The Duke of Kingswood has two big problems: his younger cousin, Richard, who got engaged to a notorious courtesan then murdered her lover, and the lovely Benedicta Calvine. The latter, a tatter-worn daughter who’d been travelling with her preacher-father, is discovered in one of the Duke’s tenant’s barns after her father has had a stroke. Now, the Duke has two invalids in his household, plus an idealistic, young, and bright-eyed ingenue. What better plan could the Duke come up with (since he has no plan to marry, oh no, not ever) than to arrange for Benedicta and Richard to make a match of it? Nothing could be simpler. Right?
Miles Fletcher, a dandy who has made his living by dealing in beautiful art, is about to inherit his ailing uncle’s vast estate. After Uncle Lester has an unusually good night at the card table, he sends Miles to a house party to “save an innocent lamb from being fleeced.” Little does Miles know that the innocent lamb–one Aurora Ramsay–would be a diamond in the rough. Little does he know that they would strike a bargain: she will teach him how to run a farm, and in exchange he will teach her the skills necessary to secure a wealthy husband. And little does he know that he would fall in love with her.
For years, the Ghost of Hammerswold castle has appeared to his descendants to advise them about whom to marry to ensure their family’s future security. The current heir, Lord Jared Faverill, is on the path to dissipation, destruction and an early grave. After he has a fit of apoplexy, his grandparents are desperate to get him wed and reformed. What better method can there be than to hold a Halloween house party, populated by eligible blondes, to tempt the ghost to appear and make his choice?
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.
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”
Portia Haverall was raised by an academic and taught to be a thinking woman. Then, her father decided she was a bit too shrewish and outspoken–that she’d never marry unless she could be a proper lady. After one too many fights where he cut Portia out of his will, Haverall suddenly dies, leaving Portia alone and penniless. When she fails to find a relation to take her in, Portia spends the night unchaperoned at a public inn. In the middle of the night, a terrified woman pounds on her door for sanctuary. When the woman is pursued into the room by “the Beast”–a giant, uncouth looking man–Portia does the only sensible thing: she knocks him out with a bedwarmer.
Miss Cecilia Cummings is a cunning matchmaker who loves nothing more than to travel from town to town, bringing couples together. Of course, she herself–at the ripe age of twenty-two–has no interest in marriage: she prefers her independence. Then, she is called to Laycombe, which has been in an uproar since the return of Lord Wickham (a determined bachelor after being abandoned by his first wife). Now, the young lads in the neighborhood are falling over themselves to emulate their stylish hero. While the youths drink, gamble, and spend money like water, their love-interests pine away at home. Determined that Laycombe will be her greatest triumph, Cecilia treats her campaign with Lord Wickham like a war.
Catherine Prescott D’Eauville, a wealthy American heiress, has just arrived in England to fullfil her father’s ambitions: to establish herself in society by marrying a impoverished English peer. No one with a rank lower than “Earl” need apply. Meanwhile, the independent-minded, unconventional, and adventurous Cat aims to satisfy herself by wedding a man complacent enough not to interfere with her own desires for freedom and world-travel. However, she does not anticipate meeting the intelligent and charming Lord Weyland, who fails to meet any of the criteria on her carefully composed “List.”