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Michelle Major. Cindy Kirk. Stella Bagwell. Nancy Robards Thompson. Arlene James. Husband--Or Enemy? Caroline Cross. Barbara McCauley. Karen Rose Smith. A Tycoon in Texas. Crystal Green. Happy New Year, Baby Fortune! Shirley Rogers. In a Texas Minute. A Most Desirable M. Anne Marie Winston. Kathryn Jensen. Teresa Southwick. The Baby Chase. Society Bride. Elizabeth Bevarly. Cathleen Galitz. Christine Rimmer. Wife Wanted. Justine Davis.

Linda Turner. Eileen Wilks. Maggie Shayne. Single with Children. Pamela Toth. The Expectant Secretary. Leanna Wilson. Mystery Heiress. Suzanne Carey. Cavanaugh on Call. Fortune's Secret Heir. Cowboy at Midnight. In the Arms of the Law. Merry Christmas, Baby Maverick! Brenda Harlen. Sandra Steffen. Fortune's Legacy. Maureen Child. A Change of Fortune. Myrna Mackenzie. Part of his duties entailed riding herd on his younger brother Teddy. Charles met Betsy when Boru caused a traffic incident and in trying to help, Betsy tore his coat sleeve. Compounding his dislike, Teddy told Charles that he had fallen for Betsy, so Charles made it his business to scotch that attachment, but chaos followed -- a torn gown, a bop on the head with the Ovid Betsy carries in her reticule, a scrawny orphan called Davey with a terrier called Scraps, more public disasters with Boru, as well as Julian's continual scheming to get control of Betsy's wealth.

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This is a very slight, very short novel intended as a madcap comedy romp, but I have read too many, I suppose, and plot and characters were all too familiar -- and not only from other regencies; a major comic scene was taken directly from the movie Bringing Up Baby. I doubt if it was a theft; it was probably an homage, but whichever, it was too much for me.

This book might suit lovers of madcap comedy prepared to overlook much in search of a laugh, but it held no surprises and it didn't make me laugh. I can't recommend it. It's actually Captain Rakehell and I own it. As with the one reviewed, not a great loss to literature if you haven't read it.

Can't recommend that one either. Not sure what put me off. It's supposed to be a romp as well but the 'funny incidents' weren't all that funny and I never did come to care for any of the characters. Since I am one of those "willing to overlook much for a laugh" I think, based on previous experience with this author, I give it a miss. Large print also available. Miss Honoria Fenton and her mama had come to live with their "Aunt Thomasine" really a sort of cousin after her clergyman father died. In Mrs. Fenton's mind, all must give way to the needs and prospects of her son Percy, and so there had been no thought of a Season for Honor, who was now twenty-three.

That changed when Honor received a surprising bequest from her godmother also called Honoria , in the form of a stunning diamond necklace known as the Luck of the Swyndens, which she had received from her husband, the Marquess of Melborne. One day shortly after they had come to Beaufort Square, Honor walked out by herself it seemed safe enough in Bath and wound up in the wrong place at the wrong moment. She was in a fair way to being abducted into prostitution by the notorious Mrs. Grummage, when an unknown gentleman rescued her.

He introduced himself as Mr. Jocelyn, and was soon a favorite, especially since he knew all about how to go on in Bath. Honor found him very attractive, but when he told them he was acting as an agent of the current Marquess of Melborne to pursue purchase of the necklace, which was considered an heirloom of the family, she was miffed -- not knowing that Mr. Jocelyn and the Marquess were one and the same. This is a Georgian-set light piece with some appealing secondary characters; I particularly liked Honor's little brother Percy, who has no interest in the education and prospects his mama dreams of for him, but just wants to fix clocks and fiddle with machinery.

As often happens, the subsidiary characters are more vivid and better individualized than the central pair, whom I thought pretty standard spunky, pretty young miss and annoying, masterful hero , but there was some mild humor and quite a bit of the feel of Bath in Georgian times, which I did appreciate. I rate it an okay if old-fashioned time-passer. I have to be honest: I had problems with this book. The hero's actions throughout are not those you expect of a grown man - the pretense grows stale fast - nor can I at all understand the ending, which I assume I'm supposed to find romantic but struck me as both anachronistic and plain silly.

It's not a badly written book, in fact, stylewise it's quite good and it has as Janice said a great sense of place, unfortunately I don't think the dumb plot sufficiently makes up for it. William rescued Isabelle from an embarrassing encounter with an ardent but non-English speaking suitor, but his blunt manners and evident amusement at the incident offended her.

Isabelle's father was a professional gambler and Isabelle had traveled with him happily enough as a girl, but now that she had become a young lady, she had begun giving thought to her future. She wanted to go to England which she had never seen and find an English home and an English husband. Her father was a younger son of Sir Walter Holland, and one of his brothers had married a fortune founded in the brewery trade.

Nathaniel Holland was a bit on the vulgar side, but a woman of great kindness and good nature. She and her husband welcomed Isabelle and began introducing her to their friends and taking her about London. Soon Isabelle was noticed by Lady Bromley, whose nephew Adrian, Marquess of Sutterton, was in desperate need for money. Adrian was handsome and charming and knew to a nicety how to make women fall for him, and soon he schmoozed Isabelle into believing that he loved her.

However, somehow rumor had gotten about that Isabelle was wealthier than she was, and when Adrian found out that rumor lied, he dumped her, just as she was finding out what he was really like -- without boundaries and selfish to the core. Isabelle needed time to sort out her emotions, and so she went on a visit to William's sister Liz in the country.

William had sold his ship and purchased an estate in the same neighborhood. He had long since decided Isabelle was the only woman for him and was chafing at the bit to pursue his courtship in his blunt and direct way. It would take all Liz's considerable understanding of male and female thinking to keep William from moving too quickly and ruining things. Like most of the Clark novels I have read, this one is fairly serious but laced with humor.

