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Millicent understands the terms of her arranged marriage all too well. She gets to be a Countess by marrying an impoverished Earl. And in return, the Earl Fitzhugh receives the benefit of her vast wealth, saving his family from bankruptcy. Because of her youth, they have agreed to wait eight years before consummating the marriage--and then, only to beget an heir. After which, they will lead separate lives.
It is a most sensible arrangement. Except for one little thing. Somehow Millie has fallen head over heels in love with her husband. Her husband, who has become her very best friend, but nothing more...Her husband, who plans to reunite with his childhood sweetheart, the beautiful and newly widowed Isabella, as soon as he has honored the pact with his wife...
As the hour they truly become husband-and-wife draws near, both Millie and Fitzhugh must face the truth in their hearts. Has their pact bred only a great friendship--or has it, without either of them quite noticing, given rise to a great love?
The second in Thomas's Fitzhugh romance trilogy is set against the realism of 19th-century English arranged marriages. To fill the empty coffers of his family's estate, Lord Fitzhugh must marry Millie Graves, a prosperous manufacturer's daughter. While neither Millie nor Fitz has much choice in the matter, Fitz bemoans the fact that he cannot wed his childhood love, Isabelle Pelham. Millie, mature beyond her teen years, is aware of her fianc 's aversion and proposes a marriage of convenience for a term of eight years. But Millie does not anticipate that, after eight years of friendship with Fitz, her unrequited love for him will deepen. Fitz and Millie's romantic tension grows as they renegotiate their marriage terms, while newly widowed Isabelle returns to England, forcing Fitz to make some life-changing decisions. Millie's intellect and selflessness make her a standout among a cast of memorable characters in this expertly plotted and emotionally wrenching love story.