The Countess of Pennington is a woman determined to see her son married. And in order to do so, she hatches a uniquely successful plot contingent on the fact that her late husband and Gwendolyn's late father were friends. Thanks to some scheming on her part, her son, Marcus Holcroft, Earl of Pennington, learns he must marry Gwendolyn Townsend or forfeit his inheritance. Marcus takes the news far better than Gwen, who has vowed never to be trapped in a marriage or weakened by a man. She decides to marry, since she, too, will lose an inheritance she didn't even know she had that she needs now to take care of three nieces who were not known to her either. Both Marcus and Gwen learn that happiness can be found in the most unexpected of places.
Victoria Alexander's latest Regency era story is a delightful romp with an unusual marriage of convenience. Not to be found in this story are tortured heroes and martyred heroines sacrificing themselves for noble causes. Instead, while neither Marcus nor Gwen would have chosen this marriage of their own accord, both resolve to make the best of the situation and their lives together. They do not hide their feelings from each other, instead engaging in sparkling dialogue and witty repartee. From refreshing well rounded characters to a swiftly moving plot, this is one story that leaves the reader smiling and sighing through a book that refuses to be put down until the very last page.
Lea Moyer, April 2003
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