«Ligeramente perverso, la segunda entrega de la saga de los Bedwyn, es una historia intrigante, absolutamente cautivadora, de amor, pasión, deber y honor.» Romance Reviews Today No es el heroico salteador de caminos con el que estaba soñando momentos antes del accidente. Sin embargo, algo en los ojos risueños y provocadores del jinete que se ha acercado a socorrer al coche de postas despierta en Judith Law un anhelo de aventura, por fugaz que sea. Nada puede apartarla del tedioso y gris futuro que recientemente se ha abierto ante ella; solo podrá eludirlo un instante... que no va adejar escapar. También desde el primer momento, Rannulf Bedwyn se ha sentido atraído por esta joven que se ha presentado como Claire Campbell, una actriz de teatro. En cambio él no le ha revelado su auténtico nombre y posición, que solo conllevan obligaciones y deberes en los que ahora no querría pensar. Como el de casarse sin amor. Durante dos días, en que el tiempo parece detenerse, ambos juegan a engañar a sus auténticos destinos, hasta que la realidad se impone a las fantasías. Ninguno conoce la verdadera identidad del otro. No imaginan que jamás vuelvan a encontrarse. Pero cuando el destino les una de nuevo, tendrán que ocultar ante el mundo su secreto ligeramente perverso.
Gran parte de la sociedad británica se ha congregado en Bruselas en vísperas de la batalla de Waterloo, entre ellos Morgan Bedwyn y Gervase Ashford. Gervase ha vivido los últimos años en el exilio a causa de una falsa acusación vertida por Wulf Bedwyn, el hermano de Morgan. Ahora, seduciendo a Morgan, prevé la oportunidad de vengarse a través de ella. Pero, a pesar de sus planes iniciales, Gervase se enamora de Morgan. Para evitar escándalos, le propone matrimonio, sin considerar que Wulf se negará en redondo a esta unión y que Morgan, por lealtad, jamás aceptaría.
From New York Times bestselling legend and author of the Survivors' Club series comes a cherished novel about the risks and the compromises that come with falling in love.... Governess and mistress--he wanted her as both....The illegitimate daughter of an English lord, Sian Jones abandoned her heritage to live in a stalwart coal mining community in South Wales. Empowered by their cause, she's engaged to be married to the leader of a revolutionary movement that is bracing itself against the tyranny of English mine owners. But Sian's principles are unexpectedly shaken when she accepts a job as governess under Alexander Hyatt, the mysterious Marquess of Craille, the oppressive symbol of everything she has come to resist. She never expected Alexander to upend all her expectations. He is sympathetic to her cause. He is a loving father. A man of wealth and position, he is fatally attractive. And he is offering his heart to the independent woman who has illuminated his life. Now, caught between two worlds, and between the promises and desires of two men, Sian must make a choice that will define her future--one that can only be made in the name of love....
