Publication Date: March 29, 2022
Series or Standalone: Clandestine Affairs #3
Links: Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Goodreads
CW: cheating; pregnancy; gun violence; racism; depression
Since we first met the mysterious Marquess of Brandon in Her Night with the Duke, I’ve been dying to get his story and learn more about him! Diana Quincy delivered with The Marquess Makes His Move. It’s a bit of a wild ride, but it was a ride I enjoyed being on.
Rose Fleming is London’s most renowned mapmaker, yet no one knows it as she passes her work off as her husband’s. If anyone discovers she’s the mapmaker, a scandal would ensue and jeopardize the family business. Rose is trapped in a loveless marriage, but when a handsome new footman who isn’t afraid to speak his mind shows up, Rose struggles to keep her distance. Alexander Worthington, the Marquess of Brandon, doesn’t care that society thinks he lives with a harem of women in the Middle East, but he will not stand for being robbed. When a recent map shows an important piece of his property belonging to his neighbor, Alex decides to disguise himself as a footman in the Fleming household to dig up dirt he can use as revenge. Little does he know the mapmaker is the secretive lady of the house he cannot stay away from.
I went into this story without knowing the synopsis, so once I realized that Rose was married, I was curious about how Diana Quincy would get Rose and Alex together. Thankfully, it didn’t involve them actually cheating, but wow was it something! Alex also wants to seek revenge on R. Fleming, yet he doesn’t know that Rose is the mapmaker added another level of conflict to their relationship. I ended up very invested in how Quincy would untangle this complicated situation, and I loved every minute of it.
As soon as Alex and Rose met, there was an instant spark between them that carried over through the rest of their interactions. The banter between them was super enjoyable, even though Alex acts nothing like a footman should while he’s pretending to be one, and he’s an overall pretty terrible footman. The romance developed at a good pace and the sexual tension between them slowly built until they could act on it. There’s also a pretty great bathtub scene, and I’m a sucker for those.
I will admit, I did get a little frustrated with Rose towards the end. I felt like she kept making really weak excuses for not being with Alex as she clearly loved him. It felt like she thought she needed to be angry because he deceived her, but her heart wasn’t in it to be angry so all her excuses of saying she doesn’t know him or needing to keep her distance didn’t really make much sense to me. This led her to make a few questionable choices about telling Alex something, but eventually, she came to her senses.
Outside the romance, I really liked Alex and Roses as individual characters. Alex is initially driven by revenge – both against the Flemings and the Ton who look down on his mixed heritage – but once his heart gets involved, he’s pretty willing to put all that aside to find happiness. And while he does deceive Rose of his true identity, she’s also deceiving him by not telling him she’s the master mapmaker in the family. I also felt like he tried so dang hard to make up for his deception because he realized how much he loved her. I also really loved Rose as a character and my heart felt so bad for her. She was stuck in a loveless marriage with a man who was stealing all her accomplishments and claiming them as his own. I was so glad to see her finally gain the confidence to take on her terrible husband and own her talents in the end.
As this is the third book in the Clandestine Affairs series, we also had plenty of cameos from our previous couples. I really loved the scenes with Alex and his sister Leela, as well as the scenes with the whole Arab side of their family. There’s such genuine affection between everyone and I loved watching everyone call Alex out for acting like an idiot at some points in regards to Rose. They also fully welcomed and embraced Rose as part of the family, which was nice to see since she had essentially no family left.
The Marquess Makes His Move was the perfect way to wrap up the Clandestine Affairs series. I found myself devouring it a lot quicker than expected. And even though there were a few small things that I wasn’t the biggest fan of, I overall really liked this book. This series was an unexpected treat and I’m so glad I picked it up last year!
Thank you to Avon/Netgalley for the ARC. All thoughts, ideas and opinions expressed in this review are my own.