Sunday, 6 May 2012
Georgian Romance, THE RELUCTANT MARQUESS
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BLURB: Charity Barlow wished to marry for love. The rakish Lord Robert wishes only to tuck her away in the country once an heir is produced.
A country-bred girl, Charity Barlow suddenly finds herself married to a marquess, an aloof stranger determined to keep his thoughts and feelings to himself. She and Lord Robert have been forced by circumstances to marry, and she feels sure she is not the woman he would have selected given a choice.
The Marquess of St. Malin makes it plain to her that their marriage is merely for the procreation of an heir, and once that is achieved, he intends to continue living the life he enjoyed before he met her.
While he takes up his life in London once more, Charity is left to wander the echoing corridors of St. Malin House, when she isn’t thrown into the midst of the mocking Haute Ton.
Charity is not at all sure she likes her new social equals, as they live by their own rules, which seem rather shocking. She’s not at all sure she likes her new husband either, except for his striking appearance and the dark desire in his eyes when he looks at her, which sends her pulses racing.
Lord Robert is a rake and does not deserve her love, but neither does she wish to live alone.
Might he be suffering from a sad past? Seeking to uncover it, Charity attempts to heal the wound to his heart, only to make things worse between them.
Will he ever love her?
Two days later, another of her gowns arrived, which produced a flurry of excitement from Brigitte, but after holding the glamorous creation up to herself in the glass, Charity was quickly bored.
Brigitte folded her new nightgowns of white lawn. “I once worked for a lady who was the mistress of a duke.”
Charity idly turned the pages of the latest fashion magazine, pausing to admire a woman’s outfit much like a gentleman’s regimental coat worn with a waistcoat, skirt and cocked hat. She doubted she was tall enough to carry it off.
“Oui. You should have seen the nightgowns she wore.”
Charity looked up. “Oh? What were they like?”
“You could see your hand through them. And the colors, mon dieu! Crimson and black with lots of lace.”
Charity’s interest was piqued. “Did the Duke visit her in her house?” Brigitte laughed.
“Tout à fait. He brought her diamond bracelets, champagne and filled her boudoir with red roses.”
Charity thrust the magazine away. “And how did she act with him?” Brigitte dropped the nightgown and began to sway her hips provocatively, moving around the room.
“She danced for him in her nightgown while he sat and watched and drank the champagne. Spellbound he was. She touched herself as she danced.” Brigitte waved her hand over various parts of her body. “Then poof, he would dismiss me.”
She nodded sagely. “She knew how to please a man, that one.”
Charity’s cheeks heated. “My goodness.” Could she ever be that seductive? She could not imagine her mother behaving like that for the life of her. Why her father would have died of the apoplexy. But what would Robert do if she acted that way?
Robert was nothing like her father.