El duque de Tresham, el soltero más cotizado y escurridizo de la sociedad, debe batirse de madrugada por haber mancillado la reputación de una doncella. Pero la repentina aparición de Jane Ingleby, empleada de una sombrerería, provoca que el duque reciba un disparo en la pierna.Cuando Jane es despedida de su trabajo por haber llegado tarde, decide acudir a Tresham y pedirle que escriba a su jefa y le explique los hechos para recuperar su empleo. Pero él, seducido por su extraordinaria belleza e intrigado por su desparpajo, le propone que sea su enfermera hasta que esté mejor. Jane, que oculta un peligroso pasado, acepta y se instala en la mansión.Mientras crece la atracción entre el aristócrata y la modesta dependienta, Jane vislumbra un corazón de insospechada nobleza tras esa fachada arrogante. Incluso cuando los oscuros secretos de los que huye amenazan con salir a la luz, la joven comprende que el mayor peligro de todos es la pasión que le incita a arriesgarlo todo por un mes con un caballero que parece no creer en el amor...En la primera entrega de la trilogía «Amantes», Mary Balogh firma una refrescante y cautivadora historia de escándalo, seducción e intriga en el seno de la alta sociedad, protagonizada por una heroína memorable y descarada.«Balogh hará las delicias tanto de sus fans como de nuevos lectores, con unos personajes inolvidables y una trama ágil y bien urdida.»Booklist«...un éxito asegurado por una de las más destacadas autoras del género.»Rendezvous
Just in time for Valentine's Day, from New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh comes yet another classic historical tale that sizzles with romance and unforgettable drama. Reginald Mason is wealthy, refined, and, by all accounts, a gentleman. However, he is not a gentleman by title, a factor that pains him and his father within the Regency society that upholds station over all else. That is, until an opportunity for social advancement arises, namely, Lady Annabelle Ashton. Daughter of the Earl of Havercroft, a neighbor and enemy of the Mason family, Annabelle finds herself disgraced by a scandal, one that has left her brandished as damaged goods. Besmirched by shame, the earl is only too happy to marry Annabelle off to anyone willing to have her. Though Reginald Mason, Senior, wishes to use Annabelle to propel his family up the social ladder, his son does not wish to marry her, preferring instead to live the wild, single life he is accustomed to. With this, Reginald Senior serves his son an ultimatum: marry Annabelle, or make do without family funds. Having no choice, Reginald consents, and enters into a hostile engagement in which the prospective bride and groom are openly antagonistic, each one resenting the other for their current state of affairs while their respective fathers revel in their suffering. So begins an intoxicating tale rife with dark secrets, deception, and the trials of love a story in which very little is as it seems.
From New York Times bestselling author Mary Balough comes a classic historical tale that sizzles with romance and unforgettable drama. Reginald Masson is wealthy refined and by all accounts, a gentleman. However, he is not a gentleman by birth, a factor that pains him and his father. Bernard Mason, with the Regency society that upholds station love all else. That is, until an opportunity for social advancement arises, namely, Lady Annabelle Ashton. Daughter of the Earl of Havercroft, a neighbor and enemy of the Mason family, Annabelle finds herself disgraced by a scandal, one that has left her branded as damaged goods. Besmirched by shame, the earl is only too happy to marry Annabelle off to anyone willing to have her. Though Bernard wishes to use Annabelle to propel his family up the social ladder, his son does not to marry her, preferring instead to live as the wild, single life he is accustomed to. With this, Bernard serves his son an ultimatum: marry Annabelle, or make do without family funds. Having no choice, Reginald consents and enters into a hostile engagement in which the prospective bride and groom are openly antagonistic, each one resenting the other for their current state of affairs while their respective fathers revel in their suffering. So begins an intoxicating tale rife with dark secrets, deception, and the trials of love-a story in which very little is as it seems.
Kit Butler, vizconde de Ravensberg, es divertido y peligroso. El matrimonio es lo último en lo que piensa. Pero la familia de Kit tiene otros planes. Desesperado por frustrar las maquinaciones de su padre, Kit necesita una novia... y rápido. Y aquí es donde aparece Lauren... Tras ser abandonada ante el altar, Lauren Edgeworth ha decidido, como Kit, que el matrimonio no es para ella. Y cuando se conocen, ambos traman un plan: Lauren se hará pasar por su prometida si él se aviene a proporcionarle un apasionado e inolvidable verano. Cuando este termine, ella romperá el compromiso y ambos recuperarán la libertad. Todo va a la perfección hasta que Kit hace lo impensable: se enamora. Mary Balogh creció en Gales. Después de graduarse en la universidad, se trasladó a Canadá, donde estuvo dando clases durante veinte años antes de iniciar su carrera como escritora. Sus novelas románticas de ambientación histórica -siempre en Inglaterra en la época de la Regencia- la han hecho muy popular en Estados Unidos. En una noche cálida de verano, todo es posible...
