Finding true love is no easy thing. Widowed Arabella Lawson, Lady Farnsworth, 'not the type of woman to incite great passion in the gentlemen', comes to town to chaperone her niece, and with a personal 'mission'--to take a lover.
The thing is she was married off to a much older man and before she returns to a quiet country life she decides to live just a little, to find out the truth and hopefully the joy of a brief romance.
Stolen kisses in the library seem a start--or an ending.
Merrick Bishop, the Earl of Rothwell needs an heir.
Some quiet biddable debutante seems the very thing. This restless rake is determined to be a faithful husband once married. He has his reasons! But those stolen kisses had rather more of an effect on him than he cares to admit.Merrick is suffering the burden of his dead father's rampant casual affairs. The consequences have prompted Merrick to actions hidden away from society's view, actions more likely to earn their condemnation.
He, the relentless rogue, is secretly a man of ideals with a social conscience.
As he tells Arabella, Women are largely at a disadvantage in our society...They are expected to be silent when mistreated and have no grounds to complain or receive compensation for cruel use. It is wrong.'
Their relationship comes to a head when Arabella's dastardly villain of a brother-in-law attempts to sell her to the highest bidder! Something he has nor right to do as she is a the widow of his brother, albeit his responsibility. Arabella turns to Merrick for help. And what an entrance into his bachelor establishment that is!
Merrick's arranges for Arabella to be taken to a safe haven, not without some difficulties and confusion.
Then there's Merrick's secretary Anson Holland. What a delightful man. Actually, Merrick's staff are all rather special.
And Merrick's dreaded aunt Pen-- well she turns out to be a trooper!
An above average rattle with enough of a twist in the tail to sustain my interest.
A NetGalley ARC