Miss Elsie Stanhope resided in Nottinghamshire, an area so rich in titled gentlemen, so felicitous for marriage-minded mamas, it was called"the Dukeries." Indeed, Elsie had been betrothed since childhood to the heir of a dukedom. She had no expectation it would be a love match. Still less that she would enter into a shockingly scandalous affair with an altogether different sort of lover. And the very last thing she imagined was that the mysteries of his birth would be unraveled with as many unforeseen twists and turns as the deepest secrets of her heart.
Praise for the novels of Jane Goodger
"Gentle humor, witty banter, and attractive characters." --Library Journal on Marry Christmas
"A touching, compassionate, passion-filled romance." --Romantic Times on A Christmas Waltz
Despite improbable twists and turns, Goodger's Regency debut abounds with quiet charm. For Miss Elizabeth Stanhope it's a delightful coincidence that a renowned painter and his young, handsome, mute assistant, Alexander, seem able to intuit her wishes for the mural they're painting in her ballroom. It must be finished in time for Elsie's 22nd birthday ball, when her engagement to a wealthy duke's son will be announced, so the artists work day and night. One evening, insomniac Elsie, wanders into the ballroom and learns that the real genius behind the mural is Alexander. Elsie captivates him with her beauty and na vet , and they fall in love. The only obstacles to their happiness are class differences, her betrothal, and a host of stock antagonists and coincidences that loosen the novel's tenuous grip on the reader's credulity.