Thomas, Duke of Castleton, has a problem. He needs a rich wife, and has found the perfect mate in Lady Claudia Harrington.Lady Claudia has no interest in wedding the duke, but sees nothing wrong if he spends time with her...and her cousin, Caro Townsend.Caro may run with a wild crowd, but the oh-so-proper Duke of Castleton has her considering a more conventional union.Against the advice of pretty much everyone, Caro and Thomas decide to wed. And thats when the fun really starts. Thomas lives for tradition; Caro for revolution. Her ability to attract scandal threatens his family name; his insistence on toeing the line drives her mad. Their passion may burn like wildfire, but the question remains: will their love catch fire, or burn their world down around their ears?
Neville (Confessions from an Arranged Marriage) displays a signature blend of froth and history in this improbable 1793 English romance. Caroline Townsend made a rash Gretna Green marriage at 17 and doesn't regret it-mostly. Her gambler husband now dead, she faces mountainous debt and unpleasantly pressing creditors. Her cousin, the heiress Anne Brotherton, comes for a visit, bringing the fortune-hunting duke of Castleton, Thomas Fitzcharles. A plain-speaking, countrified man, Thomas abundantly merits Caro's nickname, "Stuffy," yet this slave to convention can't resist the spendthrift, bohemian widow. Neville's characterizations are down to earth: the women are pretty without being ravishing and principled without being irrational, and Thomas is open to expanding his horizons. The one drawback of such pleasantly believable protagonists is that their problems always appear equally life-sized. Drama may be somewhat lacking in their adventures, but delight is not. Agent: Frances Mallary, Meredith Bernstein Literary Agency. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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November 27, 2012
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