To Marry and to Meddle by Martha Waters

A Light-Hearted Marriage of Convenience That Delivers on the Romance!
4.5
To Marry and to Meddle Book Cover To Marry and to Meddle
The Regency Vows (Book 3)
Martha Waters
Regency Romance, Romantic Comedy, Historical Romance, Historical Fiction
Atria Books
April 5, 2022
ebook, paperback, audiobook
336

The “sweet, sexy, and utterly fun” (Emily Henry, author of People We Meet on Vacation) Regency Vows series continues with a witty, charming, and joyful novel following a seasoned debutante and a rakish theater owner as they navigate a complicated marriage of convenience.

Lady Emily Turner has been a debutante for six seasons now and should have long settled into a suitable marriage. However, due to her father’s large debts, her only suitor is the persistent and odious owner of her father’s favorite gambling house. Meanwhile, Lord Julian Belfry, the second son of a marquess, has scandalized society as an actor and owner of a theater—the kind of establishment where men take their mistresses, but not their wives. When their lives intersect at a house party, Lord Julian hatches a plan to benefit them both.

With a marriage of convenience, Emily will use her society connections to promote the theater to a more respectable clientele and Julian will take her out from under the shadows of her father’s unsavory associates. But they soon realize they have very different plans for their marriage—Julian wants Emily to remain a society wife, while Emily discovers an interest in the theater. But when a fleeing actress, murderous kitten, and meddlesome friends enter the fray, Emily and Julian will have to confront the fact that their marriage of convenience comes with rather inconvenient feelings.

With “an arch sense of humor and a marvelously witty voice that rivals the best of the Regency authors” (Entertainment Weekly), Martha Waters crafts another fresh romantic comedy that for fans of Julia Quinn and Evie Dunmore.

“In retrospect, things might have gone better if Julian hadn’t been drunk.”

If all Regency Romances were as well written, full of wonderfully snarky humor, and featured utterly loveable characters like To Marry and to Meddle by Martha Waters, then I would have been a devout reader ages ago.

To Marry and to Meddle features Emily Turner, a seasoned debutante and pawn for her parent’s machinations, and Julian Belfry, notorious rake and owner of The Belfry—a theater house that is more like a den of debauchery for the men of the ton than it is a respectable theater house.

“The English countryside in early September was a glorious place. The sun shone. The bees buzzed. The heady scent of wildflowers lingered in the air. Emily Turner could not think of a more romantic setting for the world’s least romantic marriage proposal.”

After years of having a less than stellar reputation, Julian realizes that he and Emily hold each other’s cards to survival in high society. By marrying Emily, Julian will gain some traction within respectable society and his peerage…maybe even his estranged family. One might think a marriage to Julian could damage Emily’s reputation, but her record is squeaky clean and beyond reproach. The freedom from her parent’s stifling household is too good to pass up, and Emily’s chance at choosing her own husband instead of having that choice taken away from her has an allure of its own.

This is a marriage of convenience that quickly turns inconvenient when both Emily and Julian realize that they hold true feelings for one another, and their once mutually beneficial bargain just allowed their friendship to bloom into something more. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I adore when both characters grow into their true potential with the love and friendship of their partner. It’s so beautiful to see. There’s also a devilishly impish kitten who will undoubtedly steal your hearts as it did mine.

“It was oftentimes possible to get what one wished with a smile and a polite word and a bit of cunning.”

Of course, there is some drama but I won’t mention it because its tied to the delightful storytelling of Martha Waters. She resolves everything and gives Emily and Julian a Happily Ever After that is so completely perfect for the two of them that I had a smile on my face the entire time I read the last portion of this wonderful story. To Marry and to Meddle is for sure going to be a highlight of your springtime reads and should be added to your list of books to read immediately. Congrats to Martha on a truly charming new release!

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