vodka has squandered the family’s money and has been wrecking havoc on the estate. Reluctantly he decides to return home only for his very identity to be questioned. Dorothea is shocked to see Ben again, they have a history and she has a job to do. She has no intentions of letting the past get in the way of her life. She is an independent single woman no longer a starry eyed girl dreaming of marriage and family. She is happy she has a purpose and it has nothing to do with this man. Until of course it does and things change. Ben doesn’t want to stay in England but he does have the idea that maybe if he had a wife she could run the estate while he goes back to his business in Boston. And who would be a better candidate than Dorothea? Of course nothing is every easy and danger is lurking around the corners of Cressbrook House. Two dangerous accidents and one fatality later this dispute over the title seems to be far more trouble than its worth. And the consequences of digging into the past just seem to add to the trouble. Who is behind all of this? What do they stand to gain? And where has all the money been going? And who will win the title once and for all? Somehow I didn’t see it coming... so many obvious things and misdirection. I do love a good mystery. But isn’t it always the ones you don’t expect? I was soooo very excited to read this book and it did not disappoint. If I’m honest it might have dragged a tiny bit. It was rather different than the first but it was full of romance, mystery and danger. I liked Dorothea and Ben and could appreciate the fact that they found each other again when they were a little older and wiser. Though I do wonder if maybe in the future Angela might be the one to find herself married? I live in anticipation of finding out what comes next.
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  • Barbara Rogers
    January 1, 1970
    Barbaras Rating: 3.5 of 5 StarsSeries: The Society for Single Ladies #2Publication Date: 3/31/20Number of Pages: 279Benedict (Ben) Thorpe, heir to the Marquess of Belstead, had a rebellious childhood. With disinterested parents who spent little time with him, he longed for their care and respect especially his fathers. Ben knew he had to marry and since hed never seen anyone who particularly appealed to him, he went along with his parents choice until Lady Honoria Colt made her debut. Ben was Barbara’s Rating: 3.5 of 5 StarsSeries: The Society for Single Ladies #2Publication Date: 3/31/20Number of Pages: 279Benedict (Ben) Thorpe, heir to the Marquess of Belstead, had a rebellious childhood. With disinterested parents who spent little time with him, he longed for their care and respect – especially his father’s. Ben knew he had to marry and since he’d never seen anyone who particularly appealed to him, he went along with his parent’s choice – until Lady Honoria Colt made her debut. Ben was immediately enthralled – he immediately dropped the betrothal negotiations with the other girl and pursued Honoria. Unfortunately, his cousin, Louis also wanted her. When hot heads prevailed, Ben fled England vowing never to return.Dorothea Rowland is proud and honored to have become a member of The Society for Single Ladies. The society was formed by London’s wealthiest woman, Angela Childers, in order to solve crimes. At thirty, Dorothea is firmly on the shelf, and happy with her life. After her almost betrothal to Benedict Thorpe, she’d not quite taken the ton by storm and had settled into spinsterhood. She was thrilled with an assignment from the society – to investigate the new claimant to the Marquessate of Belstead. He’s having the last heir, Ben, declared legally dead so he can assume the title.At the urging of his best friend, Lord Henry (Hal) Evington, Ben returns to England to prove he is alive and to stop his cousin from assuming the title. It isn’t that he wants the title or even to be back in England, but his cousin Louis has decimated the formerly beautiful and rich estate. The tenants are suffering and Ben can’t let that continue. Ben immediately recognizes Dorothea – and she him. What ensues are attempts at murder, betrayals, an unexpected villain, and a romance. Ben and Dorothea have to solve a mystery and claim the title for Ben, and as they work together, they grow to respect and care for each other.This is a nicely told tale – the plot is a good one, the writing is good – but, I just couldn’t get into the story and found myself skimming over sections of it. I think the characters just didn’t grab me by the heart – and I’m not sure why. I would suggest you read the story and decide for yourself whether the characters bring you joy.I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    4.25 StarsYet even Miss Angela Childers charming detectives are not immune to the forces of love . . . Dorothea Rowland is nearing thirty & has given up on love but attends a country house party to investigate a long-lost heir not to find a husband. Benedict returns after nearly seven years abroad after he fled fearing hed killed his cousin Louis in a duel but Louis survived & is now pressing to have Benedict declared dead. Yet as Ben and Dorothea pursue the truth about his inheritance, 4.25 StarsYet even Miss Angela Childers’ charming detectives are not immune to the forces of love . . . Dorothea Rowland is nearing thirty & has given up on love but attends a country house party to investigate a long-lost heir not to find a husband. Benedict returns after nearly seven years abroad after he fled fearing he’d killed his cousin Louis in a duel but Louis survived & is now pressing to have Benedict declared dead. Yet as Ben and Dorothea pursue the truth about his inheritance, their relationship develops from friends to lovers. Soon Ben’s plan to return to his life in America is upended by someone who wants his fortune badly enough to jeopardize his future. This is the second book in the series & could easily be read on its own. The author’s books are always well written, they have a lovely attention to detail & I love the mix of fact & fiction. The story flows extremely well, the mystery has a few twists and turns which I enjoyed but it is the relationship between Ben & Dorothea which is enthralling. She’s always loved him but he was blinded by the beauty of another when they were younger, however he’s grown up & I loved how he came to like, value, respect & love Dorothea. A lovely read that at times had me on the edge of my seatMy honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
