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No Marriage of Convenience

by Elizabeth Boyle

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1413164,557 (3.65)None
Mason St. Clair, the new Earl of Ashlin, has inherited a title for which there is no longer a fortune, thanks to his elder brother. Steeped in debt, with three ungainly nieces to marry off, Mason is desperate for relief. Only he doesn't expect it in the form of Madame Fontaine, a woman of questionable reputation. She arrives on his doorstep with partial payment on a debt owed to the former earl. When Mason demands full payment, she is at a loss. It's wacky Cousin Felicity who suggests that this woman, whom men cannot resist, can work off the rest of her debt by teaching the three wards how to attract worthy husbands. In a bind, Riley, as the Madame is known, agrees. Once the bargain has been struck, Mason finds that he too is falling under the Madame's spell, and it's not long before an additional couple is heading to the altar.… (more)
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"No Marriage of Convenience" is the story of Mason St. Clair, the Earl of Ashlin and actress Riley Fontaine. At the beginning of the story, Mason finds himself in desperate financial straights, fighting of creditors and saddled down with three totally unmarriageable nieces - the daughters of his deceased brother. Enter Riley Fontaine - an actress and playwright who owes Mason a good deal of money from a loan made to her by his brother, who had been a rather spendthrift patron. Unable to repay the money immediately, it is agreed upon that Riley will instead help train Mason's nieces to be respectable, and hopefully, in so doing, to find husbands. Mason finds himself developing feelings for Riley at the same time that he realizes that he has little other choice than to make a marriage of convenience to a rich but supremely annoying debutante...

This book is an enjoyable read. In common with many of Boyle's other books, the plot tends to get in the way and slow down the book. Her plots tend to be overly complicated and overly action-packed, and instead of engaging me, these plots tend to bore me. The love story is fairly good, although I think that perhaps Riley and Mason should have been given a deeper connection. They don't really have a lot in common, and it is difficult to imagine them falling in love. Also, Riley's dark past and its coming to light is a little bit tacky and overdone, as is her realization that she's actually a countess and has plenty of money after all...I actually would have liked the book better if she'd been what she appeared to be all along. It is also rather unrealistic that someone as proper as Mason would hire someone like Riley to train his nieces. Nonetheless, it's rather fun and worth reading. ( )
  sammii507 | Aug 19, 2014 |
"No Marriage of Convenience" is the story of Mason St. Clair, the Earl of Ashlin and actress Riley Fontaine. At the beginning of the story, Mason finds himself in desperate financial straights, fighting of creditors and saddled down with three totally unmarriageable nieces - the daughters of his deceased brother. Enter Riley Fontaine - an actress and playwright who owes Mason a good deal of money from a loan made to her by his brother, who had been a rather spendthrift patron. Unable to repay the money immediately, it is agreed upon that Riley will instead help train Mason's nieces to be respectable, and hopefully, in so doing, to find husbands. Mason finds himself developing feelings for Riley at the same time that he realizes that he has little other choice than to make a marriage of convenience to a rich but supremely annoying debutante...

This book is an enjoyable read. In common with many of Boyle's other books, the plot tends to get in the way and slow down the book. Her plots tend to be overly complicated and overly action-packed, and instead of engaging me, these plots tend to bore me. The love story is fairly good, although I think that perhaps Riley and Mason should have been given a deeper connection. They don't really have a lot in common, and it is difficult to imagine them falling in love. Also, Riley's dark past and its coming to light is a little bit tacky and overdone, as is her realization that she's actually a countess and has plenty of money after all...I actually would have liked the book better if she'd been what she appeared to be all along. It is also rather unrealistic that someone as proper as Mason would hire someone like Riley to train his nieces. Nonetheless, it's rather fun and worth reading. ( )
  Anniik | Feb 6, 2008 |
From BackCover:
The Earl of Ashlin needed a respectable wife, and seductive Riley Fontaine was anything but. One kiss, though, convinced him that a marriage of convenience was the last thing he wanted.

Mason St. Clair, the new Earl of Ashlin, has inherited a title for which there is no longer a fortune, thanks to his elder brother. Steeped in debt, with three ungainly nieces to marry off, Mason is desperate for relief. Only he doesn't expect it in the form of Madame Fontaine, a woman of questionable reputation. She arrives on his doorstep with partial payment on a debt owed to the former earl. When Mason demands full payment, she is at a loss. It's wacky Cousin Felicity who suggests that this woman, whom men cannot resist, can work off the rest of her debt by teaching the three wards how to attract worthy husbands. In a bind, Riley, as the Madame is known, agrees. Once the bargain has been struck, Mason finds that he too is falling under the Madame's spell, and it's not long before an additional couple is heading to the altar.

Awards:
2000 RT Reviewers' Choice -- Historical Love & Laughter ( )
  nikel27 | Aug 14, 2007 |
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Mason St. Clair, the new Earl of Ashlin, has inherited a title for which there is no longer a fortune, thanks to his elder brother. Steeped in debt, with three ungainly nieces to marry off, Mason is desperate for relief. Only he doesn't expect it in the form of Madame Fontaine, a woman of questionable reputation. She arrives on his doorstep with partial payment on a debt owed to the former earl. When Mason demands full payment, she is at a loss. It's wacky Cousin Felicity who suggests that this woman, whom men cannot resist, can work off the rest of her debt by teaching the three wards how to attract worthy husbands. In a bind, Riley, as the Madame is known, agrees. Once the bargain has been struck, Mason finds that he too is falling under the Madame's spell, and it's not long before an additional couple is heading to the altar.

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