I particularly enjoyed the scene at the office of Mr. What I found most interesting about this book is the extent to which the women manage the men - the aunt who manages her louche nephew's fortune-hunting, and the sister who manages her brother's courtship so that he doesn't become too impatient and ruin his chances.

These women do not have the rights under the law which we moderns rely on, but they wield such personal influence that their legal status is almost irrelevant. It is a romance, but it is also an interesting study of how clever women coped in that era. When her uncle Octavius died under embarrassing circumstances, Lady Felicity Bellwood's father Augustus became the ninth Earl of Bellwood. Felicity's mother had died long ago, and her father, though very fond of his daughter, had not seen to a proper upbringing for her -- or so thought Octavius's widow Harriet when she descended upon Bellwood House.

Felicity had not been trained in feminine arts and wiles needed to make a grand marriage; she had not even been sent to a proper young ladies' seminary but had been allowed to read everything in her father's library and even to ride astride like a man sometimes. Clearly Aunt Harriet had her work cut out, to whip this beautiful but opinionated bluestocking into shape for her debut. Some months later Justin came with Felicity's brother Peter to Bellwood House as a guest, sharing the family interest in horse breeding.

Felicity found in Justin the one person she had met so far whom she could have a conversation with -- someone who didn't shut her down for having a different opinion or any opinion at all , someone who seemed on the same intellectual level as she was herself. But Justin had a grudge from the past and until that was resolved, there was no possibility of a relationship between them. I liked the solid characterization of Felicity, and the odd sharp bit of character observation here and there. Though it's a fast read, it's carefully written.

However, the revenge plot seems a bit silly -- something not well thought out and not really necessary to the story but just stuck in there in an unconvincing to me manner; the story doesn't need any false drama. But, other than that, it seemed a pleasant tale of two people finding out that they are well suited. When a thoughtless act by young Lord Theodore Malverne lost Miss Victoria Dawkins her position as a governess in the Colfax household, she found herself alone in London with very little money to live on while she sought another position which would be hard to come by because Mrs.

Colfax refused to give her a character. Some weeks later, when Colin Haverford, Earl of Clune got the story out of his feckless cousin, he went in search of Victoria. Victoria was by this time living at Mrs. Rogers's rooming house in one of the lowest slums of London and going hungry, trying to make her precious coins last, when she was befriended by the Johnson children - Alfie, Bobby, Sally and Baby. Cole had not been raised to be the Earl; the old Earl had had three sons in line before him, but Proud Harry got shot by a jealous husband, Wicked John drunk as usual fell into the Thames and was drowned, and Secretive Maxmillian had a falling out with one of his lovers, who ran him through before his father could find out about the relationship.

Cole traced Victoria to the rooming house and was very surprised to learn that she was not the old bit that young Theo who thought all governesses were old had described to him, but a lovely young woman. Cole had no interest in ever getting married, so he offered her a position as his mistress, and Victoria told him to get lost. Because of his background Cole's values were a bit different from aristocratic norms; he was concerned about such things as what might become of an unjustly dismissed servant, and he thought it nobody's business if he took in four slum children to give them a better life.

Cole got Victoria a job as governess to the Ludlows, who lived in the Old Manor, near his estate at High Wyvern Hall, but she was not well treated there, and eventually she came to Wyvern. While Cole told guests hair raising stories of the ghosts of High Wyvern Hall, Victoria listened but thought nothing about it - and did not mention the pale young lady and the big black dog who seemed to appear and vanish now and then. Only Baby ever learned the truth about the lady, and he was much too young to tell.

I've always liked this tale. The children are charming but not glurgey, Cole's change of heart builds believably, and the supernatural elements are more grace notes than plot devices despite what the back cover blurb says. One character, Miss Comfort, is more complex than one might expect, and very memorable. The book may be a bit talky for modern readers, but I like the author's humorous turn of phrase.

It's a comfort read for me. Also available as ebook. Once upon a time in India a little girl desirous of an adventure escaped her ayah and ran off outside the army compound to climb her favorite banyan tree, from which she could see the village and the whole countryside. There she discovered the Hon. Brian Brandon lying on the ground with a massive hangover.

Brian and his Sprite spent a magical afternoon talking in the banyan tree, and she helped him make a decision to leave the army. Ten years later Brian was the Earl of Aldringham, back in England, wealthy from his Indian trading days with a friend called Ned Wolvercote. Ned had become ill and had died in India, and he had made Brian ward to his niece, Lady Georgiana Southcote -- Brian's Sprite of long ago. After her parents' death of the fever, Georgie had been taken in by Ned and had learned his trading business, but political turmoil made it unwise for her to remain in India.

Ned sent her to her aunt Lady Debenham and charged Brian with control of her finances. Georgie makes friends with Brian's sister Lizzy immediately, but her independent habits and intellectual interests are a source of dismay to her aunt. However when a spiteful remark by one of the beauties pursuing Brian strikes home, Georgie decides that a visit to Madame Celeste wouldn't be such a bad idea after all. Brian, who had been thinking of her as some sort of little sister, found that his feelings weren't brotherly at all, and that enraged his scheming mistress Lady Wyndham, who was determined to have him and his fortune.

This is a pleasant story with good characterization, some interesting Indian flavor, and no false melodrama. Nothing much happens, really, except the hero's dawning realization that Georgie is that rare woman he can talk to. Since so little happens, I found it a bit slow going at times, but it was worth the ride. ISBN: , , , , , , , , , Published March by Ballantine Books. Large print and audio book also available.