In her most captivating novel to date, Mary Balogh, the premier writer of Regency-era romantic fiction, invites you into a world of scandal and seduction, of glittering high society and startling intrigue, as an arrogant duke does the unthinkable-- he falls in love with his mistress.More Than a MistressHe is bad-tempered, reckless, a man superior in his abilities to charm and delight women. The greatest matrimonial prize in all of Christendom, he is the scandalous Duke of Tresham. When a young woman interferes in his Hyde Park duel, causing him to get shot, he hires her as his nurse, vowing that she will share his misery during his convalescence. Far too bold for her own good, Jane Ingleby is the kind of woman a man might find beautiful were it not for her impudence. She questions the duke's every move, scolds his bad manners, breaches his secrets, and touches his soul. When Tresham offers to set Jane up in his London town house, love is the last thing on his mind. And hers. Trying to pretend it is strictly business, an arrangement she must accept in order to conceal a dangerous secret, Jane suspects there is nothing more perilous than being the lover of such a man. Yet as she gets past his devilish facade and sees the noble heart within, she discovers the greatest jeopardy of all--a passion that drives her to risk everything on one perfect month with the improper gentleman who thinks love is for fools. Hailed by critics as "sensual," "unforgettable," "a matchless storyteller,"* Mary Balogh has captured the hearts of readers with her novels of breathtaking romance. In More than a Mistress she dazzles us once again with a love story that sizzles with wit and sensuality--a rare gem of wondrous storytelling that holds readers enthralled from first page to last. *Romantic TimesFrom the Hardcover edition.
From New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh come two classic tales of Regency-era romance, where scandalous liaisons kindle passions too powerful to conceal. MORE THAN A MISTRESSHired to serve as nursemaid to the wounded Duke of Tresham, Jane Ingleby tries to pretend it's strictly a business arrangement. Surely there could be nothing more perilous than being the lover of such a man. Yet when she gets past his devilish façade and sees the noble heart within, she knows the greatest jeopardy of all--a passion that drives her to risk everything on one perfect month with an improper gentleman who thinks that love is for fools. NO MAN'S MISTRESSLord Ferdinand Dudley is accustomed to getting what he wants--until he tries to claim his rightful estate from the bewitching Lady Viola Thornhill. Refusing to cede him the home she calls her own--and unwilling to consider marriage--Viola knows that this is a battle she cannot afford to lose. Each day under the same roof brings its share of frustration--and temptation--as both sides in this contest of wills find their resolve melting in the heat of passion's bright flame.From the Paperback edition.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Mary Balogh's The Secret Mistress.Critics call her "a veritable treasure, a matchless storyteller" (Romantic Times). Readers have fallen in love with Mary Balogh's sparkling blend of wit and romance. Now this dazzling writer sweeps us back to Regency England, into a world of dangerous secrets and glittering intrigue, as a dashing lord meets his match in a fiery beauty who vows to be ... No Man's Mistress. The dark, devastating stranger rode into the village fair and wagered twenty pounds at the throwing booth -- for a chance to win the daisies in Viola Thornhill's hair. The Gypsy fortune teller had warned: "Beware of a tall, dark, handsome stranger. He can destroy you -- if you do not first snare his heart." Recklessly Viola flirted, then danced with him around the Maypole. And then came his delicate, delicious kiss. Viola did not regret that she had let down her guard -- until the next morning, when he appeared at her door to claim her beloved Pinewood Manor. Lord Ferdinand Dudley won her home in a game of cards! Viola hated him for trying to take everything, including her soul. She was mistress of Pinewood Manor. Yet Dudley refused to leave, even as his conscience rebelled at compromising this beautiful innocent whose only proof of ownership was a dead earl's promise. Dudley held the deed, but at what cost? Each day under the same roof brought its share of temptation, intimacy, and guilt. But Viola knew it was a battle she could not afford to lose. Marriage was out of the question, and she would be no man's mistress. Even as Dudley's unnerving presence, his knowing smile, threatened to melt her resolve. Against his better judgment, Lord Ferdinand Dudley was beguiled. This maddening beauty had stirred him as no woman had before. And he was bound and determined to make her his own. At once sensuous, whimsical, and wonderfully romantic, Mary Balogh's new novel holds us in thrall, bringing to life a love story that sizzles with passion and originality.
