4-star quick review: Mad About the Marquess (Elizabeth Essex)

marquissThere are times when it’s nice to just set aside cares and cynicism and just dive deep into a ridiculous romp of a book about super Scottish people who talk about being Scottish all of the time, who steal and lie (at least, the lady does. A lot. Compulsively. It’s great.), and vex each other constantly as an escalating form of seduction. Ridiculous in all the right ways, this book makes almost no sense from a practical stand point, but it also doesn’t really try to. The title alone is the warning: this book is mad bonkers. Lady Quince Winthrop is a bored, semi-wealthy woman who is a compulsive thief and liar who justifies her constant petty larceny (and then highwayman armed robbery!!) by donating the money to the poor. Poor Alasdair, Marquess of Cairn, and her “Sheriff of Nottingham”, doesn’t stand a chance. The Robin Hood aspect of the book is what drew me initially to this book (it was recommended on a Goodreads list of recommended Robin Hood retellings), but mostly her story of grand larceny is an escalated example of “rich people can do whatever the hell they want and get away with it by marrying into power”. It’s fun, it’s ridiculous, it’s worth an afternoon of romantic, lusty escape.

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