Miss Eugenia Turville Ginny , a wealthy heiress, Yorkshire born and bred, had been invited south to spend a few weeks at the Turville family home, Lydeard Hall, before continuing to her godmother in London to make her debut. As she was waiting with her maid Nancy at the local inn, she accidentally overhead a conversation between among others her cousin Francis and a neighbor, Sir Peter Martyn, who had once been engaged to Francis's beautiful sister Lucilla, but she had dumped him to marry a 70 year old with cash.

Lady Turville hopes to add Ginny's fortune to theirs and expects Francis or his younger brother Aubrey to wed her - it doesn't matter which one. Aubrey doesn't wish to wed anybody but a certain sweet ninnyhammer he has secretly fallen for secret because he's afraid to tell his mother. Francis, who is feeling the pinch of his mother's ambition, jokes that the last time he saw Ginny, she was a roly poly infant, and calls her the "Yorkshire Pudding".

Ginny is mortified and instantly resolves to get her own back. Ginny's first words to Lady Turville when they meet are "Eh, don't put yourself in a taking, ma'am", and her broad Yorkshire accent and forthright manner are all that Lady Turville feared. Nevertheless, there's a fortune at stake not that the Turvilles need it, all are comfortably off. One by one, however, the gentlemen learn that the country bumpkin manner is just a pose, and that there is a clever, beautiful and very desirable young lady behind them.

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Ginny is more and more attracted to Sir Peter and he to her , until Lucilla, now conveniently widowed, returns home and decides to pick up with Peter from where she dumped him four years ago. Ginny has a clever, focused and somewhat ruthless rival. For the first few pages, I found this tale a bit hard to get into, and the bit with the Yorkshire accent made me fear that it would just be a gender switch on The Unknown Ajax. However after that the characters became individuals and I became quite interested in what happened to them.

I must see if there's a followup book; Francis needs his own story. I would recommend this book and this author in general to those who enjoy the older, more leisurely and textured style of romance storytelling. When Miss Jessica Winslow's father, a soldier, died, he left his family very little, and so his widow married Mr. When her drunken stepfather began to notice her maturing beauty, it was clear that Jess had to leave.

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She went to her mother's cousin in London, Lady Sarah Renwick, but Sally did not move in the first circles; her house was filled with young blades and one of them, Edward Stafford, was seen to kiss Jess in public. The kiss was against Jess's will, but Ned's older brother Justin Stafford, Earl of Roxham knew Sally's reputation and believed his brother's account; he tossed Jess a purse of gold to pay her off, and Jess was ruined.

With a letter from the vicar where she had once lived, Jess got a companion job, and when her employer was so ill as to need a nurse instead, she recommended her for a post with Lady Beatrice Carstairs at Bleithewood, Roxham's country seat. At Bleithewood Jess was soon liked and respected by everyone, but her beauty continued to draw unwelcome admiration.

Jess only wanted to keep a low profile, but she was pursued by young Viscount Avensley and the vicar Mr. When Roxham came home and found Jess there, he assumed she was there to snare a wealthy husband and warned her that if she got out of line, he'd turn her off on the spot. Despite all evidence to the contrary, he knew an adventuress when he saw one.

Many readers complain about the "Big Mis" as a plot device. Usually I don't have a problem with that, because people misunderstand other people continually and are always making snap judgments on the slightest or most slanted of evidence. However, a reasonable person changes his opinion when new information comes to light. Our hero Roxham is not reasonable; despite the testimony and regard of everyone at Bleithewood and the behavior he observes himself, he hangs on to his misconceptions about Jess's character far longer than any reasonable man would.

It takes him a very long time to think of even questioning his rackety brother's story. Jess puts up with all this with nobility, desperation and dignity, but Roxham is such an arrogant jerk that I could not like him nor believe in him as any kind of a romantic hero. Jess deserved better. Celina had had two seasons in London but had not had any offers she wished to accept.

Her brother Lord Forsyth Edmund has Forsyth Hall, where he lives firmly under the thumb of his petulant wife Eleanor; they have five girls and two young boys. All are used to turning to Celina for help and agreement whenever it suits them, without regard to her peace; since she is a spinster of twenty-six, it does not occur to any of them that she might mind. Two of the daughters are now old enough to wed. The eldest, Lydia, is very beautiful and had attracted several admirers in London but none had come up to scratch, possibly because Lydia, though sweet-natured, is a none-too-bright watering pot, and her mother's discussion of marital duties, while not explicit enough to be understood, has put her off the idea of marrying altogether.

The second sister Nelly, a self centered miss inclined to fits of high drama, has decided that nothing must stand in the way of her marriage to Captain Henry Gordon -- but Eleanor has decreed that Nelly may not marry until Lydia does. This fiat has thrown the household into stormy chaos. She is fond of Celina and schemes to help her; if Celina married, her family would not be able to harass her. To that end she summons her nephew, Jervis Blaine, Marquess of Wroxton to visit her, planning to make a match between him and Celina. The plan is off to a rocky start when Celina is knocked into the shrubbery by Jervis's curricle coming up the drive.

The plan goes further awry when Eleanor decides that Jervis would be an excellent match for Lydia, Celina is hounded by a thickheaded suitor who can't believe that any woman would not be grateful for his offer, and Nelly begins staging Incidents. Sometimes I find a vintage regency interesting as much if not more for its secondary characters as for the central couple, and this is one of those.

These are not stock figures; Edmund, Eleanor, Nelly and even lachrymose Lydia are fully rounded individuals. I did wish there had been more information about Nelly's intended because I wanted to know if he was aware of her ruthless, obsessive way of thinking what Nelly thinks she needs, Nelly will get any way she can , and what might happen if Nelly should find marriage to him a disappointment in some way.

