Bedding a lady...for his own gain!Sir Christopher Carlyon yearned to leave the dissipation of court, to have again the settled life he knew before the war. The only way was to accept a disgraceful bet from the Duke of Buckingham. If he could bed the astrologer's daughter, Celia Antiquis, the duke would give him the manor of Latter.When he met Celia she confounded all of Kit's expectations. She truly was the chaste woman of her repute, but also so very alluring! To seduce her would be a pleasure indeed, but how could Kit ruin her for his own gain?
Pretend marriage...real danger!The only way actress Catherine Wood could ensure her brother's release from jail was to accompany "Tom Trenchard" to Holland on a spying mission, while pretending to be his wife! With his roguish charm Tom made no bones about wanting Catherine in his bed-after all, she was an actress. But Catherine was determined to hold him at bay no matter how appealing he was. As they traveled into danger and depended upon one another, their attraction turned to love, and then misunderstanding. Would an eleventh-hour race against death finally make this "pretend" couple reveal the truth about their love?
Martin Chancellor, the blackest sheep of a disreputable family, is now the sole heir to the estates-and to his brother's promised bride! Martin's reluctance to marry fades when he sees Lady Kate Wyville, but he has no idea that she possesses a free and wily spirit to match his own. Love, trust and family loyalty all come into question as the Essex rebellion gathers pace against the Queen. . . ;.
Sir Neville Fortescue MP comes from a long line of rakes and hell-raisers--and he's determined to live a decent life. He certainly doesn't associate with women like the notoriously unconventional Diana, Duchess of Medbourne. But when Neville and Diana are forced together to help a servant girl, they plunge into a shady world of brothels, plots and murder. Neville realizes that he has underestimated the beautiful young widow--and his own love of danger and adventure. Could staid Sir Neville be a fit match for the Daring Duchess?
Running Blanchard's Bank after her father's death was fulfilling for Anastasia but, even so, she felt there was something missing from her life. Problems with the branch in York, decided Stacy. She would go herself. But the November weather turned severe and, with her retinue, she sought refuge at Pontisford Hall. It was a nightmare! The Hall was in a parlous state, and the man she thought to be the butler turned out to be Matthew, Lord Radley. He was quite as forceful and autocratic as herself, and the sparks that flew during her enforced stay had repercussions that quite appalled her....
THE SURPRISE WEDDING Bess was a girl when she first saw her husband on their wedding day. Andrew, Earl of Exford, left after the ceremony, and as Bess blossomed into a lovely woman, she reveled in the freedom afforded by her absent spouse. Yet she knew the day would come when she would come face-to-face with her long-estranged husband.... On the day of his return, Drew found himself speechless at his wife's heart-stopping beauty and charm. Could it be that this once awkward girl was the bride he had deserted so long ago? Furthermore, could she ever forgive his cruel neglect and return his love?
The cynical Earl of Devenish, often most deserving of his nickname Devil, little expected to be so powerfully drawn to his neighbor Mrs. Drusilla Faulkner. Quiet and demure in public, in private she showed a wit and strength of will to match his own. But her husband's untimely death was part of the puzzle he was investigating, and he couldn't be sure that she wasn't involved. . . .
From shy girl to assured beautyGauche, unloved Lady Dinah Freville finds a champion in Cobie Grant. They share the taint of illegitimacy, which the rich and handsome Cobie has overcome. And he is equally determined to see Dinah blossom.Tricking Dinah's feckless half-brother into allowing them to marry, Cobie then sends his wife to Paris to be groomed. The lady who returns is a beautiful, assured woman. But he's already made it clear to her that he'll never fall in love....
Rogues and rakes, society and scandal, babes born out of wedlock and old family secrets...all play a part in these tantalizing tales of passion, betrayal and honor, in which four feisty, independent women claim their place in society and in the arms of the men they love. Bundle includes A Very Unusual Governess by Sylvia Andrew, An Unconventional Duenna by Paula Marshall, Scandal and Miss Smith by Julia Byrne, and a special bonus, the short story A Twelfth Night Tale by Diane Gaston.