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  • Niki
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars rounded upDorothea Rowland is attending a country house party to investigate the financial viability of the marquesate's potential heir, in the absence of the son of the late marquess, who is presumed dead. When said lost son arrives from America, Dorothea instantly recognizes him. After all, one doesn't forget their almost-fiance. What does surprise her is her body's perceptive and inconvenient reaction to him.Benedict Thorpe, the true Marquess of Belstead, had hoped never to return 4.5 stars rounded upDorothea Rowland is attending a country house party to investigate the financial viability of the marquesate's potential heir, in the absence of the son of the late marquess, who is presumed dead. When said lost son arrives from America, Dorothea instantly recognizes him. After all, one doesn't forget their almost-fiance. What does surprise her is her body's perceptive and inconvenient reaction to him.Benedict Thorpe, the true Marquess of Belstead, had hoped never to return to England, but when he learns of the suffering caused by his cousin Louis' wasteful spending and immoral ways, Ben knows he must return to save the estate and the people who rely on it. However, he fully intends to establish a suitable manager and return to America as soon as possible, only his growing infatuation with Dorothea rather complicates things, as does the series of suspicious and dangerous accidents plaguing him. When Ben and Dorothea are discovered in a compromising position, they soon find themselves engaged. Though Dorothea isn't at all sure she'll go through with the ceremony, she and Ben make an excellent team and both become increasingly determined to protect each other from whoever is out to destroy their future.I really enjoyed this book. There was a nice second chance/redemption element here with Ben showing lots of growth and Dorothea was a lovely sensible heroine to read. I liked these two together and the mystery element added much to the feel of the book. I think this series is shaping up nicely and I'm eager to read more.I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.https://mustreadalltheromance.blogspo...
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  • Caitlyn Lynch
    January 1, 1970
    Benedict Thorpe hadnt planned on ever returning to England after leaving under a cloud seven years ago. Learning hes about to be declared dead and the marquessate is about to devolve to his wastrel cousin, though, he reluctantly decides to return - only to have his identity questioned and his life threatened as his cousin valiantly attempts to oust him. A shocking death raises the stakes dramatically and throws everything into question - everything but his admiration for Lady Dorothea Rowland, a Benedict Thorpe hadn’t planned on ever returning to England after leaving under a cloud seven years ago. Learning he’s about to be declared dead and the marquessate is about to devolve to his wastrel cousin, though, he reluctantly decides to return - only to have his identity questioned and his life threatened as his cousin valiantly attempts to oust him. A shocking death raises the stakes dramatically and throws everything into question - everything but his admiration for Lady Dorothea Rowland, a lady investigator determined to get to the bottom of the whole mess on behalf of her banker employer.The mystery at the heart of this story had some intriguing twists and turns, although the villain of the story was logically obvious from early on as the only person with both motive, means and opportunity. For two smart people, Ben and Dorothea were a bit too willing to accept certain characters at face value, something I don’t think I’d be doing if a family member had been murdered and attempts made on my life. On the other hand, they were perhaps somewhat distracted by falling in lust.The more I thought about it, the more irritated I felt about Ben having just abdicated his responsibility for years on end, especially with his mother ill. I couldn’t see any real reason which justified it; yes, sailing from America to England and back was quite the production in those days, but he literally owned a shopping company, and he knew from correspondence with the one trusted friend who knew he was alive that his cousin wasn’t doing right by the estate. Having failed in his responsibility thus far, I really didn’t get why he didn’t just continue to get on with the very nice life he’d made for himself and wash his hands of the title he didn’t want or use anyway.The romance in this was excellent, and I really bought into Ben and Dorothea as a compatible couple (though once again he irritated me with his plans to push off back to Boston and leave her in charge). Dorothea is so delightful as a single lady who has embraced her status of being firmly on the shelf and found something productive to do with her life, so much so that she turns down Ben’s first proposal in a marvellous scene where she tells him she’s waited this long, she’s not settling for anything less than love.Lynne Connolly is one of the best historical romance authors out there in terms of making her work feel genuinely authentic to the period; her research and knowledge really shines through and there’s no moment in this where it feels at all anachronistic. For that alone, I really want to give this five stars, but my continuing annoyance with the hero mean I just can’t quite bring myself to do it. Four stars, but it’s a very good read.Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.