I liked the author's clever showing that children often inherit their parents' emotional natures. Ancilla Martin's husband Jack had been army mad and had died in battle. After his death Ancilla left Littlelands Manor to live in a cottage on the edge of the estate with only her faithful maid Sally and a pittance to live on.

Ancilla had understood that before he died Jack had bought the cottage for her just in case, but there was no deed to be found. When Ancilla received notice from the solicitor for the heir, George Martin, that Littlelands including her cottage were to be sold and she must vacate, she was desperate. Hoping it was some sort of misunderstanding that could easily be set right if she spoke with George personally, she set out for London with Sally, but bad weather forced them to stop over at an inn, where she encountered Baron Langley Devin. Ancilla had known Devin before, when she was still married to Jack, since his estate Fairfield Park neighbored Littlelands, and there had been an attraction between them even then, but Ancilla's principles had never let it develop into anything further.

Devin was still strongly attracted to her, but he liked her as well; they shared a love of horses and racing. The two spent that night together, and Ancilla believed he meant marriage, but Devin had in mind something more like friends with benefits. Devin knew of her financial problems and so he had offered a loan, but Ancilla without that note thought it was payment for services rendered.

She tucked the roll of soft in her reticule, tabled her rage, and continued her journey to London. Once in London, Ancilla called on George to discuss the cottage. At first George denied the obligation, but after his friend Sir Robert Purcell, who was also present, took him aside for a word, he returned with a different tale.

It would, he said, take some time to do the paperwork on the cottage, and in the meantime, Ancilla should stay with him and enjoy what London had to offer; he would make all proper by inviting his sister Mrs. Vera Cummings to stay also, and he would see that she had pin money and a proper wardrobe to enter society. Ancilla accepted his story, not knowing that Purcell had told George that his markers would be forgiven if he and his sister helped induce Ancilla come to him as his mistress.

It seemed that circumstances were conspiring to make Ancilla the whore of one man or the other. I do think the horse racing setting was rather sketchy and got in the way of the change of heart theme, as did the murders plot, and I was sorry that the one subsidiary character I liked turned out to have dunnit. Nevertheless I thought it an entertaining read. When his elder brother George who was only twenty five died in a riding accident, John Penhope became the Duke of Winterbourne. John had not been brought up as the heir, and he had been quite happy with the life he had chosen as a scholar of the classics; he found the wealth and responsibility of his new rank a crushing burden which he longed to escape.

Miss Lydia Grenville had been raised knowing it was her duty to marry well. She had had her Season in London but had not found a husband; she had not liked any of the gentlemen who offered for her, and her fond parents had not made her accept any of them, though their disappointment was patent. Just as John longed to escape the endless business of his ducal responsibilities, Lydia loved to escape the atmosphere of rebuke in her home. Whenever possible Lydia escaped to the woods with her sketch pad, and one morning when she had strayed onto Winterbourne land, John encountered her there. It was a magic moment for both of them, a moment outside of the weight of others' expectations, when they could both be themselves, but John lied -- he told Lydia he was the duke's secretary, Alexander Penhope.

Of course it was not long until Lydia found out who "Alexander" really was. Lydia, already miffed, was pressured to attract the duke and brought out all the artificial airs and graces she had been taught; John was convinced that she wanted him for his position, not for himself. A promising love affair was further endangered when John's ward Fanny started gossip that ruined Lydia, and someone took a shot at John in the woods. I give this book points for showing a bit of what being socially ruined really meant in one's life, but I think some of the incidents bodily tossing a duke down the front steps seem a bit unrealistic -- nor does the book need the assassination subplot.

I do appreciate that the author gives reasons for all the characters to act as they do; they are more than plot contrivances. So, although it doesn't exactly "feel right", I liked it anyway. Also available in large print and as audio book. Lord and Lady Clavendon live in London, in a happy second marriage for both of them. Lord Clavendon has a son and heir, Anthony Pedmore, by his first wife, and Lady Clavendon has two daughters, Jane and Victoria, by her first husband. Lady Clavendon's niece, Miss Ellen Farrell, is staying with them while her parents are traveling abroad.

Lord Clavendon inherited unexpectedly when his two brothers died in what seemed natural circumstances at the time, but one of the widows, Elizabeth, is spreading rumors that he murdered them. Lady Clavendon has long hoped that her daughter Jane and her husband's son Anthony would make a match of it. Unfortunately for her plans, Anthony is infatuated with his mistress, Miss Fanny Bishop, and Jane has a tendre for Mr. Randal Beresford, a gentleman she met while she was away at school in Bath.

Randal, however, seems much more interested in the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the two late Lord Clavendons than he is in Jane. Fanny is quite an acquisitive wench and the expense of her establishment has caused Anthony to exceed his allowance. His father has said he would increase his allowance if he married, so Anthony asks Ellen to pretend to be engaged to him until he can sell a hunter and get his finances straightened out, and Ellen agrees even though she cannot like deceiving Lord Clavendon.

Events take a more serious turn when reckless driver Anthony is injured in a curricle crash, which upon investigation does not appear to be an accident at all, and Ellen thinks Randal may be involved. This was an entertaining read, both for the wit and the cleverly rigged clockwork plot. It is after the style of Heyer, and some of the characters are quite reminiscent of hers, but they have such clever dialog that I can forgive that. It is, however, not a very romantic romance, in that Ellen and Randal don't spend much time together and the development of their relationship is more a matter of decreasing antagonism than increasing affection.

Those looking for an intense emotional experience might find it lacking, but I liked it well enough. I read this book for the first time a few months back and thought I recalled it perfectly well, except for Ellen's love story. Upon rereading it held no surprises; it was as I remembered. I paid particular attention to Ellen's story this time but have to agree with Janice - it's so slight it for obvious reasons held no place in my memory! However, if we set aside the romantic aspects or lack of them , the book as a whole is a funny read in well written, fast flowing prose.

