After leaving the army and falling out with his family, the Honorable Catesby Burgoyne is drowning his sorrows when he comes across a woman being attacked by thugs. A fight is just what he needs, but little does he realize the lady he rescues will change his life.
For Prudence Youlgrave is not just the victim of ruffians. Her life has been made a shambles by her selfish brother and brutish fiancé. But she has a bold and courageous spirit Catesby can’t resist, and before he knows it, he finds he has rescued her again by marrying her himself.
A reckless adventurer may be forgiven for such an impulse. But when Catesby’s older brother suddenly dies, he finds himself Earl of Malzard, and Prudence is suddenly a most unlikely countess. Neither she nor Catesby are prepared to face the shock of his family. Still almost strangers, they have no one to turn to but each other, and it is in each other’s arms that they find a love neither ever expected.
"Another jewel in Beverley’s heavily decorated crown."—The Romance Reader
"A delightful blend of wit, intrigue, and emotional victories."—The State (Columbia, SC)
Beverley's 11th Malloren World romance, which starts a new trilogy, is a delightful, deftly plotted exploration of social class, gender roles, and romance. Prudence Youlgrave's expectations are reasonable for an impoverished woman in 1765 Yorkshire: she hopes to improve her station by marrying well. When roguish Catesby Burgoyne rescues her from robbers and persuades her to marry him, both are shocked by their impulsiveness and then stunned when Cate's older brother's death makes him the implausible earl of Malzard and Prudence an improbable countess. Prudence and Cate's path to love is rife with obstacles and charming secondary characters such as the formidable Lady Arradale. Though the final confrontation with Prudence's former fianc is disappointingly anticlimactic, the romance is otherwise charming and refreshingly restrained.