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  • Mel
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not a fan of drawn out melodramas and this was an obvious and very predictable and exhausting tale.
  • Angela
    January 1, 1970
    The idea of the Society of Singles Ladies is a great concept for books. This story is very nice and sweet and good for someone looking for not too much angst. There is a little mystery which was pretty good. However, I felt that the story was repetitive. It could have been half the length and still been good. If you want a nice story about a great spinster and a man who made himself instead of relying on his title, then this is the story for you.I received a complimentary copy from the publisher The idea of the Society of Singles Ladies is a great concept for books. This story is very nice and sweet and good for someone looking for not too much angst. There is a little mystery which was pretty good. However, I felt that the story was repetitive. It could have been half the length and still been good. If you want a nice story about a great “spinster” and a man who made himself instead of relying on his title, then this is the story for you.I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
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  • Helena#bookdreamer
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you netgalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.I had a difficult time getting through this novel. Although well written, it left a lot to be desired. Characters lacked personality and the story moved at a snail pace. Just not what I was expecting.
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  • tysephine
    January 1, 1970
    This review is brought to you by Sleep Deprivation™. I apologize in advance. The premise of this book sounded so up my alley. A society for single ladies! That solve crimes! Sign me the FRICK up. Unfortunately, there is very little explained of exactly what the Society for Single Ladies is or what they do or how it works. I haven't read book 1, so I can't speak to if it is all explained therein, but I would think that there would be something written about it in each book, especially since This review is brought to you by Sleep Deprivation™. I apologize in advance. The premise of this book sounded so up my alley. A society for single ladies! That solve crimes! Sign me the FRICK up. Unfortunately, there is very little explained of exactly what the Society for Single Ladies is or what they do or how it works. I haven't read book 1, so I can't speak to if it is all explained therein, but I would think that there would be something written about it in each book, especially since romance novels are usually written so you can pick up any book in a series and be able to follow along.I wish that was the only problem this book had. The family dynamics were very hard to follow. I spent a lot of the book confused on how exactly everyone is related to one another and how succession works. The book opens with a duel between Ben and Louis, who are cousins. They have both been seeing the same lady and they are dueling over who gets to keep her. Ben doesn't mean to hit Louis, but is distracted by a bird at the last second and shoots Louis over his heart. Frantic that he has just killed his cousin, he takes the first ship bound out of London. He spends the next 7 years working in Boston, becoming a very wealthy businessman. Meanwhile, Louis doesn't die. Ben is relieved and sends word that Louis is to be given power of attorney over Ben's estate while he is gone. Ben is the heir to a marquess, and will someday inherit some land and whatever else nobleman generally inherit. Money, presumably.Anyway, 7 years later, Ben gets a letter from his best friend Hal, who tells him that Louis is ruining his estate and spending a ton of money. He is trying to take out a mortgage on the entailed lands, but he can't do that while Ben is alive. Louis is therefore trying to have Ben declared dead since no one (supposedly) has heard from him for almost 7 years. Ben was shot in the duel as well, so Louis tries to spin it so that Ben died from the gunshot wound after he fled to Boston.Ben has a moment of crisis - he hasn't lived in England for a long time, he doesn't want to be a marquess anyway (his father has died in the meantime). Should he just let Louis take the marquessate and stay in Boston?This is where I got very, very confused. Louis is Ben's cousin, and Ben has given him power of attorney. That is the exact phrase used in the beginning of the book - "power of attorney." That...doesn't make Louis his heir, right? Way later in the book the author specifies that Louis is Ben's heir, but the early chapters only name him as having