When Lord Northover arrives unexpected at one of his newly inherited (and sadly run-down) properties, he is shocked to discover that his house is already occupied. The elderly butler has permitted the former owners to stay a few nights on their way to London. Newly arrived from New Orleans, the American Leyland family is determined to establish themselves in the Ton. To rescue her family’s fortune and secure her brother, Bayard’s, future, Lydia Leyland plans to use her wit and beauty to marry a man with fortune and title. Love is not required. Fascinated by Lydia’s directness and take-charge attitude, Lord Northover decides to sit back and enjoy the show.
After the deaths of her father and her fiancé, the dashing Brion de Vaudraye, Climene is determined to purchase the mysterious old Vaudraye castle. Ignoring the advice of a guardian she’d never met (Captain Moreau), Climene moves into her unnerving new home . . . only to discover that it is rumored to the the gathering-place of a coven of devil-worshiping witches. When her guardian is murdered and Philippe–the “God of the Witches” who had been executed centuries before–appears in her house, Climene wishes she’d headed Moreau’s warning. Continue reading “Castle at Witches’ Coven”
Cecily Hadley has had a hard time. Impoverished after her father’s death, estranged from her morally-unacceptable uncle, and chaperoned only by the “dragon”-like Miss Dowie, Cecily has no recourse to support herself but the stage. And the stage is no respectable place for a proper young lady to be! In less than a week, the seemingly dreadful but rather pretty actress is already the rage of the ton. Then, she encounters Robert Ranleigh (of course, the “reigning gallant” of Regency London), who also happens to be a distant relation. Propriety requires that he save her (and their family’s reputation) from disgrace by removing her from her awkward situation at once.
Tia Hilton has no interest in marriage or romance for herself. At the same time, she does love matchmaking and her annual Valentine’s Day ball. This year, she aims to find the perfect match for her beloved cousin Robert, Viscount Bainbridge. Robert has other ideas. He knows who his perfect match is already–Tia. If only he can persuade her that romance is not reserved for one day per year . . . Continue reading “Tia’s Valentine”
Lydia Kelso, self-described old spinster (at 26? puh-lease), is concerned about her older, more-flighty sister’s welfare. Daisy has apparently decided to have a baby by editorial cartoonist Joe Jordan, whether he’s cooperative or not. So Lydia goes to talk to him. Little does she know what she’s in for.
Flint Fortune, recently returned former black sheep of the family, is being set up. The family has been in a bit of turmoil the last few months, and there have been several of the notoriously-loner Fortune men who have found true love–but not Flint, no way! Especially not with the lovely widow who is the sister of his brother’s fiancee. Four kids, after all…
Lord Belami is so close to happiness that he can taste it: he is engaged to the lovely Deirdre Gower and hopes that their wedding can go forward as soon as possible. Then, tragedy strikes. Deirdre’s guardian, the money-obsessed Duchess of Charney, worries that her wealthy and unhealthy brother is about to change his will and cut her out. Shortly after the Duchess delivers a bowl of stew to her sibling, he is found dead of arsenic poisoning. All the clues condemn the Duchess, and Deirdre is unwilling to go through with her wedding with such a scandal brewing. Now Belami, an amateur detective, must discover the truth about Dudley’s death–or lose his bride.
“A most rewarding change from Assembly Room and Marriage Mart. Witty, humorous, concisely written, and far more true to the life of those times than most authors would dare. A bloody good read.”
I am opening a review, once again, with a quote from the back cover. Lady Elizabeth is the twenty-eight year old heroine, who has been left in charge of her multiple younger sisters after her father’s death a year earlier. Ever since, she’s been ensconced in the estate’s Dower House, distracted from her duties by her bizarre and remarkable hobby: astronomy. She has discovered a new comet during her nightly vigils, is in correspondance with the leading astronomers of the day, and is preparing to publish her first scientific article. In short, she is totally “unacceptable” as a woman. Then, the new Lord Clanross arrives. A dour, stiff man with a sharp tongue and a dubious background (the family’s black sheep who was never expected to inherit), Clanross quickly alienates Lady Elizabeth. Meanwhile, the charming Lord Bevis, whom Elizabeth refused to marry five years earlier, arrives on the scene. He still holds a torch for her, all these years later . . . Maybe there is hope that a man will accept Lady Elizabeth, in spite of her unnatural hobby?
Years ago, the Duke of Darlington (aka “The Dasher”) found his cousin brutally beating his thirteen-year-old, half-starved daughter. Outraged, the Duke disowned her father and carried the injured girl to safety. Now, the Duke has learned that the tearful, bleeding child he left in the charge of a French convent five years earlier has turned eighteen. She’s also inherited an immense fortune that’s made her the target of fortune hunters. Immediately, the Duke sets off to Paris to retrieve her and do his duty, launching her in Society and securing a suitable husband. However, the young woman he finds is nothing like he expected: first, Fiona is stunning; second, she worships him as her savior; third, she is absolutely terrified of men.
Mark Remington is sent by his adopted family to check on his brother’s widow, Lauren McKenzie. She’s not getting out, not engaging, and they’re worried about her! Mark really doesn’t want to go; he’s not seen her in seven years, for what he thinks are quite valid reasons, given what happened on the eve of Lauren and Nate’s wedding…