by Wendy Soliman
Genres: Historical Romance
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
England, 1814 Leah Elliot sells secrets to survive. Donning boy's clothes, she uncovers society scandals for a London gossip rag to support herself and her sister, who were left destitute after their father's death. When she meets the dashing—and perhaps dangerous—Hal Forster, the Marquess of Denby, she learns he may be involved in treason. The rumor is too valuable not to sell, despite her attraction to him… Hal does have a secret, but he's no traitor: he's a spy embroiled in a mystery, seeking the man who killed his contact in France. He sees the alluring woman behind Leah's disguise at once but is intrigued enough to play along…until he realizes that she's the source of the rumors interfering with his investigation and forcing him into an unwanted betrothal. Now, Hal and Leah must work together to draw out the culprit and undo the damage caused by Leah's gossip. Or will their passion only cause more scandal?
I have been on a historical fiction kick this past month, perhaps from the horror overload of reads for Things that Go bump in the Night, so when Lit’ Connect tours had sign ups for Compromising the Marquess, I jumped at the chance to review it. I am so glad that I did as this tale offered suspense, humor, busy bodies and a feisty heroine I came to adore.
Set in England 1814. Leah Elliot and her sister have taken up residence in a seaside town in southern England. With her sister’s poor health and the death of their father leaving them destitute, Leah has taken to donning boy’s clothes at night and uncovering gossip for London’s gossip rag. Accompanied by the local towns preacher’s wife she attends a meeting at the home of Hal Forster, the Marquess of Denby. While his younger brother attends them, she quickly realizes he is hiding and listening. Curiosity gets the better of her and she sets out to discover his secrets. When she discovers he might be involved in treason she has to decide whether to sell out the dashingly handsome Marquess. Hal is not a traitor but a spy for England and he quickly realizes Leah is the source of the rumors that may undo his mission. The two of them begin working together and the chemistry between them is downright steamy. I easily consumed this in day and found myself completely immersed in this pleasurable tale.
I love feisty, intelligent heroines who do what they must for those they love and Leah was perfect. She is inquisitive and it often gets her in trouble. Determined never to marry, she skirts the edge of societies rules with her thirst for knowledge. Hal the Marquess is in a word smexy. A long haired spy who is confident and cocky I loved watching Leah unravel his cool composure. He thinks he is in control. *tisk-tisk* Gabe is Hal’s younger brother and Felicity his younger sister and they were both entertaining. Beth, Leah’s younger sister was sweet. I am hoping we will get their stories. Mrs. Wilkinson the preacher’s wife drove the poor Marquess mad with demands. She is the local gossip and holds him accountable for everything. The girls Aunt is a ghastly woman and I could not wait for her to get her comeuppance. A Frenchman and an investigator as well as the publisher of the gossip rag all added to the suspense and made the tale believable.
Give me suspenseful mystery with twists and a side of hot romance and I am happy. Soliman delivered with a fast paced tale and I quickly found myself enthralled. While some of the mysteries threads I immediately figured out there were other whose twists surprised me. The author did an excellent job of weaving everything together and making it believable. The romance between Hal and Leah was filled with teasing and sexual tension. I loved the references to Fanny Hill and the role it played in their romance. The romance developed slowly and I enjoyed watching it unfold.
I recommend Compromising the Marquess to fans of historical romances wrapped in suspense. I am looking forward to reading more of Soliman’s work and sincerely hope we meet more of these characters again.
I’m a British writer of Regency romance and have been asked to say a few words her about Regency holidays. Ever wonder what persuaded people to start swimming in the sea?
Well, the French Revolution and subsequent Napoleonic Wars ended the English upper class fashion for the Grand European Tour and holidaying at continental spas. Instead the new sea-bathing resorts of Brighton, Lyme and Weymouth became fashionable Regency-era watering-places. Thanks to the Price Regent’s patronage of Brighton and its close proximity to London, Brighton was the most fashionable place to see and be seen in.
Dr Richard Russell was in part responsible for the sea-bathing craze, since he wrote a dissertation in 1750 advising patients with glandular conditions to swim in the ocean and drink the iodine-rich sea water. The price first visited Brighton in 1783 and began taking the sea cure for his swollen glands on subsequent visits. Where the prince went and what the prince did was, naturally, taken up by the fashionable crowd. Thus Brighton soon became the seaside resort chosen by those seeking pleasurable diversions, or cures for illnesses caused by rich food and lack of exercise.
Those wishing to bathe were taken into the ocean inside horse-drawn bathing machines. Men and women entered the water at specified times and on different parts of the pebble beach—the ladies to the east side of town and the gentlemen to the west. That way the sexes couldn’t view each other in revealing bathing costumes, or no costumes at all in the case of the men, more often than not. Some of the more daring ladies also swam in the nude but it was more common for them to swim in short cotton shifts.
Things have changed a bit in the last two hundred years!
Tell me what elements you like in the books you currently read for example : mystery, romance, paranormal etc and I will recommend one. My guess is that you do not want one that is saturated with historical events.
Some paranormal, but I’m on a mystery kick right now. And you’d be correct, nothing that’s overkill on the historical.
that is wonderful <3
Awesome, I’ll be checking those out, thanks so much!