As an amusing visit with some nice people whom know how to entangle their otherwise simple lives I can recommend it. When their mother lay dying, she placed her infant Meriel in ten year old Sydney's arms, and ever since Sydney has been as much mother as sister. Meriel is now seventeen and jawdroppingly lovely, as well as genuinely sweet and talented; a bit otherworldly at times but not at all stupid. Sydney is twenty-seven and unmarried, and except for a brief, almost forgotten, romance with her sister's tutor, she's never really thought about it.

Suitable young men in their little country village are few, if any, until the arrival of Sir Max Westbrook, who has taken a house in the neighborhood. Sir Max brings a guest, Morgan Leighton -- the young man who romanced Sydney ten years ago, then left for London when he received an unexpected inheritance, after which Sydney never heard from him again. Max is drawn to Sydney but finds that there may have been more to Sydney's past acquaintance with Morgan than he knows. Sydney thinks Max would be a good husband for Meriel despite the difference in ages, but when Meriel returns from a visit to her godmother in Bath, she has other plans.

Egotistical Morgan wants to bring Sydney to heel again, and village irritant Miss Arabella Cole does not intend to be upstaged by anyone. This is a funny, gentle comedy of several couples sorting themselves out -- no great melodrama, just time spent with pleasant people you'd like to have as friends, and enough sand in the mix with Morgan and Arabella to keep it grounded in reality.

I like this author's sharp eye for personality quirks, and it doesn't hurt that she was clearly a great fan of Austen and Heyer. I give this a strong recommendation. The Earl of Terrington had recently returned from Washington, and one of the secret documents entrusted to him has gone missing. Suspicion has fallen upon the Earl and his assistant, Mr. Barrymore, but proof is needed and the leak must be plugged. It has been arranged that the Earl and his lovely violet-eyed minx of a daughter, Lady Melanie Crawford, will be borrowing the London house belonging to the Duke of Wakefield; after training by the Duke's butler, Andrew will pose as the replacement butler Davies.

Lady Melanie is not that keen on a London season -- she feels that at 23 she is too old for that -- but she knows something is bothering her father, and when she finds out what it is, she readily agrees to go through with a season under the aegis of her grandmother Lady Charlotte Abbington so as to provide time and opportunity to discover the traitor's identity. Her companion, Miss Evingale, a devotee of the Gothic novel, is immediately suspicious of the bogus butler because he so resembles the sort of hero found in her favorite tales, and she makes a fan of such novels and a co-conspirator of Lady Charlotte.

Most of the servants are also aware of Andrew's real purpose. Even Prinny knows. Andrew's task is complicated because he has fallen for Melanie and she for him. This is the second book in a three book series anchored by the spymaster Sir, the other books being The Journals of Lady X and Bride's Leap. I found it rather formulaic, although I give the author points for providing a villain with credible motives, even though it seemed an awfully long time before he was collared, and for injecting some humor with the ladies' devotion to Gothics they know all the plot points.

The only bit of ongoing interest in it for me is whether the identity of spymaster Sir would ever be revealed it wasn't, in this installment. Baron Blayden was short of funds, as usual, and his only untapped asset was his unmarried son Marcus. Therefore Lord Blayden forced his son to marry Miss Fleur Pennington, an heiress, by telling Marcus that if he refused, his invalid sister Deborah would be wed to Maxwell, a three-time widower notorious for his vices.

Fleur had no choice in the marriage either; her grandfather was obsessed with having a titled grandson, which she was to provide.

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Fleur's father had married a French lady, whom old Mr. Pennington had driven off after his death. Fleur lived with her grandfather thereafter, and had had no contact with her mother for years. As a child she had been taught the ballet by her Maman, and she still practiced every day. When Marcus met slim and waiflike Fleur, he thought her still almost a child; he told her that they should get to know each other for a time before making theirs a real marriage. While they were honeymooning at Blayden, the news of Napoleon's escape reached them, and Marcus hied off to France to serve his country; he was fluent in French and had a talent for gathering information.

When he did not return after Waterloo, Fleur went to her grandfather. After her grandfather died of an apoplexy brought on by learning that she was not pregnant yet, she found her mother's letters that had been kept from her.

The Honor Bound Groom

With no word from Marcus, she went to her mother and stepfather in London, where, as the masked Goddess Flora, she took up dancing with her stepfather's troupe at Rockstone's gaming club -- which is where Marcus found her when he returned from France and, enraged, abducted her to teach her a lesson. I can't like this book; its attitudes seem very dated to me. Fleur is hopelessly winsome, charming, waiflike, innocent and perfect. Even worse, Marcus, despite all the mitigations the author put forward for his cruel, manipulative, self-centered behavior, isn't my idea of a hero.

He never really learns better and he suffers no real consequences for the way he treats Fleur. His delay in returning from France was because he was ill after being kicked in the head by a mule. I was disappointed that the mule didn't make a more thorough job of it. The book is, however, well written as these things go, and readers who don't mind these tropes which annoy me may well find it entertaining. About the author: Mira Stables Gyte married Cook was a mother of five and a rather prolific British writer.

She had a spate of romances published in the 70's and early 80's, mostly for the Corgi imprint. This book is dedicated "For Tom and Molly Gyte. Nursing a broken heart, Lucian went off to Brussels to rejoin the army, but there a strange thing happened: Lucian found that absence did not make his heart grow fonder -- rather the reverse. His infatuation with Barbara faded away. In Brussels he was billeted with a local family, where he met Miss Alicia Delacre, who was also living there with her father and brother Timothy. Her father had fled to Brussels where the living was cheaper and his creditors and gaming debts could not follow him.