Rescuer...Protector...Husband?Miss Hester Waring's father was a wastrel and a drunkard, who had alienated most of Sydney society.When he died, Hester found herself destitute and alone, with no one to rely on. Her rescue came from a most unlikely source-Mr.Tom Dilhorne, an ex-convict, now the richest man in Sydney. He engineered a teaching job for her, but knew that if he was to be accepted by society he needed a lady for a wife. And Hester was every inch a lady. Luckily the skinny schoolteacher wasn't at all his type, so he wouldn't be in danger of losing his heart...would he?
Civil war in a nation...and in a family!Jack Dilhorne was in Washington, D.C., on business just as war was being declared between the North and South. It was not the best of times to meet someone as intriguing as Marietta Hope.Marietta's reputation preceded her: Jack expected her to be an embittered old maid. He was delightfully surprised to find her a bright, witty and goodlooking woman. But as Jack and Marietta grew closer their love came under threat from war...and from an enemy much closer to home!
THE MYSTERY MAN OF HER DREAMSAfter losing his beloved wife in childbirth, Thomas Dilhorne is a man inconsolable. Worried that his son will never recover from his grief, Thomas's father sends him to Melbourne to do a little business and try to enjoy himself. But an attack by robbers turns the Dilhorne heir into a man who can remember neither his name nor his past.Kirstie Moore can hardly believe it when her father brings home a mysterious vagrant! Fred Waring might have duped her father into believing he was a decent sort, but Kirstie has her suspicions. Soon "Fred" proves he's a good worker and works his charms on the Moore family, including beautiful Kirstie. But will she still love him when she discovers his true identity?
Four years of war and even more years of trying to save the family estate have knocked the daredevil out of Jack Compton. Seeing Lady Chancellor joyously dancing the Charleston brings his passion for life back full force! As luck would have it, this wealthy heiress is drawn to him. But pride is a powerful thing. Unwilling to be branded a fortune-hunter, will Jack choose honor over love?
Russell Chancellor, Lord Hadleigh, found the love of his life over a decade ago, but she was forced to marry elsewhere. When a chance meeting at a house party unites him with Mary Wardour once more, both realize that the feelings between them have never died. Mary is now a widow and free to marry. Russell needs to marry or forgo his inheritance. But they have to discover the truth behind the secrets and betrayals that drove them apart before they can hope to find future happiness together. . . .
In the fresh spring of Elizabeth I's reign...Against the pageantry of the Virgin Queen's coronation, an ambitious young courtier and a quietly determined maid of honor struggle for life...and love!As a maid of honor to the Queen, Penelope Jermaine must avoid the pitfalls of Court life-unwary speech and unguarded emotions could prove fatal. A young woman's reputation must be above suspicion, so she has to tread carefully when Oliver Woodville promises more than mere friendship. Then a shadowy threat menaces Penelope and Oliver...and even the Queen herself.The Elizabethan SeasonGlory and tragedy, love and betrayal in the Age of Elizabeth
Regency. More than a simple tutor. . . Major Richard Chancellor had been on some difficult assignments, but posing as a tutor to a respectable family had to be the most challenging. His task was to expose a traitor, but his instant awareness of Miss Pandora Compton, chatelaine of the estate, made the subterfuge increasingly difficult. While Major Richard Chancellor was a very eligible parti, mild and scholarly Mr. Edward Ritchie, the tutor, was not. Although Pandora did seem to show a marked predilection for his company. How would she react when she learned of his deception?
UNCOVERING SECRETSInspecting the property recently inherited from his great-aunt, Jess Fitzroy found a youth and two children playing cricket on his grounds.The "youth" was the widowed Mrs. Georgina Herron, but, in behaving like a stern papa, he infuriated her before he and she could come to terms.Jess didn't think of Georgie as suitable parti, until he learned the truth behind the facade she-and others!-presented to the world....