The Emperor’s Conspiracy by Michelle Diener has mystery and suspense with a side dish of romance. Second Sight by Amanda Quick has suspense, mystery and a little paranormal woo-woo with a side of romance. It is book one in the Arcane Society and one of my all time favorite series. Sarah MacLean offers fiesty characters and are straight up romances with a little mystery, drama and suspense. Nine Rules to Break When Romancing A Rake, I love all of her books.
You HAVE been crazy for the historical romances this month (or, really, last month?). I can’t wait to see what direction you go after this!
Great review! I love feisty heroines that are actually intelligent, too!!
Last month mostly. This month I have been reading Christmas themed books, after Christmas we go paranormal and horror. Then in January we have steampunk, contemporary fiction,dystopian, horror and oh yes Zombies! LOL
Regency Romances bring out the best in heroes & rakes. Love the story lines.
I so agree thanks Mary 🙂
Alex (A GirlBooks&OtherThings)
The book sounds really good! I can’t believe I missed this from Carina Press, I usually love their releases.
Thanks Alex it was good and I feel you..I hate when I miss a good book 🙂
Thanks for hosting Wendy today! 🙂
I like historical romances with engaging heroines because I like seeing women who are just standing around changing clothes every few hours. It’s nice to see women who sometimes break the rules and other times use the rules to get their way.
Such an interesting guest post! I had no idea that is how swimming in the sea was started. Crazy! I am sure drinking the water today would not be advised lol!
Great post and it sounds like this was a great read for you too Kimba! 🙂
Thank you and I it was new information to me too 🙂
That was a really interesting guest post. It’s something I had never given any thought to, so it was very educational. Glad that you loved the book!
the book looks really interesting. have add it to my TBR
thank you Laurie and I hope you enjoy it 🙂
And I finally managed to comment, lol! Had to download Chrome to do it, though. 🙁
Yes IE is riddled with issues, you are going to love Google chrome it is so user friendly 🙂 and I appreciate that you went to the trouble to comment on this post 🙂
I admit I don’t read a ton of historical romance , but when I do, I like them to have a nice blend of history, romance and a bit of suspense or mystery or both. So it sounds like this one has that blend. It was interesting to read about the swimming and bathing habits of people in this era, but drinking from the ocean…ewww! I agree Kimba, I need some lighter and happier reading after all the horror for Halloween which kind of bled inot November as well. Happy Weekend!
Thanks Heidi and no I’d never drink the water..eek! Have a nice weekend. I think you would enjoy this one .
It looks like she’s about to be compromised right out of her dress! :-p You really are on a historical fiction kick, but if that’s what you’re in the mood for, why not plow on ahead? Forcing yourself to read other stuff wouldn’t be best for anyone! Hope you keep finding reads that hit the sweet spot!
Well my historical fixation and Christmas themed books come to an end after Christmas then it’s a slew of YA, young adult and some cool adult books from mystery to romance. If you see my book haul on the Sunday Post, you will see I love all genres. I did OD in Sept and Oct with YA, so I shook things up this month..LOL
Sounds good, I always like HR, big surprise there
I used to love historical romance but fell out of reading them.
This book sounds like the perfect choice for when I’m next in a historical mood.
Andrea, years ago I OD’d on them, then moved to all things paranormal, then YA dystopian . I started added a few back in, as well as other genres and I am finding that I love them if I only read one or two a month. After 30 days of reading all horror books I grabbed a bunch of HF and holiday themed books..next month is horror, YA and contemporary woman’s…you just never know what book I will be reviewing next..bwahahaha!
I’ve never been able to get into historical romance. I’m not sure why. Hmm. Can you recommend one to start? Or should I start with this one, Compromising the Marquess?
Also, Soliman’s guest post was actually really interesting.
Book Savvy Babe
Great review Kimba! Let’s see, Recency Romance + Spys, I’m in! I love historical romance because it allows me to explore another era and culture. I have to say, I am trying to picture myself dipping into the ocean in some sort of horse-drawn contraption… it’s pretty funny 🙂 Times really have changed. Thanks for the guest post and the contest Wendy, I’m looking forward to reading this one– Book Savvy Babe
Intrigue and romance. Sounds perfect!
thanks Diana 🙂
I did <3
Oh my, historic romantic suspence sounds great! I love the description as well as your review and the characters sound stellar!
I have really been into HF recently as well and am currently reading two.
Me too 🙂 that and holiday reads!
Very nice review. I like the fashion.
Thank you and Good Luck!
Christy (Love of Books)
I love that little history fact! Love the review Kimba. 🙂
agreed, thanks Christy:)
Oh I could not agree more and thank you!
congrats to Wendy on the new release! It sounds fantastic 🙂
Thanks for this guestpost Wendy. I do like regency romances a lot, the ton, the circle around the famous Prinny and his scandals. Though even if the book moves to Brighton for the season, I have read about ladies taking the water, meaning drinking it, but they never venture out into sea. Does one of your books have such a scene?
I love regency romances! The era, the etiquette that had to be followed by the women especially an the titles!! Love your review about this one 🙂
Thank you for the giveaway.