Award-winning author Jillian Hunter pens a delightful romp of passion and tantalizing trickery proving all is fair in matters of love.
It would have been the wedding of the year–had the groom, Sir Nigel Boscastle, bothered to put in an appearance. To the shock of her distinguished guests, the respectable Lady Jane Welsham is left humiliated at the altar. Yet truth be told, although outwardly ruined she is elated to have escaped marriage to a man she does not love.
Enter Grayson Boscastle, the irresistible Marquess of Sedgecroft (and cousin to Nigel). Grayson’s duty is clear: salvage the young lady’s pride and reestablish the family’s good name, while repairing his own tarnished reputation as one of London’s most notorious scoundrels. Their whirlwind affair is the talk of the ton. Yet nothing is as it seems between the bewitching Lady Jane, who knows that her wedding was cleverly sabotaged, and her charming rogue, as they are drawn into an amusing game of seduction and secrets.
The first in Hunter's new Regency trilogy focusing on the Boscastle family opens with beautiful bride Lady Jane Welsham left at the altar. The rakish Grayson Boscastle, who's both marquess of Sedgecroft and cousin of the groom, decides that as head of the family, he should redeem Jane's reputation. Sedgecroft won't take no for an answer, even when Jane emphatically refuses, so the couple embark on a round of social events that cements Jane's standing and sparks a romance between the unlikely pair. But Jane fears Sedgecroft's reaction when he learns her secret: the jilting was a sham fabricated with the groom, who wished to marry another. Telling himself he needs to teach her a lesson, Sedgecroft pretends to set Jane up as his mistress, even while he secretly plans to marry her. Dispirited by his dishonorable intentions, Jane still rushes into seduction. Readers may wonder why Jane bothers, as Sedgecroft regularly leaps over the line between alpha-male hero and egotistical bully. Hopefully, the next volume (The Love Affair of an English Lord, due out in June 2005) will feature a hero who understands that real love doesn't involve emotional ill-treatment and a heroine who won't accept anything less.
This story is really well written for the genre and, well, how un-well known the author is (comparatively speaking, to, say, Roberts, Garwood, Kresley Cole, Shana Abe, C Coulter, etc). The banter back and forth between the "heroine" and "hero" is really clever and makes her stand out really well. There were no overly melodramatic insecurities inflicting unnecessary plot hindrances, ie former lovers, and ultimately I thought the story was good and priced well.