The heavy hands and sharp tongues of Bella Smithson’s family have left her almost too timid to converse with a gentleman, much less conduct a husband hunt. Unfortunately, her overbearing aunt and managing cousin are determined to help her escape her black-hearted father and brothers.
Thanks to the Prince of Wales, retiring shipping magnate Myron Clewes has an ever-growing fortune, a fresh-minted peerage, a brand-new flagship, and an impossible set of requirements for a bride. Not least, she must be willing to leave England and everything she knows, possibly for good, in less than two months’ time.
Bella’s Happy-Ever-After in Royal Regard had its origins in a Happier-Than-She-Expected with her first husband, Baron Holsworthy, who gave her the confidence to steady her sea legs, take her life by the helm, and command her own voice, empowering a shy, young girl and unlikely adventurer to grow into one of King George IV’s trusted advisors.
Prequel to Royal Regard
This prequel to Royal Regard gives a wonderful insight to the life of Bella Smithson prior to her true HEA. The daughter of an intolerable drunk baron with equally abusive brothers, Bella enjoys living with her Aunt, Uncle & cousin at least when her father forgets about her existence. Having had an awful start to her 1st London season, “knowing” she is not a beauty Bella only hopes for someone to take her away from her father & brothers and care for her.
Newly minted peer, shipping magnate Myron Clewes is searching for a bride. Not just any bride but one that will leave her family & everything she knows for a life at sea. Spotting Bella at a party he thinks he might have found the one. After a whirlwind courtship, Myron is speaking with Bella’s uncle when her father makes an appearance. Shocked & disgusted with the way the man treats Bella brings out Myron’s protective side & knows he must get Bella away. (He’ll be shocked further once they have set sail.)
What follows is a sweet, comfortable love story. Although not the type to sweep the girl off her feet is a love of mutual admiration. Myron helps Bella develop the strength & determination to voice her opinions & to stand up for herself.
This is the first book of Mariana Gabrielle’s that I have read & have completely fallen in love with her writing. Having this insight into the character gives a new understanding of where she came from & what drives her in Royal Regard. Was so into the story that I had to immediately start Royal Regard. A definite add to my favorite author list!!!
I enjoyed this prelude, an introduction to some of Mariana's characters. Bella grew up under a great deal of violence and degradation. It kept her under a semblance of control, but her heart wanted more. Her savior comes in the guise of an older man, Myron, who sees that she can be more than she thinks she is capable of. He recognizes her strength and ability to make a good match for him. This story kept me enthalled and I look forward to the next step in Royal Regard.