Bestselling author Julie Garwood's classic love story is filled with "the humor, the sweetness, and the sensuality" (Publishers Weekly) that have made her "a trusted brand name in romantic fiction" (People).
Only her beloved grandmother, Lady Esther, knew how devastated Taylor Stapleton had been when her fiancé eloped with Taylor's cousin. Now dear Esther -- one of London's richest and most formidable matriarchs -- lies dying. But first she was going to help Taylor pull off the scam of the season.
To escape becoming a ward of her unscrupulous uncle, Taylor would wed Lucas Ross, a rugged American rancher. Lady Esther's money would enable Ross to return home to Montana. Taylor had her own urgent reason to go to America...a precious legacy she hadn't revealed to Ross, for they had agreed to part ways once they reached Boston. But as her handsome new husband spoke of life in Montana, Taylor began planning a new future. To Taylor, the wide-open spaces of Montana sounded like paradise....
The opening line of Garwood's ( Saving Grace ) latest novel, ``The vultures were gathering in the vestibule,'' aptly sets the tone for the machinations to follow. These ``vultures'' (of 1868 vintage) are the greedy relatives of Lady Esther Stapleton awaiting the death of their wealthy kin. Worst of the lot is Esther's son, Malcolm, a devious and demented gentleman who is unaware that his vigil is useless: his mother has already transferred her wealth from England to a Boston bank in the name of her favorite granddaughter, Taylor. To shield Taylor from Malcolm's wrath, Esther arranges for the girl to marry Lucas Ross, a Montana rancher itching to end his visit to England. The couple readily agree to the plan: Lucas needs the money to bring his younger brother to America, and Taylor knows Lucas's protection is the only way she can safeguard her tiny orphaned nieces from Malcolm, whose sexual appetite runs to the very young. The marriage is to be annulled as soon as they reach the States, but love has a way of upsetting the best-laid plans. Garwood pads her story with pages of intricate detail (bathing, shopping, decor, traveling, etc.) that ultimately slow the pace to a crawl. Readers can enjoy this book for the humor, the sweetness and the sensuality.