Review: Merely A Marriage by Jo Beverley

Merely A Marriage by Jo Beverley
Release Date:  May 30, 2017
Publisher:  Berkley
Pages:  380
Source: book provided by NetGalley for review



As England mourns the death of Princess Charlotte, Lady Ariana Boxstall has another succession in mind. Her brother, Norris, is a strapping young man, but he’s also happily unmarried and childless. Norris agrees to take a wife on one condition: that Ariana take a husband first. Although she realizes she risks a lifetime in a loveless marriage, for the sake of her family, Ariana accepts his challenge.

When the Earl of Kynaston met Ariana eight years ago, he broke her heart. Since then, his own heart has been broken, and he’s sworn off love…until he sees Ariana all grown-up and his resolve is threatened.

Could Ariana’s bargain with Norris actually lead her to happiness? With real love on the line, she must win over the one man who refuses to be had.


Review:  Historical romance is one of my favorite genres to read.  I like pretending what it would be like to live in that time period.  I’m only thinking in terms of fiction, I wouldn’t want to live in a time period where women are second class citizens and toothpaste, and deodorant hasn’t even been thought up yet.

I was intrigued when I saw that this book was available for review and I had high hopes as I love historical.  Unfortunately, I thought that the story was a bit slow and I had a hard time liking Ariana because she was so bossy and I felt that she didn’t take other people’s feelings into consideration.  She only thought of herself and how she would feel and she only thought of her circumstances.

Lord Kynaston was a very complex character as his back story is revealed to the reader very slowly so understanding him and what makes him tick was tricky.

I felt pity for Ariana, and began to like her as I got to know her because I discovered aspects about her that the reader didn’t know which formed who she is and the way she acts.  I believe Ariana had the same experience that I as the reader did as she got to know Lord Kynaston.  She had some definite opinions about him when the reader is introduced to both of them.  I liked that fact that she grew as a character and was able to form new opinions and not be stuck in her thinking and be stubborn about her viewpoints.

I really liked the secondary charters, Ariana’s brother and her maid Ethel.  They were both entertaining and Ethel’s no non-sense outlook on life was really great.

The story did pick up and I was glad that there was a happy ending for Ariana and Lord Kynaston as well as for her brother and her maid Ethel.