Cuando Neville Wyatt espera en el altar a su prometida, Lauren, se imagina una ceremonia tan perfecta como su novia. Pero justo cuando Lauren está a punto de iniciar el recorrido nupcial, aparece otra mujer, vestida con un traje raído. Neville se vuelve blanco como la cera, ya que se trata de Lily, su mujer, a quien daba por muerta desde hacía dos años, y de quien apenas conserva en el recuerdo y en la piel una gloriosa noche de amor. Ahora que ella ha vuelto, los problemas son numerosos. Neville debe solucionar la situación con la disgustada Lauren, que ha estado esperando esta boda desde hace años. Y es que en el recuerdo de Neville y Lily ha quedado algo más fuerte que el deseo, algo más que una simple noche de amor.
In anticipation of the enticing third book in the Mistress trilogy, The Secret Mistress, here are never-before-published scenes from More than a Mistress and No Man's Mistress--plus Mary Balogh's new epilogue for the series. * Jocelyn and Jane: Three new scenes- "The Proposal," "The Wedding," and "Return to Acton Park"- spark more fiery passion from charmingly arrogant Jocelyn and spirited Jane. * Ferdinand and viola: Two unpublished scenes- "The Wedding" and "Home to Pinewood Manor"- prove once again that this unlikely but perfect couple is made for each other. * The Reunion: five Years Later: Enjoy a brand-new chapter that reunites readers with all three Dudley couples and their children and answers every fan's biggest question: What happened after the last page was turned? New: The enchanting prequel to the Mistress series! Readers got to know madcap Angeline and straitlaced Edward through the romantic adventures of the Dudley brothers. But Angeline and Edward have their own story of passion to tell in The Secret Mistress. Bonus: This eBook includes an excerpt from Mary Balogh's The Secret Mistress.
One reckless man . . . One passionate woman.Enter the world of Mary Balogh--the glittering ballrooms and vast country estates of Regency-era England, where romance, with all its mystery, magic, and surprises, comes vibrantly alive.It was a perfect morning in May . . . Neville Wyatt, Earl of Kilbourne, awaited his bride at the altar--when a ragged beggar woman raced down the aisle instead. The cream of the ton saw him stare, shocked, then declare that this was his wife! One night of passion was all he remembered as he beheld Lily, the woman he'd wed, loved, and lost on the battlefield in Portugal. Now he said he'd honor his commitment to her--regardless of the gulf that lay between them. Then Lily spoke her mind . . . She said she wanted only to start a new life--wanted only a husband who truly loved her. She had to leave him to learn how to meet his world on her terms. So Lily agreed to earn her keep as his aunt's companion and study the genteel arts. Soon she was the toast of the ton, every inch a countess fit for the earl, who vowed to prove to his remarkable wife that what he felt for her was far more than desire, that what he wanted from her was much more than . . . One Night for Love.From the Paperback edition.
The Survivors' Club: Six men and one woman, all wounded in the Napoleonic Wars, their friendship forged during their recovery at Penderris Hall in Cornwall. Now, in the fourth novel of the Survivors' Club series, Flavian, Viscount Ponsonby, has left this refuge to find his own salvation--in the love of a most unsuspecting woman.... Flavian, Viscount Ponsonby, was devastated by his fiancée's desertion after his return home. Now the woman who broke his heart is back--and everyone is eager to revive their engagement. Except Flavian, who, in a panic, runs straight into the arms of a most sensible yet enchanting young woman. Agnes Keeping has never been in love--and never wishes to be. But then she meets the charismatic Flavian, and suddenly Agnes falls so foolishly and so deeply that she agrees to his impetuous proposal of marriage. When Agnes discovers that the proposal is only to avenge his former love, she's determined to flee. But Flavian has no intention of letting his new bride go, especially now that he too has fallen so passionately and so unexpectedly in love.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Mary Balogh's The Secret Mistress. New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh weaves a sensuous spell of romance that brings together the unlikeliest pair of lovers in the unlikeliest place of all- an infamous London house of pleasure. She was unlike any woman he'd ever met in the ton or the demimonde. But Sir Gerald Stapleton frequented Mrs. Blyth's euphemistically dubbed "finishing school" for pure, uncomplicated pleasure-and nothing else. So why was this confirmed bachelor so thoroughly captivated by one woman in particular? Why did he find himself wondering how such a rare jewel of grace, beauty, and refinement as Priss had ended up a courtesan? And when she needed protection, why did Gerald, who'd sworn he'd never get entangled in affairs of the heart, hasten to set her up as his own pampered mistress to ensure her safety-and have her all to himself? For Priscilla Wentworth, the path leading to Sir Gerald's bed had been as filled with misfortune as it suddenly seemed charmed. But Priss couldn't allow herself to believe she'd ever be more to a man like Sir Gerald than a well-cared-for object of pleasure. Now, despite Gerald's deep distrust of marriage, neither scandal nor society's censure can keep them apart-only the fear of trusting their hearts.
