Hannah Pace needs a pretend husband, just for the weekend! She’s told her long-lost mother that she’s married–well, she was, then, see, but isn’t now, you understand? So in desperation, she hits up the local bad boy Nick Archer. He’s a local wheeler and dealer who stays just on the good side of the law, but boy is he handsome…
Jenny Kent is a foundling, a nobody. But she has a friend, one Bella Rossini, who’s been helping her along of late, and they’re the best of pals, even loaning Jenny her name so that Jenny can work at the fabulous Italian-themed Venetian Forum market in her Australian hometown…until they’re in a car crash, and the real Bella is killed, and everyone thinks that she is Bella…
Meanwhile, in Italy, Dante Rossini has a problem on his hands; his beloved grandfather is dying, and wants to see the grandchild he has never met, and wants to make amends for banishing his own son from the family all those years ago. Dante must go to Australia, and bring Bella home!
Philadelphia businessman Justin Bond walked out on his wife Heather a year ago. The stress of her miscarriage a few months before, and his own inability to empathize and help her cope, was just too much, and he walked. Now his life has changed; the famous and breathtakingly wealthy Fortune family has found him, and shown him that he’s one of their own; he wants his family back. But things have changed for her, too…
Fanny–raised as a poor relation by her jocular Uncle Edgar–is ready to seize her opportunity to flee England and become one of Florence Nightingale’s nurses. Then, she sees the two small children that she came to London to meet. One glimpse of her uncle’s new (also impoverished) wards–who have been shipped all the way from China–convinces the young woman that she cannot leave them to grow up at Darkwater without her. How can she condemn them to the miserable childhood she herself endured?
Maud Radford grows up in misery in an isolated house called Greystones. Her mother is a selfish spendthrift whose infidelity may have caused her husband’s death, and it is all Maud can do to look forward to the day the hateful old woman dies. When it finally happens, Maud takes control of her own destiny, lives her own life, and even falls in love. Yet, at the same time, there is something terribly, terribly wrong happening in Greystones . . .
When the shipwrecked Marc de Courtenay washes up on the shores of French-occupied Scotland, he is picked up by the badly-scarred Lady Isobel Dalceann. Since her late father had been one of the few Scottish lords to refuse to bend to French rule, her castle has been under siege for ages. Nevertheless, something draws Isobel to Marc. She allows him into her keep, where she nurses him back to health. They also fall in love–but can their love survive when Marc returns, the head of the army that has been sent to crush Dalceann once and for all?
Note: This book deserves a TRIGGER WARNING, not just in the rating, but also above the fold.
Gabi Rafferty has been more-or-less happily raising her young daughter Ashley alone, until her ex, who had signed away his rights years ago, turned up, and started causing trouble. Gabi flees, and ends up at Yosemite, where a friend she hasn’t seen since high school works. Ranger Jeff Thompson, married once himself, is still kicking himself over his past with Gabi–until the day she shows up at the park.
Violet Tandy is a new author on a mission; all she wants is a white picket fence, a home of her own, tranquil and alone–so she wrote a memoir about being a high-priced prostitute. Which, uhm, you know, she really isn’t, but can’t seem to convince anyone of. She writes her fiction very, very well, you see–so much that Gavin Mason is sure she’s integrated him into one of her characters and ruined his reputation!
Lord Wodesby, England’s chief mage, has been adrift ever since he lost his magic from casting a dangerous spell to save Wellington’s army. At the same time, the beautiful Rowan Du Le Fey–a widow with a young daughter–finds herself the unwilling pawn of her fanatical stepson. If she fails to use her power as a Mindwalker to extract information from Sir Hector Southwood about Napoleon’s imprisonment on Elba, her little girl will become child-bride. Rowan cannot bear to see her little girl forced to endure the same tortures that she herself barely survived, so she insinuates herself into a diplomat’s home and begins passing on information. When Damien arrives, disguised as the Master Illusionist “Oberon,” he knows he must ferret out the spy. However, he doesn’t expect to fall in love with a dowdy governess with secrets of her own . . .
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.