POA. I spent a lot of time trying to puzzle out why Louis would have Ben declared dead since his reign of POA would end when the new marquess was named. I also spent a lot of time thinking that William was Ben's brother that went off to war. Like, then the estate would go to the younger brother, right? Ben about 3/4 of the way through the book, it is made clear that William is Louis's brother, not Ben's. I could have sworn that the beginning of the book said William was Ben's brother. I went back and checked the first chapter, and I think I found where I got confused. The line read "Watching Louis divest himself of his blue riding coat and hand it to his younger brother, William" which I guess my brain latched onto, even though it mentions Ben's childhood with "his two cousins." That was my bad, but it really made me question everything I knew about primogeniture. Eventually, my brain got in gear and parsed out who is related to who and how the succession was set up. About halfway through the book it is mentioned that Louis was already Ben's successor, but Ben sent word that Louis should have POA as well. I wish that was made clearer earlier in the book. Ben goes back to England to claim his heritage so that the tenants don't have to suffer under Louis's mismanagement anymore, and he gatecrashes a party that Louis is throwing in honor of himself being named as the new marquess. There is an official from the crown in attendance, Sir James, who immediately launches an investigation to make sure Ben is who he claims to be. Also in attendance at this party, secretly representing the interests of the Society for Single Ladies, is Dorothea, who almost was engaged to Ben before he went gaga over Honoria (whose name in my mind rhymes with gonorrhea). Dorothea was in lurve with Ben before he dropped her like last week's trash, and she still lurves him now. But! She is determined not to fall under his spell, because she is a confirmed spinster at ~le gasp~ 30 years old. Ben is surprised to see everyone, he's changed so much and matured a lot. He finds that Honoria is a shallow person and Dorothea was the better of the two. Ben and Dorothea have some hanky panky pretty early on, but Ben is determined to never fall in love again because it's all a scam. Better to find someone sensible who will bear your children and run your estate while you are elsewhere. Dorothea is determined not to fall in love again because she's too old and washed up.That lasted for like 50 pages. Literally, there was a chapter with Dorothea adamant that she would not fall in love, and then the very next chapter they have sex and she tells Ben she loves him. Like, what? Girl, make up your mind. I didn't really mind their romance, even if it was a bit rushed. Both main characters were written as very practical people, and they saw an opportunity to be together and took it. I had a problem with the mystery elements of this book, though. There's an attempted murder, there's multiple attempts to invalidate Ben as the marquess, including some very hand-wavy legal stuff that felt pretty forced. The twist of "whodunit" at the end was very awkward and I felt like it could have been seeded better in the narrative. Looking back, there was next to no indication that there was a twist here, which is a sign of lazy mystery-writing in my opinion. I should be simultaneously shocked at the twist but also able to look back and see where I missed the clues. There were no clues here, just an "aha GOTCHA" moment at the end that felt cheap.I think there was the bones of a good book here. The premise was good, the mystery element was interesting, the main characters were well-drawn. It was the execution that let the book down. Received free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Lorraine
    January 1, 1970
    Just too much. Round and round back and round no meat to it so many different situations very so so. I forced myself to read it
  • Monique
    January 1, 1970
    Review written: February 4, 2020Star Rating: ★★★★☆Heat Rating: ☀☀☼☼☼ An Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book was received free via Netgalley for an honest review. The Making of a Marquess is the second book in Connollys series. I love Connollys historicals because she writes such lush and well-researched books. That is a huge deal for me. This book is no different. As the series is about solving mysteries, there is a big one here. But before we get to that aspect of the storyMy first thought Review written: February 4, 2020Star Rating: ★★★★☆Heat Rating: ☀☀☼☼☼ An Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book was received free via Netgalley for an honest review. The Making of a Marquess is the second book in Connolly’s series. I love Connolly’s historicals