Print Length: 352 pages
Publisher: Zebra (April 26, 2016)
From Goodreads.com:In USA Today bestselling author Sally MacKenzie's charming Spinster House series, love is always a welcome guest…
Two possible futures loom before Miss Anne Davenport. The first option: sharing an unhappy home with her father and soon-to-be stepmother. The second: a life of independence at the Spinster House--if only her friend, Cat, would vacate the premises and marry the Duke of Hart. A well-placed whisper about the pair's secret tryst might speed the course of true love. But the duke's stubborn cousin poses an obstacle. A ridiculously handsome, very persuasive obstacle…
Nate, Marquess of Haywood, has spent his life looking out for the duke, hoping to stave off a family curse. The only way to keep his cousin alive is to keep him single. That means convincing the intriguing Miss Davenport that her lovely lips could be put to far better use than gossiping. Kissing, for instance. In fact, Nate is beginning to hope that Miss Davenport's destiny lies not in the Spinster House at all, but with him...
To begin with, this is the second novel in her Spinster House series. However, the time-line of this story follows the same time-line as the original story, and you do not need to read the first in order to be able to understand this one. If you read this one, and liked it then I would definitely recommend reading the first one as well. For myself however, part of this story was a major let down. When I finished reading the first novel, there was a blurb that in order to find out what happened with Marcus and Cat we should read this novel - and that simply wasn't the case. Yes, we hear of the romance between Marcus, Duke of Hart and Cat as it is seen from the "others", but we never find out if the curse is a real thing or not, or if the curse was a real thing. I feel as though we still don't have closure to their story. I feel at this point is is safe to assume that there will indeed be a third book to this series featuring the last Spinster House candidate, I can only hope it will be at the conclusion of that story that we finally get closure to the overall story arc.
However, speaking just on THIS story - I did enjoy it - a lot. It was nice being able to come back to Loves Bridge and spend time with these characters again. And as much as I enjoyed re-visiting the romance between Marcus and Cat, I felt that the new romance between Anne and Nate was much more interesting. These are two people who at first sight couldn't appear to be more different, Nate has promised his dead mother to look after Marcus and to keep him from succumbing to the curse, whilst Anne's father has intentions of marrying a woman a year younger than Anne - meaning Anne must get out of her father's house and into the Spinster House post haste. And the conversations Nate has with his (often over-enthusiastic) penis are simply hysterical. Quite often I found myself laughing out loud at some of his thoughts.
I also very much enjoyed seeing Poppy again, and enjoying her antics as she pushed another match for two unsuspecting (and maybe a little reluctant) people. Out of all the characters I am convinced that she is my favorite simply because she is just so much fun to read about!
One last thing that I feel I should mention is that there is a free Prequel novella of sorts included in this novel that focuses on the original Spinster House spinster from this novella (the one who ends up leaving the opening in the house for this series). I really enjoyed this - not only as an added benefit of having something more from this author to read, but also as a chance to see how things had unfolded for her. Not to mention we also learn the origins of how Poppy came to be the Spinster house cat.
All things considered, not only would I definitely read more from this author, but I would also recommend this novel (and series) to anyone who enjoys a witty and fun read!
DISCLAIMER #1: This novel does include scenes of a sexual nature that occur before marriage (although behind close doors). I mention this only because I know it is a complete turn off for some readers, and feel that they should be informed.
DISCLAIMER #2: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.
How to Manage a Marquess (Spinster House #2) is available from Amazon.com