Lucian and Alicia fell deeply in love and were married June 11, Lucian escorted Alicia to the Duchess of Richmond's ball and that night rode off to war. He did not return after the battle; Alicia searched for him but found nothing, and believed herself a widow -- until a letter from her friend Octavia advised her that Lucian was alive, back in England and betrothed to Barbara. The Duke of Pryde had not, after all, come up to scratch his mama had been against such a match , so when Lucian returned, Barbara held him to his promise.

Lucian had been wounded in leg and head; he had lost his memory of the last two years and believed himself still betrothed to Barbara. When Alicia arrived, Lucian did not recognize her, and Barbara, in a rage, argued that Alicia's proofs of the marriage were fraudulent and Alicia must be an opportunistic whore. But Alicia had her marriage lines, she had the signet ring Lucian had always worn and had assumed lost in battle, and she had the testimony of a credible witness.

Barbara was surprised and displeased when Lucian elected to stay in Yorkshire with Alicia. Alicia loved the Abbey on sight and began to make it a comfortable home, as well as making friends - and an admirer - in the neighborhood. Faced with the possibility that her angry, sullen husband would never regain his memories, Alicia resolved that spoiled, vindictive Barbara should not have him, and went to war, in her own way, for Lucian's love.

One can generally count on Ellen Fitzgerald who also wrote as Pamela Frazier, Lucia Curzon, Zabrina Faire and Florence Stevenson for a well told tale with credible characters and events and a reasonable amount of feeling for the period. But when sunny Cybil Campbell came barging into his well-ordered gloom, he couldn't deny a grudging fascinati Olivia's parents were among Hollywood's golden couples A monster with the face of her father Sheltered from the truth, an older Olivia only dimly recalls her night of terror--bu Nora Roberts presents the final novel in the captivating trilogy of three brothers who have come together in a time of need.

They honored their father's wish to raise young Seth as their own. And with all of the brothers home again the Quinn family h And Daniel MacGregor, powerful patriarch of the MacGregor clan, wants to see his three handsome, eligible--but stubbornly single--grandsons married.

So he's found just the women Marine archeologist Tate Beaumont has a passion for treasure-hunting. Over the years, she and her father have uncovered many fabulous riches, but one treasure has always eluded them: Angelique's Curse--a jeweled amulet heavy with history, dark with l Mac was the most seductive man she'd ever met -- though he ce Of the three brothers, it was Ethan who shared his father's passion for the Maryland shore. And now with his father gone, Ethan is determined to make the family boatbuilding business a success. But amidst his achievements lie the most important chall The Maine air was bitter cold and frigid as Dr.

Miranda Jones returned to the family home after a busy lecture tour. But her blood turned to ice when, out of nowhere, she felt a knife held against her throat. The unseen assailant stole her bags, s A tale that blurs the boundaries between reality and fantasy, modern-day mishaps and ancient curses, obsession and undying passion. She'll have you cheering for love to win the day as a man and woman discover just how deep their bond lies-and how som Lieutenant Seth Buchanan's homicide investigation and his heart were thrown into turmoil when Grace Fontaine turned up very much alive A champion boat racer, Cameron Quinn traveled the world spending his winnings on champagne and women.

But when his dying father called him home to care for Seth, a troubled young boy not unlike Cameron once was, his life changed overnight All he had to do was pick up some pretty little bail jumper who wasn't even bothering to hide. But cynical bounty hunter Jack Dakota soon discovered there was nothing easy about spitfire M. The MacGregor clan's patriarch is powerful, rich and determined to see his three career-minded granddaughters married.

So he hand-picked three unsuspecting candidates as worthy consorts Now all he has to do is se But it was clear Bailey James was in trouble. Big trouble! And she desperately needed Cade Parris to help her live long enough to find out just what kind. The moment Nora Roberts presents the final novel in a dramatic trilogy. Margo, Kate, and Laura were brought up like sisters amidst the peerless grandeur of Templeton House. But it was Laura who seemed to have it all--until she lost almost everything and had to Photographer Jo Ellen Hathaway thought she'd escaped the house called Sanctuary long ago.

She'd spent her lonliest years there, after the sudden, unexplained disappearance of her mother. Yet the sprawling resort off the Georgia coast continues to hau Now, at Nora Roberts presents the second novel in a dramatic new trilogy. But it was Kate who soon discovered that her past was haunted by the darkest of sec The Calhouns had given sister-in-law Megan O'Riley and her young son a new life. All she wanted now was to put her shameful past behind her--so she buried her passions beneath businesslike efficiency and buttoned-up r Nora Roberts explores the wilds of the Grand Tetons--and the mysteries of love, murder, and madness--in her engrossing and passionate new novel Nora Roberts presents the first novel in a dramatic new trilogy.

Margo, Kate, anal Laura were brought up like sisters amidst the peerless grandeur of Templeton House. But it was Margo whose dreams first took her far away Margo Sullivan had ever Shane Mackade loved women. But he hadn't met one yet who had him whistling the wedding march. Until Dr. Rebecca Knight. Problem was, the pretty lady was too busy hunting legends on the Mackade land to succumb to the Mackade When Jack Mercy died, he left behind a ranch worth nearly twenty million dollars.

Now his three daughters--each born of a different marriage, and each unknown by the others--are gathered to hear the reading of the will. But the women are shocked to l Twelve years of trying to watch over her and her children. Twelve years of being the dependable friend, of seeing his beauty married to a A talented graphic artist, Shannon Bodine's life revolved around her job at a prestigious New York advertising agency. But her world was turned upside-down when she learned the identity of her real father: Thomas Concannon. Respecting her late mother The lady was drop-dead gorgeous, and she had a drop When the harsh storms of winter descended upon western Ireland the locals stayed indoors--and visitors stayed away.