because she writes such lush and well-researched books. That is a huge deal for me. This book is no different. As the series is about solving mysteries, there is a big one here. But before we get to that aspect of the story…My first thought with regard to Ben was that he was a fool. Young, hot-headed, and more foolish than most. Hence the title, in my opinion, for he truly was a useless peer until his flight to Boston. At least when he gets back, he is significantly less foolish and realizes what a gem he had in Dorothea. Once he returned though, he appeared to be strong, decisive, and controlled. I liked the evolution even though we don’t get to see it happen on the page. In a way, I am glad for that. That was not his arc. His arc was in understanding what he had thrown away and choosing to try again.For Dorothea‘s part, I liked her instantly and that never changed. Cool, calm, level-headed, practical, and never out of love, she was a prize when she was younger and an even bigger prize now in her maturity. I loved seeing others recognize her strength and respond so positively to it. (Echoes here of Rose (Richard and Rose series), in my opinion.) I loved this underutilized character type in historicals and hearken back to the Daring Dersinghams as well. Connolly is drawing readers to a greater sense of real people in this time and I find it absolutely wonderful.As for Louis, Honoria, and William, I found them near cookie cutter sadly. In stark contrast to Ben and Dorothea, they come across as never having grown up, consistently selfish, and intolerably entitled. They are, of course, the principal choices of villain since this is a mystery. Precisely who is revealed after much heartache. Sadly, I had figured it out well in advance. As the plot hummed along, the tension between Ben and Louis gets stretched tightly. After all, he must prove he is himself to prevent his cousin from taking the title. And, as accidents keep happening, it is clear that someone wants to prevent that at all cost. I think the tension wasn’t so great for me since I had it figured out in advance of the reveal, but if I hadn’t, it would have been quite suspenseful. What with one thing after another thwarting in his quest to save the marquessate from utter ruin. I quite enjoyed the house party, single location, element of the plot as well. It felt a little like an Agatha Christie in that regard. It’s an excellent choice for adding tension. I also liked seeing Angela Childers swoop in and keep holding out for a story for her, regardless of how it all comes out. I know that the next book in the Daring Dersinghams book is coming next, but I am definitely eager to see where this series will go next and who will get their book. This is such a strong female-centric series and it is quite delightful.This review is ©February 2020 by Monique N. and has been posted to Netgalley
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  • Debra Martin
    January 1, 1970
    Benedict Thorpe never planned on staying away for 7 years after a duel with his cousin, but when he receives a dire letter from his friend that the estate was in trouble, he comes back to England to claim his title and estate once again. Unfortunately, it's not that simple because his cousin Louis has enjoyed the perks of being the marquess without actually holding the title. Now an investigation is needed to see who is actually entitled to the estate and Dorothea Rowland is part of it. Dorothea Benedict Thorpe never planned on staying away for 7 years after a duel with his cousin, but when he receives a dire letter from his friend that the estate was in trouble, he comes back to England to claim his title and estate once again. Unfortunately, it's not that simple because his cousin Louis has enjoyed the perks of being the marquess without actually holding the title. Now an investigation is needed to see who is actually entitled to the estate and Dorothea Rowland is part of it. Dorothea has loved Ben for years and tries to shield her heart from anymore heartache, but sometimes, the heart does what the heart wants. Can these two find their way back to each other or will a sinister mystery kill Ben before she can declare her love?I enjoyed this book, but I found the some parts dragged a bit. There was a good mystery running through the book and that kept me turning the pages. I liked Ben. He was someone who had learned from his mistakes and showed remarkable restraint while the investigation into who actually was the marquess continued. There is a lot of sex in this book--too much and I skipped over those pages. I get their attraction without every detail of their sex life revealed. All in all, this was good read.I voluntarily read the advanced reader copy and all opinions are my own.