In Mary Balogh's engaging and seductive new novel of drama and romance, a woman comfortable in her solitude allows temptation to free her heart, when a daring war hero shows her how truly extraordinary she is. THE PROPOSAL Gwendoline, Lady Muir, has seen her share of tragedy, especially since a freak accident took her husband much too soon. Content in a quiet life with friends and family, the young widow has no desire to marry again. But when Hugo, Lord Trentham, scoops her up in his arms after a fall, she feels a sensation that both shocks and emboldens her. Hugo never intends to kiss Lady Muir, and frankly, he judges her to be a spoiled, frivolous--if beautiful--aristocrat. He is a gentleman in name only: a soldier whose bravery earned him a title; a merchant's son who inherited his wealth. He is happiest when working the land, but duty and title now demand that he finds a wife. He doesn't wish to court Lady Muir, nor have any role in the society games her kind thrives upon. Yet Hugo has never craved a woman more; Gwen's guileless manner, infectious laugh, and lovely face have ruined him for any other woman. He wants her, but will she have him? The hard, dour ex-military officer who so gently carried Gwen to safety is a man who needs a lesson in winning a woman's heart. Despite her cautious nature, Gwen cannot ignore the attraction. As their two vastly different worlds come together, both will be challenged in unforeseen ways. But through courtship and seduction, Gwen soon finds that with each kiss, and with every caress, she cannot resist Hugo's devotion, his desire, his love, and the promise of forever.
Balogh wraps up her Regency romance series about the Huxtables with this portrait of "bad-boy" cousin (but oh so dark and sexy) Constantine. The publisher will be reissuing ten of Balogh's out-of-print Regencies over the next few years in a two-in-one format and has two more under contract, so, clearly, she's on a roll.
In this enticing new romance ripe with sensuality and wit,New York Timesbestselling author Mary Balogh proves that comfort is no match for passion when a stuffy gentleman becomes the object of desire of an adoring and spirited young woman. THE SECRET MISTRESS While Lady Angeline Dudley's pedigree dictates that she must land a titled gentleman, the irrepressible beauty secretly longs for a simple, ordinary suitor. No wild rakes like the men of her family, just a kind heart and good nature. So when Edward Ailsbury, the new Earl of Heyward, rescues her with unmatched civility from the advances of a scoundrel, Angeline thinks that she has found her true love. Persuading the earl is another matter entirely. Edward has his future neatly mapped out. He hopes to wed his steadfast companion, a woman who shares his values of loyalty, respect, and decorum. But arriving in London to take his seat in the House of Lords, he is derailed by Angeline, an exquisite bird of paradise seemingly devoted to sending his predictable life into chaos. From the brilliant hues of her fashion to her hoydenish antics, Angeline is the last woman on earth for Edward. And yet a stolen kiss in the moonlight awakens something deep and primal within him. Naturally, being a gentleman, he does the right thing after compromising a lady: He offers marriage. Angeline knows that Edward's proposal is born of duty, not love. But denying something so provocative and passionate is easier said than done. Deep down, Angeline believes that Edward's dedication to convention will melt behind closed doors, where sensuality and seduction play wicked games. For a proper wife by day can become a husband's secret mistress by night, when delicious desire rules. From the Hardcover edition.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Mary Balogh's The Secret Mistress.Mary Balogh has no equal when it comes to capturing the complex, irresistible passions between men and women. Her classic novel, The Secret Pearl, is one of the New York Times bestselling author's finest-a tale of temptation and seduction, of guarded hearts and raw emotion...and of a love so powerful it will take your breath away.... He first spies her in the shadows outside a London theatre, a ravishing creature forced to barter her body to survive. To the woman known simply as Fleur, the well-dressed gentleman with the mesmerizing eyes is an unlikely savior. And when she takes the stranger to her bed, she never expects to see him again. But then Fleur accepts a position as governess to a young girl...and is stunned to discover that her midnight lover is a powerful nobleman. As two wary hearts ignite-and the threat of scandal hovers over them-one question remains: will she be mistress or wife?
