When twin brothers love the same woman, is two times the romance worth double the trouble? Especially when one is a ghost?
The sudden death of David Fitzwilliam, Earl of Norwick, is a crushing blow to his countess, Clarinda. Their four-year union had been a celebrated love match. With her year of mourning just beginning, Clarinda takes comfort in knowing she carries a child. She could give birth to the next earl, but it’s David’s identical twin brother Daniel who will assume the duties of the earldom until an heir is old enough.
Too bad Clarinda’s last encounter with the despicable man went so poorly. He claimed to have been the Fitzwilliam that courted her and asked for her hand in marriage, implying that Clarinda had accepted David’s suit only to become a countess. But Clarinda is quite certain it was David who courted her and captured her heart all those years ago. David was the man she loved – not Daniel.
Now that she’ll have to live in the same house as Daniel, though, she wonders how she’ll manage. “He despises me,” she tells her best friend and confidante Adele Grandby, Countess of Torrington, recounting how she slapped her brother-in-law so hard she was sure she broke her arm.
Adele has a secret she cannot yet share with the widow and a husband who’s made it his business to ensure a certain member of the ton – one of his goddaughters – is properly wed. Dorothea, the dowager countess, arrives in London for her son’s funeral and seems to have plans for her daughter-in-law and the spare heir when she isn’t busy with her own liaison with a younger viscount. And the ghost of David has become a nightly visitor to Clarinda’s bedchamber, hinting that she’s carrying twins and making comments that would suggest he’s suddenly rather fond of his brother – and inferring that Clarinda should be, too.
Clarinda has no idea David’s ghost has been visiting Daniel, acting in part as a matchmaker and soothsayer while insisting his death in a traffic accident in Oxford Street was not, in fact, an accident. “I was shot,” David claims, encouraging Daniel to do a bit of investigating while considering his brother’s blessing in regard to Clarinda.
Daniel needs no encouragement when it comes to Clarinda – he’s loved the woman since her come-out and will gladly take her as his wife when she’s out of mourning. If she’ll have him. He still remembers how she slapped him all those years ago.
Through the funeral, the reading of the will, and David’s burial, these would-be lovers will learn more about David’s past, determine the fishy circumstances that led to his death, and discover that their own futures are meant to be shared with one another – and possibly some twins.