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  • Lori D
    January 1, 1970
    Crestbrook House "No more the discarded spinster, Dorothea now had a a purpose in life. She was a member of the Society of Single Ladies, and she was here on a mission. Her first assignment for the SSL was a personal connection." Yes I was intrigued and found out she had started a courtship with Ben, Lord Brocklebank(love that name!), although her father had wanted him to let her grow up a little. She was smitten with the tall handsome elegant gentleman. Then Lady Honoria Colt had come into Crestbrook House "No more the discarded spinster, Dorothea now had a a purpose in life. She was a member of the Society of Single Ladies, and she was here on a mission. Her first assignment for the SSL was a personal connection." Yes I was intrigued and found out she had started a courtship with Ben, Lord Brocklebank(love that name!), although her father had wanted him to let her grow up a little. She was smitten with the tall handsome elegant gentleman. Then Lady Honoria Colt had come into society and any chance at Ben had been lost to her. Then a duel with his cousin Louis over the Lady and Ben had just disappeared. Now with his cousin trying to declare Ben dead so he would inherit the title, Dorothea would work with a man of the Crown to try to prove Louis killed Ben and have him put in jail. But as Louis was making an announcement about making his bow to court soon as the Marquess and his wife Honoria Marchioness were declared, there came a voice from the doorway, "I believe the saying is over my dead body." Thus Ben reappeared!This had the feeling of a game of Clue and I loved it! The different characters, each with their own secrets and wishes and a villain in the midst beside the despicable Louis. Ben and Dorothea become reacquainted and they take a slow journey to romance and a happy ever after. Don't miss this second book in this series!
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  • Darlene Foster
    January 1, 1970
    I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.The Making Of A Marquess, by Lynne Connolly, is available at booksellers 3-31-20. Making is book 2 in Ms Connolly's The Society Of Single Ladies series. The premise of the SSL is crime solving. Many things happen in the world of the ton and rich cits. Who better to look and listen than spinsters. They're of quality, know many people, and are invited many places. They are ignored, become background, I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.The Making Of A Marquess, by Lynne Connolly, is available at booksellers 3-31-20. Making is book 2 in Ms Connolly's The Society Of Single Ladies series. The premise of the SSL is crime solving. Many things happen in the world of the ton and rich cits. Who better to look and listen than spinsters. They're of quality, know many people, and are invited many places. They are ignored, become background, and this is to their crime solving benefit. Ms Connolly had me looking up a lot of words, what was it, did I have it right? She kept me on my toes & I enjoyed it. Making is a romance/mystery/thriller. Sounds complicated but trust me, it worked.Our SSL member is Dorothea Rowland, spinster and resigned to being one always. The SSL has given her a purpose and makes being unmarried bearable. She's like many ladies I've known, Prince Charming forgot to stop by. She's witty and brave. I liked her from the start. The hero, Benedict Thorpe was another story. Lord Brockbank had to grow on me. He was the usual annoying fop, certain he's handsome beyond measure and charming enough to get away with anything. He was awful to Dorothea during her season, the cad. In the story he's grown and made something of himself without his title. He's worried he won't be able to prove his identity, that his tenants will suffer, worried about the estate at last. He won me over when he took such care with his mother. He had substance after all.#LynneConnolly #netgalley #TheMakingOfAMarquess #TheSocietyOfSingleLadies #KensingtonBooks #romance #Mystery #Thriller
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  • Sissy's Romance Book Review
    January 1, 1970
    The Making of a Marquess by Lynne Connolly is book Two in The Society for Single Ladies Series. This is the story of Dorothea Rowland and Benedict 'Ben' Thorpe, Lord Brocklebank. I have read the previous book but feel you could make this a standalone book if you wish to do so. Several years ago Dorothea and Ben's family where setting them up to marry with marriage contracts. Ben just wanting to please his father was going forward with it until he saw Honoria Colt and wanted her. But his cousin The Making of a Marquess by Lynne Connolly is book Two in The Society for Single Ladies Series. This is the story of Dorothea Rowland and Benedict 'Ben' Thorpe, Lord Brocklebank. I have read the previous book but feel you could make this a standalone book if you wish to do so. Several years ago Dorothea and Ben's family where setting them up to marry with marriage contracts. Ben just wanting to please his father was going forward with it until he saw Honoria Colt and wanted her. But his cousin Louis Thorpe also wanted her which lead to them to duel which Ben thought he hurt his cousin so he left England. Now all these years later he is talked into returning to England to claim his title by his friend. But his cousin wants that title and claims that Ben is a imposter. Dorothea is a spinster after Ben has broken the engagement talks. Dorothea who is now a mature 30 year old, who has become a part of 'The Society for Single Ladies'. This group of ladies go around solving mysteries. Dorothea has been given the case to find the Title holder of the Marquess of Belstead...aka Ben. Of course when Ben returns she knows who she is but they have to come together to prove who he is and to fight off the person wanting him dead. Enjoyed their story.
