The wealthy, raven-haired Fiona Cartwright has powerful enemies. She has spurned too many suitors, among them the dangerous Lord Morney, who had tried to make her his mistress. To exact revenge on the “Snow Maiden,” Lord Morney offers the only man who has caught Fiona’s eye ten thousand pounds to court her and get their engagement announced in the gazettes. Then the proud, impoverished Highlander is free to abandon Fiona at the altar. For Wallace Frazer, the wager is impossible to refuse–even if it is distasteful. After all, it was Fiona’s father who had driven his people from their land, wringing every penny of the fortune she inherited from his clan’s suffering.
“If only men were honest when they proposed to me!” Harriet cried. “If only one of them would say ‘Miss Ashley, I adore your fortune. May I marry it?'”
I begin this review by excerpting the blurb from the back cover of A Lady of Fortune because it captures the spirit of the heroine, the orphaned heiress Harriet Ashley. Previously plump, plain (aside from her gorgeous long red hair, of course), and recovering from a bout of consumption that has left her rail-thin, Harriet knows that all twenty men who have proposed to her have looked at marriage merely as a business transaction. But Harriet wants something more, so she comes up with an outrageous scheme to get her way.