Brianna Concannon's bed-and-breakfast became a cold and empty place. But that was fine with Brianna. She enjoyed the peace and quiet, Kelsey Byden always believed that her mother was dead. But now, after all this time, she has discovered the truth: Naomi Chadwick is still alive--after spending years in prison for the murder of her lover. Now, at Naomi's Virginia horse farm, Kelsey Some said there would be trouble. Bound to be. Trouble hung around Rafe MacKade like a bell around a bull's neck. Oh, he was as handsome as ever, with those devil's good looks the MacKades were gifted The joy of Christmas and the magic of marriage await you when you join four of your favorite authors in this very special holiday collection.

Mischief and mayhem ensue when the Taylor twins decide they want a mom for Christmas in New York Times be Gifted, reclusive, stubborn, free-spirited Maggie Concannon is a glassmaker whose exquisite works are more than mere objects of beauty, but reflections of her own true nature. Attempting to hide from her troubled past, reclusive Maggie, who hides A woman's fantasy. The kind of guy who got the job done, no matter what the obstacles Natalie Fletcher: Cool, calm, collected. Until someone started making trouble for her busine Dora Conroy has a passion for antiques - and any other rarities she can acquire for her quaint Philadelphia shop.

A seasoned dealer, she knows all the tricks of the trade. But nothing could prepare her for the deadly consequences when she purchases a Zoe Fleming wasn't looking for a lover, or a husband, or a father for her young son. She just wanted a tenant. But when sexy, single J. Cooper McKinnon turned up, Zoe needed to figure out-had one of the biggest, or one of the best, mistakes of her li Soap opera writer Bess McNee figured the only way to understand a character was to stand in her shoes-even if they were a streetwalker's stiletto heels.

So she got tossed in the slammer, thanks to the sexiest detective in New York, and she decided th A damn good man to know--if he's on your side Colt Nightshade made his living fac Deanna Reynolds had it all planned: She'd start out in the newsroom of a small Chicago station, then move up to one day host her own talk show. When her mentor Angela Perkins leaves for the big time in New York, Deanna risks everything for the chance Landlocked in Manhattan, rough-and-ready seaman Zackary Muldoon needed a street-smart, two-fisted attorney to save his kid brother's delinquent hide.

What he got was a long-legged lady lawyer Boone Sawyer never expected to move next door to a woman who looked like one of the fairy princesses he often wrote about. Anastasia Donovan had a serene kind of femininity that would baffle and allure any man who was still breathing -- and Boone A decade ago, sculptor Clare Kimball fled Emmitsboro, Maryland, to take the art world by storm. Now she's celebrated as the artist of her generation.

With blowtorch and steel Clare Kimball has sculpted a personal vision that commands the attention of A baby had been stolen and it was her job to find it--but private investigator Mel Sutherland had run out of leads. She could hardly blame the child's desperate mother for seeking the help of psychic Sebastian Donovan. Though Mel preferred to work al Screenwriter Nash Kirkland figured self-proclaimed witch Morgana Donovan would be a great "resource" for his next horror movie.

The problem was, getting to know Morgana was becoming an obsession. Was he truly in love, or was he just bewitched? The daughter of a world-renowned magician, Roxy Nouvelle has inherited her father's talents--and his penchant for jewel thievery. Into this colorful world comes Luke Callahan--con man, loner, lover. He's the escape artist who captures her heart, she What was she doing here? Hyattown had changed very little in the years Vanessa Sexton had been away.

In some ways her high school sweetheart, Brady Tucker, hadn't changed much either - he was still lean, athletic, Strangers don't stay strangers for long in Innocence, Mississippi, as witty, urbane, and beautiful Caroline Waverly is quick to discover. Fame has taken its toll on the celebrated concert violinist, what Nothing in Sydney Hayward's background of wealth and privilege had prepared her to take the helm of her family's corporation.

Her overflowing new responsibilities left no room for complications -- and Mikhail Stanislaski was definitely a complication Suzanna Calhoun and her sisters simply HAD to find the priceless emeralds hidden somewhere in their ancestral home. The jewels were the key to the deadly mystery that had threatened them for so long.


And for Suzanna they w The last of the movie goddesses, a smoky-voiced sex symbol with two Oscars, four ex-husbands, and a legion of lovers to her name. The glamorous scree Mystery and danger still swirled around Lilah Calhoun's ancestral home. The fabled lost emeralds continued to attract treasure hunters--and at least one dangerous criminal. And they had brought a man unlike any Lilah had ever known. Maxwell Quarterm And the instant she laid eyes on architect Sloan O'Riley, she knew he was trouble.

So this arrogant, insuf James III had on his mind was business-making the final arrangements to buy a run-down old mansion on the coast of Maine. He wasn't expecting any complications. And he definitely wasn't expe There was nothing -- no bullets, and certainly not legal technicalities -- that could deter The never-ending threats had finally made her a believer. She was desperate -- desp Christmas was Allanna Flynn's favorite time of year--but when injured Minuteman Ian MacGregor sought refuge in her New England home, Allanna found herself caught in a war of hearts with the handsome rebel.

Could this become the season of peace on ear He didn't want company. He wanted whisky. He wanted to forget. A life of adventure and intrigue has left Trace O'Hurley bitter and world-weary. Gillian Fitzpatrick knows Trace only by name and reputation and he's the only man who can help her. Emma McAvoy. Beautiful, intelligent, radiantly talented, she lives in a star-studded world of wealth and privilege. But she is about to discover that fame is no protection at all when s Broken promises, shattered dreams-- the former ballet dancer Natasha Stanislaski left youthful indiscretions far behind when she settled in rural West Virginia.

