Say Yes to the Marquess (Castles Ever After, #2) by Tessa Dare

Say Yes to the Marquess - Tessa Dare

After reading Romancing The Duke, I was pretty excited for the next installment.. in which I was disappointed.

I loved Romancing The Duke and I was prepared to love this even more. Sadly, passing about the halfway mark, I was so confused with everything that I just read faster just to get it over with.

On one hand, royal rebel and prizefighter Rafe was using all his self-control to keep his feelings in check for his brother's intended of 8 years, Clio - who wants out. After realizing that her preparation for being the lord's future-wife gave her the tools she needed to be independent and open a brewery when she inherited a castle, she's done waiting. Over the course of the week, it was a battle for Rafe on who he loves more - his brother or Clio. Before the week was almost done and finally convincing Clio that his love for his brother keeps his hands off her (and that she must be brave enough to tell to Pier's face that she no longer wants to get married), he claimed her.

I mean, WHUUUUT?! So everything you said was just lip service? I thought I was finally reading something new butnoooooooo. It had to be the same old thing, at least it was consensual. *siiiiigh* This had so much potential.

The three-star rating deserves an explanation. One, it was funnier than the previous book.

". . . She’s so innocent and tightly laced, she probably bathes in her shift and dresses in the dark. What would I do with a woman like that?”...

“Indeed.” Bruiser rolled his eyes and dusted off his hat. “Definitely no years of pent-up lusting there. Glad we have that sorted.”

And it made STRONG points on what it feels to be a woman,

“And you must want to get married. What else could you hope to do with your life?”
She laughed into her sherry. “What else, indeed. It’s not as though we ladies are allowed to have interests or pursuits of our own.”

“I’m a woman. Everyone judges us on our measurements.”

I’d been given so many gifts. An education, a fortune, a castle. Who was to say that simply because I was female, I couldn’t make something of those gifts myself?”

Not to mention familial ties,

“Just because they’re family doesn’t mean they won’t hurt you. It means they know how to cut deep.”

It also packs some awww-inducing scenes when their passions are not close to the surface,

“I’ll tell you who you are, Rafe. Anytime you find yourself in doubt. And I won’t even leave you bleeding.”

Mostly because it made me realize why I keep coming back to historical romances. Our heroines belong to the modern world. They refuse to conform to the restrictive standards society has put on women. They are class and rebellion in human form. Our"modern" heroines will do well with the circumstances our HR MCs are going through. Seeing as they, even without the constraints these HR women experiences, our YA/NA women succeed in limiting themselves when they have little to fuss about. HR would kill for these freedom when they so blatantly give them away to "capable men".

3 stars