After fifteen years roaming the globe, the Countess of Huntleigh returns to England with her dying husband. She soon finds herself plagued by terrible troubles: a new title, estate, and sizable fortune; marked attentions from the marriage mart; the long-awaited reunion with her loving family; and a growing friendship with King George IV.
Settling into her new life, this shy-but-not-timid, not-so-young lady faces society’s censure, the Earl’s decline, false friends with wicked agendas, and the singular sufferings of a world-wise wallflower. Guided by her well-meaning husband, subject to interference by a meddlesome monarch, she must now choose the dastardly rogue who says he loves her, the charming French devil with a silver tongue, or the quiet country life she has traveled the world to find.
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Mariana Gabrielle is a pseudonym for Mari Christie, a mainstream historical and Regency romance writer. She is also a professional writer, editor, and graphic designer with twenty years' experience and a Bachelor's in Writing from the University of Colorado Denver, summa cum laude. She lives in Denver, Colorado with two kittens who have no respect at all for writing time.
Nick didn’t take up with a man’s wife every Season. On occasion, he engaged a paid companion or keep a mistress in the demi-monde, but he seduced men’s spouses often enough to be known for it. With no inclination toward marriage, logic dictated he choose women who would never ask it of him. His lovers were always worldly, with plenty to lose and no intention of losing it. He would rather remove his own feet with a penknife than dance with anyone in the marriage mart.
The coterie of women circling his sister was becoming unruly. Girls laughed aloud against their mother’s whispered admonishments; dowagers made half-accurate pronouncements about Nick’s lifetime of debauchery; the female yammering became so noisy Nick could almost hear the married women and widows discussing the cut of his breeches. He was surprised none of the hostesses had made her displeasure known, though Lady Sefton was eying him with an unquestionable glower and the orchestra had increased in volume.
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