"Jo Beverley strains the boundaries of political correctness . . . There is no denying Ms. Beverley is a master storyteller and perhaps because of this political incorrectness she delivers a powerfully fresh stage for her story." ~Tara A. Green
Ruined through her vile brother's schemes, Eleanor Chivenham is offered rescue by marriage to a rake with an infamous French mistress. Eleanor accepts, determined to treat the arranged marriage with cool dignity.
Then she meets Nicholas Delaney. Not only does he stir her senses, but the trouble and pain beneath his smooth exterior reaches her heart.
Nicholas is indeed troubled. While serving his country by seducing secrets out of a French spy, he is persuaded to marry Eleanor to protect his family's honor. But such chivalry runs counter to his carefully wrought rogue image, and extends the life-threatening plots shadowing him to Eleanor.
To assist, Nicholas re-assembles the Company of Rogues, a schoolboy group he started years before. But not even they can dampen Eleanor's fighting wit that is quickly unmasking their enemy and testing Nicholas' formidable will.
From The Publisher: Author Jo Beverley is known for her consumate attention to historical detail that wisks the reader back in time to a near first-hand experience. Fans of Regency romance and historical British fiction set in the 19th century, as well as readers of Jess Michaels, Mary Balogh, Christi Caldwell, Stephanie Laurens, Madeline Hunter and Mary Jo Putney will want to read every book by Jo Beverley.
Best Regency Novel, Romantic Times
"A splendid love story... a veritable feast of delight. Bravo!" ~Romantic Times
After decades, a fond reintroduction
I purchased this in paper when it came out. Now all my books are packed, because of a tiny house we rent.
Since Jo died, having doing her last edit on another book, while rapidly getting closer to leaving us, there are no more of her novels: thus rereads are a necessity.
She and about a dozen others were what I call the first wave of Regencies post-Heyer. Walker, Zebra, Avon, and Signet were the primary publishers of Regencies, and most of those authors and line editors Knew Their Stuff about the Regency era, and some, like Jo, the previous Georgian era as well. They knew the language, the customs, and nothing 20th C. intruded.
I’m surprised that this was a non-chronologically published first novel—its quality stands out.
Mind you, were I in Eleanor’s shoes, I’d be in Ophelia mode.
There are twists and turn that keep the reader engaged, with no desire to throw the book at the wall, or throttle the protagonists.
Beyond that, I leave as sn exercise to the reader.
An Arranged Marriage (Company of Rogues)
Read until I was convinced that the book was as bad as I thought it couldn’t be. Her brother set her up to be raped? NOT a historical romance by any stretch. Sick.