This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.
About The Book
Mason St. Clair, the new Earl of Ashlin, has inherited a title for which there is no longer a fortune, thanks to his elder brother. Steeped in debt, with three ungainly nieces to marry off, Mason is desperate for relief. Only he doesn’t expect it in the form of Madame Fontaine, a woman of questionable reputation. She arrives on his doorstep with partial payment on a debt owed to the former earl. When Mason demands full payment, she is at a loss. It’s wacky Cousin Felicity who suggests that this woman, whom men cannot resist, can work off the rest of her debt by teaching the three wards how to attract worthy husbands. In a bind, Riley, as the Madame is known, agrees. Once the bargain has been struck, Mason finds that he too is falling under the Madame’s spell, and it’s not long before an additional couple is heading to the altar.
No Marriage of Convenience is a standalone by Elizabeth Boyle but it is part of the “Avon Romantic Treasure” line and I have been wanting to explore this line way more and delve into other older historicals. I very quickly grabbed this one up here from Amazon and I was immediately drawn into the story so I definitely have no regrets in reading this one. This is one of the older Elizabeth Boyle books and I really loved seeing her older style of writing and it had a refreshing feel to it. I also found that this one was super easy to get into, with a fun setup between our main characters, it delivered on the fun side characters and plenty of humor to satisfy the historical reader. It was such an easy one to just relax into and I really felt like this one was such a solid read. I was nervous before going into this one because there are a ton of mixed reviews on GoodReads for this one, however, I ended up having a blast with it and was highly entertained all the way through.
Mason St. Clair, is the Earl of Ashlin, and inherited the title when his brother died. Mason is a scholar and never expected to inherit a title or a pile of debts or three nieces that he needs to find good matches for. And then walks in a lady of mystery and beauty….Riley, an infamous actress and has come to Mason for assistance in keeping her show open and to try to settle the debt that needed to be resolved. Mason’s cousin Felicity suggests that Riley help tutor his nieces to prepare them for society and Riley knows that she has little choice but to accept. There is a chemistry between Mason and Riley but neither of them act on it, as they know the difference of their stations, but they can’t deny that there is something real between them. But as there is a stalker threatening to kill Riley,, Mason is determined to protect a woman he has come to care deeply for, but there are secrets of the past that will come to the forefront, and will Mason and Riley find a way to resolve their bind and a path to a HEA….
What I Loved
No Marriage of Convenience was quite an entertaining ride and I honestly had such a fun time with this one here. I really was so curious to see where the author would take this one here. I was so fascinated to see where this would go and what the author would deliver with this story. I will say that this book is super easy to get into, and I was really drawn into the story all the way through. I really loved how the writing just captivated my interest. There is such fun humor and it was well balanced in the story. I really adored the pairing of an Earl with an Actress, but they are both of scholarly type of minds, so while on paper they may seem like the complete opposite, they are both well-read individuals and that is where they connect first….is on an intellectual level. There is some fun moments of course especially when you had an actor troupe in the mix and three young women that are ill-mannered and learning their way through society. The story is really engaging, as we see the origins of the heroine’s mother, and it was that prologue that pulled me into the story. We see the villain’s true purpose and it was interesting to see how that was built into the climax that was delivered. The heat of this book is tame, there is some well-written chemistry but its a moderate level. The ending was highly satisfying and the way that Mason and Riley find their way together just worked for me and left me thoroughly happy. A solid romance and eager for more of this author’s older work.
What I Struggled With
There wasn’t too much, I could have used a bit more focus on the romance in the first half and a higher level of chemistry but still a solid fun read. And the title is misleading—-there is NO marriage of convenience, I know the blurb makes a prospective reader assume there is but since marriage doesn’t happen until the very end….you won’t see any marriage of convenience.
No Marriage of Convenience was a well-balanced story that had a fun premise that ended up delivering in just the right way. It’s a story that will engage the reader, deliver in its witty dialogue, and offer a warm poignant feeling in the end that will bring a smile to your face!
Title: No Marriage of Convenience
Author: Elizabeth Boyle
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: 384 Pages
Storytelling Quality: 4
Story Itself: 4
Character Development: 4
Writing Style: 4
World Building 4
Feels + The Romantic Heart 4
Cover Art 4
Overall Rating of the Book
Simmering—soft warm touches and light intimacy
Warm- a medium level of sexual tension, a balance of sexual and emotional intimacy, lighter on the details in the sexual moments.
Steamin’ up the room -the sexual content is more explicit in the language and tone, heavier amount of sexual scenes.
Blazing fire to the building-The prime focus is the sex scenes, scorching hot, and could burn one. Less focus on the emotional intimacy to the relationship.
About The Author
Elizabeth Boyle is the New York Times bestselling author of 27 historical romance novels and several novellas. Her first novel, Brazen Angel, won Dell’s Diamond Debut Award and the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award for Best First Book. Her books are called “fast-paced,” “adventurous,” and “funny.”
Not sure where to begin? If you love adventure, try THIS RAKE OF MINE or ONE NIGHT OF PASSION.
If you need to laugh, SOMETHING ABOUT EMMALINE, LOVE LETTERS FROM A DUKE, or THE VISCOUNT WHO LIVED DOWN THE LANE.
Want a little magic in your romance? Try HIS MISTRESS BY MORNING.
When not writing, Elizabeth enjoys knitting, gardening, travel and reading a wide variety of stories. She lives with her family in Seattle.