After a three-year affair that ended in heart-break, Louise Amberley is determined not to make the same mistake again. Therefore, when Otto Winther–a charming, handsome Dane–pursues the young travel-writer, she insists he wed her before she’ll let him into her bed. Unfortunately for Louise, her infatuation allows her to be rushed into a quick, secret wedding–before she discovers a series of devastating secrets about her new spouse.
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.
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.
Samantha Brewster has really had it with her family trying to push one more “suitable” man on her, trying to matchmake–and she’s not looking forward to meeting dowdy old Greek shipping magnate Demetrios Karas. He’s not looking forward to meeting his friend’s dowdy old spinster sister-in-law, either, and he’s tired of the matchmakers in his life, too. Now, this gorgeous person the truly-hunky Demetrios met at the party in Sao Paulo…
Esmeralda Jones is a nurse, and has a bit of a crush on one of the residents; but there’s a problem, you see…she’s a cripple. So when the dashing Dutch surgeon, a friend of one of the local doctors, offers to fix her foot up–well, maybe Leslie will notice her then!
Lee Williams has flown to Curaçao to marry the man she met last fall. Rash? Perhaps, but she was so sure it was the right thing to do! But things are a mess now, since he’s nowhere to be found, and his cynical former boss, Max Van Breedan, has made a most improper offer: Marry him so he can inherit, and he’ll help her go back, after his father passes.
Lady Diana Farren is practically alone as she continues her grand tour around Europe. Because her sister married in secret in France, Diana is left to savor the art, history, and culture of Rome with only her governess, Miss Wood, for company. Unlike Mary, Diana has no interest in any of those things. She likes men–and that is why she was shipped off to Europe in the first place. Now, she is pursued by a fortune hunter on one hand, and an Italian rake on the other…
In Jerusalem, Isidora Binte Deogel watches as her father–a driven and talented alchemist–slowly poisons himself with his dangerous experiments. Shut out from his scholarship, Isidora struggles both with her exclusion and her dislike for the obsession that is driving her father to madness and death. Then a handsome, fair knight, Lucien de Griswold, arrives at their doorstep, obsessed with a desire to learn alchemy himself. Several years after Lucien’s return to England, Deogel’s dying wish is for Isidora to deliver his dangerous discoveries to his favorite apprentice. This request compels the young woman to travel to a new land and either betray her father or give the man she loves the key to his own destruction.
Grace Curtis used to be from the higher-ups, but her father, prior to his death, squandered their wealth, and died in debt. Grace took charge of her life, and went to work for the local baker–first, to work off her family’s debt, then for herself. The old Lord Thomson loves her little cream pastries, and is kind to her…and upon his death, leaves her with a little home to live in, and a difficult charge–take his bastard son in!
Captain Duncan is a prisoner of war, held in the notorious prison at Dartmoor, a privateer on the wrong side of an encouter with a English man-o-war. When Grace goes with Lord Thomson’s solicitor to fetch the man on parole, though, he’s dying, and his final wish is for her to take in one of his men, who will pose as him. Grace looks around her, and chooses the sailing master, Rob Inman.
When Grace Curtis, the daughter of an improvident baronet, inherits nothing but debts, she must make a choice. She can either go into denial about her new poverty as her house falls down around her and the debt collectors pound at her door, or she can accept that she has “slipped.” Not one to enter denial, Grace makes the best choice she can: she sells her father’s manor, settles as many debts as possible, and indentures herself to couple who run a local bakery to settle their enormous bill. Ten years later, at twenty-eight years of age, she has accepted her new station in life. But then, the crotchety Lord Thompson—who has a weakness for Grace’s Quimby Creames and few relatives who treat him as well as she does—leaves her a legacy in his will. A legacy with a big string attached…