- Hardcover: 301 pages
- Publisher: Thorndike Press; Lrg edition (Nov 1 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1410411133
- ISBN-13: 978-1410411136
- Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.2 x 2.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 567 g
The heroine of this book - Thea - is the daughter and sister of two men who have wasted their small estate's income in London, leaving the mother and sisters to scrounge for a living as best they can. At the start of the trilogy, the father is long dead but the son Jason, Lord Kilmore(Thea's brother) has followed in his footsteps. It is not until his attempted abduction/ seduction of an heiress falls through that he begins to mend his ways. He is still not completely reformed in Bk 2 (The Road to Gretna) when he is eloping to Gretna with an old friend, but switches brides on the journey. By the end of Bk 2, he has visited his family estate and been completely shocked by the lifestyle of his mother and sisters. Bk 3 - Thea's Marquis - is the story of his sister Thea Kilmore who falls for a Marquis (actually a Marquess - Roderick, Marquess of Hazelwood). She is convinced that her family's wretched financial condition and the ambitions of her relatives prevent her from accepting his offer. Furthermore, she herself is not interesting enough to keep his interest.
I have to say, in the interests of truth, that I was far more interested in the ongoing character development of Thea's brother Jason than in Thea herself. Even in Bk 3, Jason's marriage is not running smoothly (so good to see that "happily ever afters" need a lot of work). I read this trilogy some months back, and while I liked Thea, her romance was not that much of a standout. I did enjoy the trilogy as a whole, and I though Jason (Lord Kilmore) one of Dunn's more memorable characters - along with Miriam Jacobsen (in another trilogy).
This was a competent Regency, ruined slightly by a melodramatic ending (with the villain of Bk 2 back). For stronger books by Carola Dunn, I recommend the following in this order - Miss Jacobsen's Journey (Bk 1 of another trilogy), His Lordship's Reward (Bk 2 of this trilogy; set partly in Waterloo-time Brussels); The Fortune Hunters, Crossed Quills (a politically-oriented book), and A Susceptible Gentleman (a farce about a hero with three mistresses and too many fiancees).
Rating for Thea's Marquis = 3.3 (C+)
Trilogy rated slightly higher = 3.7 (B-)