"[An] enchanting debut…The allure of lifelong love between Will and Elaina will entice readers from the first page." -Publishers Weekly
"Readers will be swept away by this new twist on an old favorite." -BookLife Reviews, STARRED Review
Elaina Walker has waited for her childhood sweetheart to return from the Napoleonic Wars for eight years. At five-and-twenty, the pressure to marry well is mounting, despite being unable to forget Will, the Duke of Blackmore's second son.
Will Winter doesn't care much for his father's qualifications for a proper wife. When he returns to England and sees Elaina again, he knows he must have her, despite her meager dowry and precarious standing in society as the daughter of his family's land steward.
As their attraction to one another intensifies, Elaina must make a decision: one that may further damage her reputation and Will's already delicate relationship with his family, or one that will leave her unfulfilled and wondering for the rest of her life.
Michaels explores the social hierarchy of Regency England in her enchanting debut. Elaina Walker, daughter of the Duke of Blackmore's land steward, has long believed that she would marry Will Winter, the duke's youngest son. Close childhood friends, the pair haven't seen each other for the eight years that Will has been off fighting in the Napoleonic Wars but have maintained an intimate correspondence. When Will returns home to Blackmore Park, his father informs him that he has purchased Larkspur Castle in Cambridgeshire and wants Will to move there to take over the estate but Will refuses to go without Elaina as his bride. The duke and duchess refuse to give their blessing, hoping instead to arrange a match between Elaina and their family banker. Defiant, Will and Elaina elope to Gretna Green before embarking on a future together at Larkspur. But their severely lacking funds force them to engage in much manual labor, testing their marriage and pushing them to evaluate what is most important in their lives. Michaels critically analyzes the aristocracy's elitism while highlighting refreshing protagonists willing to risk societal censure for a chance at happiness. The allure of the lifelong love between Will and Elaina will entice readers from the first page. (Self-published)\n