The Parfit Knight
When the Marquis of Amberley's coachman is shot by highwaymen, he is forced to take shelter at the first house he finds and is trapped there by a blizzard. Cut off from the outside world by the result of a tragic accident, Rosalind Vernon lives alone but for her servants and an ill-mannered parrot. But Rosalind is bright, brave and devoid of self-pity and it is these qualities which, as the snow continues to fall, touch Amberley's heart. But the course of his courtship is far from smooth. Rosalind appears to be falling under the spell of the Duke of Rockliffe; her brother dislikes Amberley; and worse of all, the Marquis is haunted by a dark and terrible secret which may turn all his hopes to dust.
At the house-party from hell, the Duke of Rockliffe meets Adeline Kendrick - acid-tongued and no more than passably good-looking, yet somehow alluring. Worse still, she is cursed with some utterly deplorable relatives. As a future duchess, therefore, Adeline is out of the question ... until a bizarre turn of events cause Rockliffe to throw caution to the winds and make what his world will call a mesalliance.
Once back in London, Rockliffe begins to scent a mystery and Adeline finds herself confronting a family skeleton which emerges without warning from the closet. Is this unexpected marriage really a mesalliance after all?
Tragedy drove him into exile. Death demands his return. In the decade between, he has answered to many names and amassed a variety of secrets. Now the actor known to Paris as L'Inconnu must resume his real identity and become the Earl of Sarre ... a man he no longer knows how to be and whose name, thanks to the malice of a friend turned enemy, remains tarnished by an old scandal. Revenge, so long avoided, slithers temptingly from the shadows.
Grand-daughter of a wealthy merchant, Caroline Maitland knows she will be married for her money and does not believe she will ever find love; but neither did she bargain for a charming French highwayman ... and a surprising turn of events.
The stage is set, the cast assembled and the Duke of Rockliffe waits for the curtain to rise.
In the wings, Lord Sarre prepares to make his entrance. He doesn't expect to be greeted with applause.