Her way with children made her toy store a success; her fiery temperament kept men safely Enlightened twentieth century female Sunny Stone had always considered herself a with-it person. Yet form the moment devastatingly attractive Jacob Hornblower appeared on the doorstep of her cozy mountain retreat, she'd been fee Caleb Hornblower, with hair as black as deep space and eyes as blue as the Oregon sky his ship had fallen from--made her lev Roman DeWinter came to the charming Seaside Inn with only the clothes on his back and a loaded.

His orders: expose a criminal organization based at quaint vacation hideaway, and all the evidence pointed to the innkeeper, Charity Ford. No one was going to take her child away from her! Pregnant and alone, Laura Malone had been on the move for months.

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Finding herself snowbound with an angry, impatient Gabriel Bradley was not part of her plans. Gabe wanted to be a Practical Rebecca Malone was having the time of her life. She'd quit her accounting firm and gone to Greece for adventure--so when a handsome stranger approached her, she followed her impulse. Stephen Nickodemus found Rebecca irresistible. She was a Sarah Conway was something else again. She was every inch an Eastern lady, yet she When Cody Johnson first caught sight of structural engineer Abra Wilson, he thought of endless possibilities.

She had style and confidence--and was distracting as hell. She'd called his design an impractical piece of fancy, but then, he'd always pref At twenty-five, Princess Adrianne of Jaquir, daughter of a fabled Hollywood beauty and an equally fabled Arab playboy, lives a life most people would envy. Beautiful and elegant, she spends her days dabbling in ch What was a man to do when he came home and found a strange woman in his hot tub wearing nothing but exotic jewelry? If he was conservative architect Nathan Powell, he suggested -politely- that she get dressed The only game in town Johanna Patterson had worked long and hard to make a name for herself in a man's world -- and to forget the memories of an unhappy childhood.

Now she was a successful game show producer on her way The high price of fame meant learning to deal with obsessive fans. But this one was different. He was watching and waiting, and Chantel O'Hurley was afraid. Highland beauty, MacGregor prode Scotland, Against the bloody background of the Battle of Culloden, another war was waged and won--the price was honor, the victory, love. A flash of petticoats, a banner of red-gold hair--one look at Seren A woman who dared to dream and a man who had forgotten how.

Though her name was up in lights, Maddy O'Hurley cared nothing for the trappings of stardom. All that mattered was dancing. She moved in perfect harmony to the music that ruled her life bot Some virtues are negotiable The steamy summer streets of Washington are no match for the phone lines of Fantasy, Inc. The "hotline" works perfectly for its anonymous clients and the teachers and housewives wh The truth could not be told.

Abigail O'Hurley Rockwell was a desperate woman. Journalist Dylan Crosby was going to start digging up her past for the book he was writing about her infamous late husband. It was just research to him, but to her it was Burke Logan was a gambler, and luck had made him owner of Three Aces, one of the finest stables in Maryland.

He'd come to Ireland to buy horses, but one look at Erin McKinnon's fiery beauty told him that he'd be leaving with a whole lot more. Erin M Who was that masked man? His trade was creating heroes, but comic book writer Mitch Dempsey had never seen himself as one. But something about Hester Wallace, the shy single mom who moved in upstairs, made him long to protect, honor and love her Some sins are unforgivable There's no escaping the sizzling heat of the Washington summer Something in her eyes intrigued him, and he was determined to discove Socialite Eden Carlbough didn't expect running a girls' camp to be easy, but these little monsters had her wishing she'd just stayed home.

They literally drove her up an apple tree -- and she came crashing down into the capa Rich, gorgeous Whitney MacAllister possesses all the wealth and beauty every woman dreams of. Reckless Whitney likes fast cars, vintage movies, and dangerous men. But even this jaded, high-living Manhattan socialite is taken by surprise when a strang Cordina was still a storybook place, but seven years ago Eve had learned that its villains were undeniably real. She had Theatrical agent Aurora Fields kept her personal life strictly separate from her professional one, but lines were crossed the moment she met David Brady.

He had asked her client to participate in his documentary on paranormal pheno Anna -- Daniel's wife of forty years -- relives her remarkable courtship, when meddlesome matchmaking patriarch and self-made millionaire Daniel MacGregor faced his biggest challenge: to convince the love of his life to marry him! Here at last is the After years of world travel, prizewinning reporter Jason Law was back in Quiet Valley, New Hampshire, with the most difficult assignment he'd ever faced: winning back Faith Kirkpatrick, the woman he'd loved then left ten years before.

Jason had found It was worse than winning the lottery--much worse. This bequest might mean more money, but the strings attached had Pandora McVie tied up in knots. Respecting Uncle Jolley's last wishes meant spending time isolated in the Catskills with Michael Donah She was settled, respected.

Her Black Coral Dive Shop was the best on the island. She no longer missed Houston, or thought about the man who didn't want her or their child. Her practical, no-nonsense father had had a dream -- sunken treasure -- and he'd left a map leading to a gold-laden ship. Determined to complete her father's explorati Coordinating the publicity tour for Italy's most famous--and most adorable--chef was just the kind of assignment Juliet relished. Carlo Franconi could gather a crowd just by smiling, and watching him prepare a meal was like witnessing a lesson in pas Poor Brie could remember nothing; eve She was America's greatest celebrity photographer.

He was one of the world's most respected photojournalists. An even bigger problem was Kirby Fairchild, daughter of the world For Celebrity magazine reporter Lee Radcliffe, tracking down the world-famous, notoriously private, horror-story writer Hunter Brown had become a personal quest. Her carefully planned ambush finally paid off at a small writer's conference in Flag As "Amanda Jamison," Ariel Kirkwood suffered stoically through the daily traumas of a popular soap opera.