To seduce an English lady, a gentleman must always remember to . . .
Gaze longingly into her eyes while declaring her beauty . . .
Colonel Colin Mandland has wealth, power . . . everything but a bride. But although there is no mistress of his newly purchased manor, Maiden Hill, there is certainly a resident maiden: Lady Rosalyn Wellborne, a stubborn beauty who steadfastly refuses to leave the place she has always called home.
Hold her hand just a fraction longer than necessary...
Tantalizing Rosalyn proves to be far more difficult than any enemy he's ever met on the battlefield. She attacks by declaring Colin an upstart who is unfit for local society. He shockingly counters by offering for her hand in marriage—and she surprisingly accepts.
Or, when all else fails, conquer her.
Although this genteel lady has vowed never to succumb to unbridled passion, she quickly learns that theirs will be no marriage in-name-only, but rather a slow, sensuous and alarmingly effective seduction . . . that turns her world upside down.
Buoyed by breezy, humorous details and lively banter, this lighthearted Regency-era romance from Maxwell (Adventures of a Scottish Heiress, etc.) sustains a chipper tone even through its protagonists' most despairing moments. Lady Rosalyn, who's the daughter of an earl but impoverished both romantically and materially, has her world set unpleasantly on its head when her debt-ridden cousin sells the cottage she's living in to Colonel Colin Mandland, ambitious local boy made good. To keep Rosalyn in the only home she's ever considered her own and to give Colin's social connections an extra shine, friends of both suggest that they marry. It seems an easy solution to the attraction sizzling between them, but their relationship is fraught with stumbling blocks, such as Colin's anti-aristocrat political stance, which threatens to turn all of the local gentry against him, and Rosalyn's unbending pride, which masks her fear of falling in love. Maxwell's conventional marriage-of-convenience story line holds few surprises, but Rosalyn and Colin will charm readers with their sincere if often wrongheaded attempts to do the right thing. (Jan.)