Damaris Chance's unhappy past has turned her off the idea of marriage forever. But her guardian, Lady Beatrice Davenham, convinces her to make her coming out anyway - and have a season of carefree, uncomplicated fun.
When Damaris finds herself trapped in a compromising situation with the handsome rake Freddy Monkton-Coombes, she has no choice but to agree to wed him - as long as it's in name only. Her new husband seems to accept her terms, but Freddy has a plan of his own: to seduce his reluctant winter bride.
Will Damaris's secrets destroy her chance at true happiness? Or can Freddy help her cast off the shackles of the past, and yield to delicious temptation?
Praise for Anne Gracie:
'You can't go past Anne Gracie.' Stephanie Laurens
'I never miss an Anne Gracie book.' Julia Quinn
'With her signature superbly nuanced characters, subtle sense of wit, and richly emotional writing, Gracie puts her distinctive stamp on a classic Regency plot.' The Chicago Tribune
Gracie continues the charming seasonal saga of the four Chance sisters (introduced in The Autumn Bride), family by choice rather than blood, with this thoughtful and tender Regency. Miss Damaris Chance (formerly Tait), a missionary's daughter, has a well-earned "abhorrence of marriage." The Honorable Frederick Monkton-Coombes wants to present a fianc e to his cold and distant parents to avoid their matchmaking schemes. Freddy and Damaris enter into a business arrangement: she will engage in a faux betrothal in exchange for ownership of a cottage that will allow her to be self-sufficient. Freddy's cultivation of his rakish reputation has developed his wooing skills, which are put to the test when his friendship with Damaris evolves slowly into romance, despite both parties' hurts and vulnerabilities. Gracie gradually expands the setting without overwhelming the reader by sending Damaris and Freddy to his family estate, separating them from Damaris's benefactor and Freddy's business partners, while setting the scene for the next two seasons.
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