by Victoria Alexander

May 2001
ISBN: 0-380-81820-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Harper Collins
Mass Market Paperback

Victoria Alexander's The Marriage Lesson is quite a delightful tale! It is about Lady Marianne's quest for adventures, which before she has only experienced within the covers of her books. But will she experience a new type of adventure within another type of covers with Thomas Effington, the Marquess of Helmsley and future Duke of Roxborough?

Thomas Effington, is perplexed with Marianne and her two sisters, Rebecca and Jocelyn who have caused him to play Nurse Maid, and show these three ladies their first season in London. Although Thomas at first ignores these three beauties, he has no choice but to take notice when he is confronted by the oldest, Marianne, who has inadvertently overheard him complaining to his friend, Rand, about the sisters. She hears his plans to find them husbands as soon as possible to get them out of his hair! Marianne is aggravated when she heard Thomas talking about her and her sisters in such a way. Even though it may be true that getting the sisters husbands is the purpose of the London Season, secretly, it isn't Marianne's plan for herself. This library liaison is the start of some very interesting conversations and experiences AKA "Lessons" for Marianne about life, administered by none other than Thomas Effington. Thomas consoles himself by secretly making excuses that he had better be the one giving these lessons or Marianne would have to look elsewhere, and those lessons which she might find would certainly be less then honorable. Well, to find out the course of these lessons and what they actually are you will have to read this amusing tale.

Marianne has an interesting talent that she has recently begun to develop; while living under the Marquess's roof, she has begun writing. Unfortunately, she has begun writing tales of "A Country Miss's Adventures in London", which are being published anonymously. She bases her tales on her real life, with a little fabrication for dramatic effect. Now, all of London has become abuzz with questions - who is the "Country Miss" and what will be her next adventure? The risk of Marianne being found out is definitely part of the adventure in this book.

I give this book 4-stars only because I found Thomas to be a little slow in the intelligence department. I thought it took him WAY to long to figure out that he was in LOVE. How could a man be so slow as to NOT know? According to Thomas, his EXCUSE was that he was way too practical to see that point of view. He figured that they just suited well! Funny, even his friends knew it before he did. At first I found it charming that he didn't quite get it, but then after a while, I found it annoying. Other then that tiny flaw, I actually did enjoy this book.

Victoria Alexander's development of the supporting characters was enjoyable. Characters such as Pennington, Berkley, Jocelyn, Rebecca, and Lady Dragon were helpful in making this book a charming tale. There are just enough love scenes to add a little spice and plenty of humorous events to add an abundance of laughter. This is a lovely book and definitely worth a read.

Reviewed in January 2002 by Wendy.

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