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  • Margaret
    January 1, 1970
    It started with a duel with his cousin over a young lady. Ben Thorpe fled from the duel. Injured he leaves England on a ship to America. Almost seven years later he must return to claim his title or lose to his cousin Louis. The one obstacle is he needs proof of his identify. Dorothea Rowland was to have been betrothed to Ben, but he broke the contract. She still loves him even though she's built another life. Now he's returned and some one wants him dead. A well written who done it with a It started with a duel with his cousin over a young lady. Ben Thorpe fled from the duel. Injured he leaves England on a ship to America. Almost seven years later he must return to claim his title or lose to his cousin Louis. The one obstacle is he needs proof of his identify. Dorothea Rowland was to have been betrothed to Ben, but he broke the contract. She still loves him even though she's built another life. Now he's returned and some one wants him dead. A well written who done it with a passionate love story. Enjoyed reading this one. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book.
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  • SH
    January 1, 1970
    Benedict Thorpe was meant to be a marquess but after fighting a duel with his cousin, Louis, over woman, left both men injured and Ben living in the wilds of America. After seven years, Ben returns to England to claim his title and estate, only to find his cousin, foolishly spend the estates assets. He also discovers that Dorothea Rowland, the woman his family meant him to marry, is part of a detective agency, investigating his cousins request for finances. Dorothea also finds herself falling in Benedict Thorpe was meant to be a marquess but after fighting a duel with his cousin, Louis, over woman, left both men injured and Ben living in the wilds of America. After seven years, Ben returns to England to claim his title and estate, only to find his cousin, foolishly spend the estate’s assets. He also discovers that Dorothea Rowland, the woman his family meant him to marry, is part of a detective agency, investigating his cousin’s request for finances. Dorothea also finds herself falling in love with Ben, all over again. When he shows interest in her, it is all that she can do to hold back any feelings for him.Both characters were enjoyable, with Ben showing how his life experiences have changed him and Dorothea, for becoming a strong woman, with greater substances that those who might have been outwardly beautiful. Their growing admiration for the other and the development of their feelings, played out sweetly in this story. Combined with the mystery of who was threatening Ben’s life, this was an engaging read.I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Moriah
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this title from the publisher for an honest review. The Making of a Marquess is the second title in the Society of Single Ladies series, but works very easily as a standalone book. A member of the Society, Dorothea Rowland has been asked by Angela, the founder of the society and owner of a London bank, to investigate the financial situation of Louis, the presumed heir to the title Earl of Brocklebank. After the original heir Benedict fled 7 years prior following a deal I received a copy of this title from the publisher for an honest review. The Making of a Marquess is the second title in the Society of Single Ladies series, but works very easily as a standalone book. A member of the Society, Dorothea Rowland has been asked by Angela, the founder of the society and owner of a London bank, to investigate the financial situation of Louis, the presumed heir to the title Earl of Brocklebank. After the original heir Benedict fled 7 years prior following a deal between the two over a woman, Benedict has not been seen and is about to be declared dead in favor of his cousin assuming the title. Dorothea and the rest of the house party are shocked when a man claiming to be Ben reappears just as he is about to be formally declared dead. She immediately recognizes Ben as the young man who had quietly courted her prior to falling for Honoria, the subject of the ill-fated duel that led to his disappearance. Deciding to help Ben establish his claim, Dorothea finds the man he has become to be even more attractive to the young man she had fell for all those years ago. Ben has built a life for himself in Boston that he finds fulfilling and has stayed away from England until forced to return to prevent his cousin from completely ruining the estate and the people that depend on it for their livelihood. Torn between his duty to the title and his desire to return to his life in America, Ben decides to find a wife who can give him children and run the estate while he spends large amounts of time in Boston. He isn't counting on Dorothea or the woman she has grown into. Clearly his perfect match, will he be able to live long enough to realize that he has everything he didn't know he wanted within reach? A nice romance and mystery will keep readers entertained until the end; I look forward to the next Society for Single Ladies title.