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Mary Balogh's The Secret Mistress. In a time unlike any other, a family you'll never forget . . . Meet the Huxtables--three headstrong sisters and their dashing brother--each searching for love that's always a shocking indiscretion away. . . . In her magnificent new novel, New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh sweeps us into a world of scandal and intrigue--glittering Regency England--and introduces the youngest Huxtable: Stephen, the only son. Here Stephen will risk his reputation and his heart as he enters a scandalous liaison with the infamous beauty intent on seduction. But when passion turns the tables on them both, who can say who has seduced whom? He must be wealthy, wellborn, and want her more than he wants any other woman. Those are the conditions that must be met by the man Cassandra Belmont chooses for her lover. Marriage is out of the question for the destitute widow who stands accused of murdering her husband and must now barter her beauty in order to survive. With seduction in mind, she sets her sights on Stephen Huxtable, the irresistibly attractive Earl of Merton and London's most eligible bachelor. But Stephen's first intriguing glimpse of the mysterious, alluring Lady Paget convinces him that he has found the ideal woman to share his bed. There is only one caveat. This relationship fueled by mutual pleasure must be on his terms. As the two warily circle each other in a sensual dance of attack and retreat, a single night of passion alters all the rules. Cassandra, whose reputation is already in tatters, is now in danger of losing the one thing she vowed never to give. And Stephen, who wants Cassandra more than he has ever wanted any woman, won't rest until she has surrendered everything--not as his mistress--but as his lover and wife. . . .
Two sisters of opposing temperments who share the pangs of tragic love provide the theme for Jane Austen's dramatically human narrative. Their mutual suffering brings a closer understanding between the two sisters- and true love finally triumphs when sense gives way to sensibility and sensibility gives way to sense.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Mary Balogh's The Secret Mistress.New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh returns to the elegance and sensuality of Regency England as she continues the enthralling story of four remarkable women-friends and teachers at Miss Martin's School for Girls. At the center of this spellbinding novel is Anne Jewell, a teacher haunted by a scandalous past...until she meets a man who teaches her the most important lesson of all: nothing is simple when it comes to love.... She spies him in the deepening dusk of a Wales evening-a lone figure of breathtaking strength and masculinity, his handsome face branded by a secret pain. For single mother and teacher Anne Jewell, newly arrived with her son at a sprawling estate in Wales on the invitation of an influential friend, Sydnam Butler is a man whose sorrows-and passions-run deeper than she could have ever imagined. As steward of a remote seaside manor, Sydnam lives a reclusive existence far from the pity and disdain of others. Yet almost from the moment Anne first appears on the cliffs, he senses in this lovely stranger a kindred soul, and between these two wary hearts, desire stirs. Unable to resist the passion that has rescued them both from loneliness, Anne and Sydnam share an afternoon of exquisite lovemaking. Now the unwed single mother and war-scarred veteran must make a decision that could forever alter their lives. For Sydnam, it is a chance to heal the pain of the past. For Anne, it is the glorious promise of a future with the man who will dare her to reveal her deepest secrets...before she can give him all her heart.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Mary Balogh's The Secret Mistress.On a splendid August afternoon Susanna Osbourne is introduced to the most handsome man she has ever seen . . . and instantly feels the icy chill of recognition. Peter Edgeworth, Viscount Whitleaf, is utterly charming--and seemingly unaware that they have met before. With his knowing smile and seductive gaze, Peter acts the rake; but he stirs something in Susanna she has never felt before, a yearning that both frightens and dazzles her. Instantly she knows: this brash nobleman poses a threat to her heart . . . and to the secrets she guards so desperately. From the moment they meet, Peter is drawn to Susanna's independence, dazzled by her sharp wit--he simply must have her. But the more he pursues, the more Susanna withdraws . . . until a sensual game of thrust-and-parry culminates in a glorious afternoon of passion. Now more determined than ever to keep her by his side, Peter begins to suspect that a tragic history still haunts Susanna. And as he moves closer to the truth, Peter is certain of one thing: he will defy the mysteries of her past for a future with this exquisite creature--all Susanna must do is trust him with the most precious secret of all. . . .
