Synopses & Reviews
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 branded 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.
"Ah, the arranged marriage. Can even the bestselling Balogh (Seducing an Angel) find anything fresh in this staple of historical romance? The answer, as demonstrated in this breezy tale, is yes. Reginald Mason is a dashing young rake whose spendthrift habits so outrage his wealthy coal-merchant father that Reggie is given an ultimatum: he must marry whomever his parents choose or lose his inheritance. He's soon matched with Annabelle Ashton, daughter of an earl whose property adjoins the Masons' land. Annabelle has not only ruined a proposed marriage to a loathsome marquis but put herself outside polite society by attempting to run off with a coachman. It's the perfect match: the earl needs his daughter to marry into money, and Reggie's father longs for acceptance in high society. The young couple, naturally, resent both one another and their fathers, but the author has a surprise in store for both the reader and the scheming parents. Balogh's in fine form, stripping the story to its core to give readers a fast-moving and winning romance." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Mary Balogh does it again. She transported me to the wonderful world of Regency England. This is a not-to-be-missed story with a surprising twist.”
Christine Feehan, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“A marvelous gem of a story”
“Will have readers gasping and smiling with delight. A can’t-miss choice....”
Romantic Times, 4 ½ stars
“Readers will see this delightful novella as a gift from a favorite author. Balogh utilizes the classic class theme, gives it a twist or two, and utterly charms fans with a tale that’s sweet and sizzling, witty and romantic, dramatic and surprising. Better than chocolate or flowers, it’s a love story to remember.”
An original romantic novella from the New York Times bestselling author of Slightly Wicked
From the "New York Times"-bestselling author of "Slightly Wicked" comes another classic historical tale that sizzles with romance and unforgettable drama.
About the Author
Mary Balogh grew up in Wales, and after graduating from university, moved to Saskatchewan, Canada, to teach high-school English. Her first Regency love story, A Masked Deception, was published in 1985. She has written more than seventy novels and almost thirty novellas since then, including the New York Times bestselling Slightly sextet and Simply quartet. She has won numerous awards, including Bestselling Historical of the Year from the Borders Group, and her novel Simply Magic was a finalist in the Quill Awards. She lives in Regina, Canada.