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  • Robin
    January 1, 1970
    This was a well-written, entertaining book. Dorothea belongs to a crime-solving club and encounters Ben in the process of an investigation. Love, intrigue, suspense and humor follow. I enjoyed this book and would read more books by this author.
  • Mary Gallo
    January 1, 1970
    Let me go girl fan: 'OMG!! That was such a good book! I lived the characters!! I felt like I was there, at every party, ball dinner and murder!! Love, action, jealousy, envy, anguish,...everything was in this book, but in a good way!!!' End fan girl.I truly enjoyed reading thos story. After I was done, I actually started reading it again, that is how good it was. While it did get a little slow and you definitely had to read every word, it was a solid, good book. The characters were so Let me go girl fan: 'OMG!! That was such a good book! I lived the characters!! I felt like I was there, at every party, ball dinner and murder!! Love, action, jealousy, envy, anguish,...everything was in this book, but in a good way!!!' End fan girl.I truly enjoyed reading thos story. After I was done, I actually started reading it again, that is how good it was. While it did get a little slow and you definitely had to read every word, it was a solid, good book. The characters were so dimensional, it was like when I started reading, a miniature director in my brain said 'Action!' and a little movie started. The bad girls were so deliously mean and gossipy. The hero, boy was he smooth. I can say that he was equal parts believable and dreamy. The villains were also dreamy, but since they were villains we aren't supposed to like them. I could go on and on, but I don't want to raise you expectations. I want you, the reader, to experience it as I did, a jewel hidden in book covers. I can't help but admire an author who has such command over the English language. She was able to convey her thoughts without being verbose. The story line and side plots were intertwined and led to a satisfying conclusion. The grammar and spelling were correct. I was not able to detect any place where I had to stop and try to decode what the author was alluding to. I highly recommend this story and would suggest buying it. I am going to look for other books by this author to see if this Carrie's over to all of her work. **5 STARS**
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  • Marianne Denning
    January 1, 1970
    I truly enjoyed this story. Ben is a bit wild and ends up escaping to America! Upon his return 7 years later, he faces his cousin who is bankrupting his estate and a lovely woman he was supposed to have married...Dorothea. The story has many twists and turns. Love, jealousy, revenge, murder! The secondary characters are very interesting. I hope Hal has his HEA one day! Even Honoria, as selfish and wicked as she could be, deserves some happiness. Enjoy!
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  • Megan O'Neil
    January 1, 1970
    A charming romance and mystery, the hero and heroine were a perfect match in both temperament and character. The story has all the hallmarks of a fine romance, too, but with sufficient twists and character development to make their story fresh. Our heroine, Dorothea, is sent by Society for Single Ladies (SSL) to a house party to investigate the disappearance and possible demise of the heir to a marquisette. She had once been engaged to the lost heir but, through betrayal and deceit he was forced A charming romance and mystery, the hero and heroine were a perfect match in both temperament and character. The story has all the hallmarks of a fine romance, too, but with sufficient twists and character development to make their story fresh. Our heroine, Dorothea, is sent by Society for Single Ladies (SSL) to a house party to investigate the disappearance and possible demise of the heir to a marquisette. She had once been engaged to the lost heir but, through betrayal and deceit he was forced to flee England for America. Enter our hero, Benedict Thorpe just in time to save his inheritance and those dependent on the estate -- if he can prove he is in fact the lost heir. Wiser and more mature than when he left, Ben spent his time in America building his fortune as a merchant (oh, the horror!) and facing the kind of sorrow that makes a good man mature into a very find man, indeed. He quickly recognizes to beauty inside and out of his former betrothed and the two join forces to try to prove he is the lost heir and to figure out who is trying to kill him. Dorothea and Ben are two of the most likable star-crossed lovers I’ve met in a long time. Ms. Connolly has drawn them well -- showing both their depth and passion. She does an equally fine job on the supporting cast, revealing the complexities behind even the presumed villains while making them so easy and enjoyable to despise. I enjoyed this book from start to finish and even stayed up way, way past my bedtime reading. **Please note: I was provided a copy of the book to review but my assessment is genuine and unbiased.**
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