A Young Woman Disappears. A Husband Is Suspected Of Murder. Stirring Times For All The Neighborhood.Since the murder of the Marquis of Sywell shook the quiet neighborhood of Steepwood Abbey, Madam Felice has been careful to conceal her true identity. Now she senses danger and exposure ahead because, for the first time in her life, she feels the lure of a man's attraction. But which is she more terrified of losing-her mask or her heart?Driven by desire to make this elegant modiste his mistress, Marcus, Lord Angmering, sets out to discover the truth. As he gradually peels away the layers of her disguise, Marcus unveils the terrible secret that she has been so desperate to hide....
What was he keeping from her?Cobie Grant made a quixotic marriage to save Lady Dinah Freville from her unkind relatives. Now he thinks he can enjoy the benefits of married life without involving his feelings. But somehow he's finding it harder and harder to hold Dinah at arm's length-especially since she has become a beautiful, assured woman.Dinah, loving Cobie deeply, fully intends to do whatever is necessary to win his love. A task made even more difficult when she discovers he is leading a secret life...
Azalea by Brenda HiattAzalea Clayton was nobody's fool. After the death of her parents and guardian, she was determined to make her own way in the world. When her unscrupulous uncle tried to steal her inheritance, she thwarted him. When her young husband was supposedly lost at sea, she managed to go on. But what was she to do when her husband miraculously returned from the dead and announced his plans to marry someone else!The Cyprian's Sister by Paula MarshallIt was a case of mistaken morality! Miss Bel Merrick was the decorous daughter of a clergyman whose sister, Marianne, had set out to seek her fortune in dubious ways. Before she died, Marianne had attempted to blackmail the nephew of Lord Francis Carey a mistake Bel soon came to regret. Lord Francis assumed she had followed in her sister's footsteps, and he set out to make her pay for her sister's avarice in kind!
Passionate ConquestDuchess Elena de Carisenda fears her small but wealthy duchy will be taken from her by force. Her only chance for survival is to hire an army to protect her and her people-and mercenary Marco Rinaldi is the best soldier money can buy.Marco pledges to fight off all invaders, but one look at the beautiful duchess and he insists he'll pose even more of a threat if he and Elena wed. Strong and commanding, he awakes the sensual woman deep inside her, but soon it is apparent he harbors a dark secret. Is their marriage part of a plan for revenge?
Arranged marriages, sizzling sexual attraction and tender romance--this bundle set in Elizabethan England has it all. Included are A Most Unseemly Summer, Sweet Treason and The Deserted Bride.
FAMILY SECRETSSomething had gone wrong with the London end of the Dilhorne business empire, and Alan had been sent to England to make things right. But almost immediately after his arrival Alan met Ned Hatton, and to his total astonishment found that they were almost identical. It wasn't until he met Ned's sister, Eleanor, and learned more of their family background that he realized the likeness was more than a coincidence. The trouble was, as he grew to love Eleanor, the family secret could sweep away any hope he had of a lifetime with his true love.
Two young women, up from Steepwood to London for the Season, immediately attract the attention of two highly eligible young men. Tall, dark and confident, Athene Filmer seizes the opportunity to act as companion to her small, blonde and decidedly timid friend when she is launched into the ton. Illegitimate, with no dowry, Athene sees this as her one chance to make a rich marriage. But troubles arise when both young women consider Adrian, Lord Kinloch, to be the ideal husband. It's more than obvious to Athene that his formidably brusque cousin, Nicholas Cameron, is disapproving of her - seeing her as an adventuress on the make - but since Nick has shown no signs of offering her marriage himself, she knows she should dismiss all thought of him! But Nick will not be ignored. . .
The Lady and the ConvictSociety heiress Sarah Langley came to Australia to get away from her stifling English home. But she didn't expect to mix with transported criminals like the duplicitous Tom Dilhorne and the infuriating, intense Alan Kerr.An unjustly disgraced doctor, Alan Kerr spent all his energy helping Sydney's poor. He had no time to waste on silly society women like Sarah Langley. But his feelings changed when he learned more about the caring beauty. And from their unlikely friendship, a forbidden passion started to grow....