by Jessica Benson

January 2006 Reissue
ISBN: 0-8217-7800-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Addie Winstead had always known John FitzWilliam, Lord of Claremont, was supposed to be her husband. Their parents had arranged the betrothal while the two were children. Addie also was painfully aware that FitzWilliam had no intention of following through with the promise made long ago. She was resigned to hide her affections for the naughty earl and love him from afar. The man clearly was not ready to settle down with a wife. It would have been helpful had FitzWilliam honored the arrangement because Addie, her sister, and their aunt were impoverished. But Addie was a resourceful woman.

Gentleman Jackson was Addie’s father’s best friend. He was a retired pugilist who owned a salon where gentlemen could go to learn the manly art of protection. Addie had attained abundant knowledge of said art and decided to put it to use to help her family. She wrote an anonymous column in the paper about the events at Gentleman Jackson’s salon. She was good at it and she gave it her best, even if it meant remarking upon one certain earl’s performances in the ring.

In order to help his friend gain the hand of Addie’s sister in marriage, FitzWilliam had to approach Addie. He had been content avoiding her, but if he was going to get any peace FitzWilliam had no other choice. Could he convince her that he was actually doing Addie a favor by not marrying her? After all, it was well known the Claremont men did not make good husbands. But things didn’t exactly go the way he’d envisioned. It seemed that every time FitzWilliam was in the presence of Miss Addie Winstead he ended up in the ring defending her honor. Perhaps it would be safer for his well being if he just married the girl.

Much Obliged by Jessica Benson is witty, fun, and endearing all at the same time. The madcap events that follow FitzWilliam and Addie make this book a hoot to read. The sweet romance and the wonderful characters make this book a keeper.

Reviewed in July 2006 by Rho.

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