Monday, August 02, 2010

Marrying the Marquis by Patricia Grasso

Marrying the Marquis (Flambeau Sisters)Marrying the Marquis by Patricia Grasso

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yet another lovely book in this ongoing series by Patricia Grasso. Ms. Grasso has a charm to her writing. Even though she has a similar format for most of her books, it seems to work. I think it's because I like her characters, and the story that she tells.

Blaze is an adorable heroine. She can communicate with animals, and this sets the tone for her life. She doesn't eat meat, fish, or poultry, because she can hear animals' cries of suffering when they are hurt. She has a big Mastiff named Puddles, who will do as she tells him mentally, but asks for cookies as his payment. She communicates with her filly that her father gave her, Pegasus, and she knows why Pegasus hasn't been winning races. As such, she is able to get Pegasus past this problem. Marriage is not on her agenda, and neither is falling in love. Well, that's just too bad, because Ross MacArthur, Marquis of Awe, is determined to claim her as his bride, by hook or by crook. His courtship keeps me laughing and enjoying this book, as he tries to keep up with savvy and fortright Blaze.

Ms. Grasso is very witty, but it's not in a forced way. Some of the jokes are very subtle, apt to cause smiles, rather than laugh out loud moments. Yet, there is also a little bit of sadness in this story, due to the fact that Blaze's mother was quite a tragic figure, a dispossessed French countess who fled the French Revolution, and ended up being mistress to a married duke and bearing him seven daughters, the Flambeau girls. She was an alcoholic who killed herself. This causes a personal pain for Blaze, because she feels she's somewhat responsible for her mother's death. She is determined not to make the same mistakes, falling into a man's bed and giving her heart away. However, Ross sneaks into her heart, because he treats her as an equal, showing her respect, tenderness, and love. There's also a murder mystery, as someone is preying on jockeys and horses so that the Duke of Inverary and the Marquis of Awe are assured not to twin the Triple Crown horse race.

I wish that all of Blaze's sisters and the Kazanov princes were in this story, but I guess that would make it a lot longer. It was nice to see Raven, her sister who sees the future, Blaze's father, the Duke of Inverary, and his matchmaking, jewelry-loving Duchess, and Aunt Bedelia, who has psychic gifts of her own.

I'm sad that I finished this, and there's not another book in this series coming out soon. They are so entertaining, with a lovely mix of humor, family, animals, and loving couples. Although there is nothing groundbreaking about this book, it was thorougly enjoyable, so I'd give it five stars.

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