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The Blackguard's Bride
Melynda Beth Skinner
ISBN: 0821774204
July 2003

Miss Julie Fitz wants to escape her uncle and his scheming to get her inheritance. The plan is to find a blackguard that will marry her in name only for a price. In return for marrying her, she agrees to give up half her fortune to him. Now safe from her uncle, she needs to find employment and a new place to call home. With a little help from a friend, she becomes the companion for a spry spinster in the country. Her life is currently filled with joy and independence. But will it be short lived?

Mister Christopher can't remember what his life was before he came to Alderley Manor. He awoke there with no memory of his past life or even his real name. With no one looking for him, it seems that he may never find his old life, making it all the easier for him to build a new life here with Julie. But before he can offer for Julie he must find out what his old life was. And what it still might hold, if anything, for him. So he must face his past in order to set a course for his future.

This was a moving tale that has you turning page after page until there is no more. I was completely drawn in by Christopher's plight, having no memories and awakening in such a house as Alderley Manor and its cast of inhabitants. I couldn't help but wonder myself what I would do given a similar circumstance.

Though this tale offers a lot in the form of Mr. Christopher's soul search for himself and who he was and what he will become. You will find yourself smiling throughout from the secondary characters that grace this particular story. From Sir Basil and his seven "Ladies" to Lady Griselda and her dozen ardent beaux, you will be hard pressed to keep from laughing outright during some of this book. I carried a grin for nearly the entire reading, which turned into a one day read for me. I simply couldn't put it down. This book is a keeper.

Tasha Lewis, October 2003

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