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Mary Balogh's The Secret Mistress.Set against the seductive backdrop of Regency England, New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh's latest novel sweeps us into the sensual, enthralling world of an elite academy for young ladies. Here, amid music lessons and garden parties, whispered confessions and secret yearnings, one of the school's teachers--headmistress Claudia Martin--will find her well-ordered world jolted by love when she meets a man who would make the perfect husband...for somebody else.Tall, dark, and exquisitely sensual, he is the epitome of male perfection. Not that Claudia Martin is looking for a lover. Or a husband. As owner and headmistress of Miss Martin's School for Girls in Bath, she long ago resigned herself to a life without love. Until Joseph, Marquess of Attingsborough, arrives unannounced and tempts her to toss away a lifetime of propriety for an affair that can only lead to ruin. Joseph has his own reasons for seeking Claudia out. Instantly, irresistibly attracted to the dedicated teacher, he embarks on a plan of seduction that leaves them both yearning for more. But as heir to a prestigious dukedom, Joseph is expected to carry on his family's legacy. And Claudia knows she has no place in his world. Now that world is about to be rocked by scandal. An arranged marriage, a secret that will shock the ton, and a man from Claudia's past conspire to drive the lovers apart. But Joseph is determined to make Claudia his at any cost. Even if that means defying convention and breaking every rule for a love that is everything he has ever wanted--a love that is perfection itself...
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Mary Balogh's The Secret Mistress.New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh returns to the seductive world she knows so well-Regency England-in a new novel filled with her trademark wit, sensuality, and breathtaking storytelling. With this, the first in a dazzling new quartet of novels, Balogh invites us into a special world-a select academy for young ladies- a world of innocence and temptation. Drawing us into the lives of four women, teachers at Miss Martin's School for Girls, Balogh introduces this novel's marvelous heroine: music teacher Frances Allard-and the man who seduces her with a passion no woman could possibly forget.... They meet in a ferocious snowstorm. She is a young teacher with a secret past. He is the cool, black-caped stranger who unexpectedly comes to her rescue. Between these two unlikely strangers, desire is instantaneous...and utterly impossible to resist. Stranded together in a rustic country inn, Lucius Marshall, who is the Viscount Sinclair, and Frances Allard share a night of glorious, unforgettable passion. But Frances knows her place-and it is far from the privileged world of the sensual aristocrat. Due to begin her teaching position at Miss Martin's School in Bath, Frances must try to forget that one extraordinary night-and the man who touched her with such exquisite tenderness and abandon. But Frances cannot hide forever. And when fate once again throws them together, Lucius refuses to take no for an answer. If Frances will not be his wife, he will make her his mistress. So begins an odyssey fraught with intrigue, one that defies propriety and shocks the straitlaced ton. For Lucius's passionate, single-minded pursuit is about to force Frances to give up all her secrets-except one-to win the heart of the man she already loves. Once again this incomparable storyteller captures a time and a place like no other. And in Lucius and Frances, Mary Balogh gives us her most unlikely lovers yet-a nobleman in search of the perfect wife and an unconventional woman willing to risk everything for an unforgettable love.