Arabella Swinley was once the diamond of the ton, a rare blonde beauty with an exquisite knack for the art of flirtation and a reputation for rejecting an unprecedented number of suitors. Faced now with a dwindling number of offers for her hand, she and her scheming mother are in a panic: if Arabella can’t secure a moneyed husband soon, they’ll be at the mercy of the debt collectors and left to fend for themselves. When a titled gentleman many decades her senior proposes, Arabella resigns herself to a loveless but secure marriage—even as her eye, and her heart, keep returning to the ruggedly handsome and most unacceptable Marcus Westhaven.
Marcus, an adventurer just back from years exploring the Canadian wilderness, is the most unconventional man proper society has ever tolerated, and penniless to boot. With an amused and defiant smirk, he makes no pretense about his scorn for the shallowness and money-hungry ways of the ton—until he finds himself fighting an undeniable attraction to the very beautiful and very proper Arabella, a woman who is the embodiment of everything he despises.
With Arabella on the verge of making a disastrous marriage and Marcus torn between his principles and his passion, the two are bound by a growing desire that can only lead to heartbreak and scandal. And as their passion flares, they must open their hearts to the realization that no matter how sincere their intentions, denying their long-held beliefs may be the only way for them to find true and lasting love.
“If you believe that love makes us better people, then this is the book for you!” —Reader Review
This is a fully revised edition of a book originally published as Belle of the Ball.
After all, what’s the point of having a heart if one refuses to follow it?
With a smile the devil himself might be proud of, James Stanton is not what her mother would call “a matrimonial prospect”. Still, there’s something about the young man that sends Lady Monique’s heart thumping around her chest, and silences her voice of reason.
Unfortunately for Lady Monique, the stakes are high, and young ladies of the ton make for very poor gamblers. Especially when James Stanton is on the hunt for revenge, and won’t let an innocent woman—or his own passionate desires—get in the way of righting past wrongs.
Suddenly, though, a last minute rescue appears in the form of the request for the hand in marriage of Sir Horace’s beautiful daughter, Camilla, from none other than His Serene Highness the Prince of Meldenstein.
Sir Horace is cock-a-hoop, especially when he learns of the very generous Marriage Settlement on offer, which will solve all his financial problems for the rest of his life.
But understandably Camilla is afraid and appalled at the prospect of marrying a man she has never met. She has lived a quiet and sheltered life in the country with her parents and has no knowledge of the wicked scheming ways of the world outside
Escorted by the dashing Captain Hugo Cheverly and her chaperone, an elderly Baroness from Meldenstein, Camilla sets out on a daunting journey by coach across Europe to meet her mysterious Royal suitor.
On the way Camilla is made apprehensive and nervous by what she and Hugo Cheverly hear about the ruling family of Meldenstein and their behaviour.
When finally they reach the grand and imposing Palace of Meldenstein, the Prince turns out to be a drug-addled, depraved and tyrannical monster.
Along the way she meets with many perils as well as the intrigues of High Society and, eventually, love where she least expected to find it.
They were cut off without a penny by their relations long ago when she eloped with Josina’s father, the inveterate but often successful gambler, Captain D’Arcy Marsh, who was later killed in a duel by a man he had won from at cards.
Her mother believes that there is no alternative but for Josina to throw herself on the mercy of her relative, the dashing and handsome Duke of Nevondale.
But arriving at his stately home she finds that he is a rake who is having an affair with the wife of the French Embassy Attaché, a liaison that could bring scandal and death close to his door.
When, on accidentally discovering a fiendish plot, Josina rushes to the Duke’s rescue, only to find him in compromising circumstances, she is deeply shocked and horrified.
Yet disturbingly she finds herself falling in love.
For no other apparent reason than to save hers and incidentally his reputation the Duke decides that he wants to marry Josina.
But as much as she yearns for him, how can she possibly marry a man who does not love her after her mother and father had been so sublimely in love with each other that for them the world was lost for love?
Princess Erina has just fallen in love with a good-looking Peruvian and Pythia could not allow her happiness to be torn from her for cold political strategy.
On her arrival in Vultarnia she receives a warm reception and she is determined to win the hearts of her new subjects and the heart of their cosmopolitan worldly King.
The King is surprised and impressed by his new wife and sees how much he could learn from her. But a Russian plot threatens to throw this popular new marriage into jeopardy and Pythia must think quickly in order to save the King and the beautiful country of Vultarnia.
Will King Alexius fall in love with Pythia or remain attached to his glamorous and seductive Russian mistress?
Will Pythia be able to stop a sinister plot to capture the King before it is too late?
And will the King discover Pythia’s true identity and that she is not Royal?
Find out in ‘The Queen Saves the King’, an exciting and moving romance from the incomparable Barbara Cartland.
Then Fate intervenes and a vast inheritance from her dead mother’s former South African lover makes her a rich woman.
Nevertheless she is afraid that her kith and kin will despise her as they did her mother, who ran away from Clova’s father with a Sassenach to a life of sin and gaiety in Paris and Monte Carlo.
But to her amazement she is told that she has inherited on her father’s death the title of Marchioness of Strathblane and is now the Chieftain of the highly respected McBlane Clan, as titles and Chieftainships can be inherited by females in Scotland.
But her new wealth and power turn out to be double-edged swords.
Not only is her Clan embroiled in a bitter feud with the neighbouring McGowans but her Cousin Euan is also plotting to seize her title and her fortune from her by the foulest of tricks and dishonesty and then proclaim herself the Chieftain.
Winning the hearts of her Clan with her brave leadership and inspired oratory, she loses her own to the so-called enemy Laird of the McGowans and, if wicked and cynical Cousin Euan has his way, she will lose her life as well.
Far from being grateful, Brucena is outraged, having no idea that she is contravening Major Hadleigh’s own orders that no Europeans may travel to the forbidden area of Saugor.
She is on her way to join her cousin, Captain Sleeman and his wife, Amelie, intending without their knowledge to work as a Nanny to their as yet unborn child and thereby escaping a fault-finding father who hates her for her beauty and for not being the boy he so desperately needs for his estate and Castle in Scotland
But Brucena soon finds far more to fear under India’s searing sun.
First the unwanted attentions of the somewhat sinister Lord Rawthorne and, worse still, the devotees of Thuggee – highway murderers who strangle their victims from behind with a yellow silk scarf –
It is only when, rescuing her in the darkness from the clutches of would-be murderers and Iain’s lips fall on hers, that Brucena realises that she has been in love with the dashing and handsome Major all along!
In Book 4 of the Moralities of Marriage series our dear couple have survived accidents, forced marriages, and meddling relatives. After a short stay at Pemberley where the future Mrs. Darcy comes to terms with the kind of wife Fitzwilliam Darcy will need on his arm, they take off for the border to marry over the anvil. When Mr. Darcy plans an idyllic wedding trip to his family estate just outside of Dumfries, the newly married Mr. and Mrs. Darcy discover the trappings of marriage have yet to relinquish their hold.
The Trappings of Marriage delivers the highs of the Darcys’ love and devotion in spite of the lows of scandal and destruction they left behind in England. Join author Elizabeth Ann West and the thousands of readers who read this book as it was posted chapter by chapter for a unique visit into the world of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.
Edward Thornton, the Earl of Bridgwater, couldn’t remember a time he didn’t love Amelia. He didn’t believe her grandmother would insist on the arranged marriage, until the entire Westbury clan invites themselves to Fontaine Hall. When Edward discovers Percy’s secret life and his sinister plans for Amelia, he embarks on a campaign to rescue her. Will the Twelfth Night Queen help him save his beloved from her cruel fate?
“Simpson excels at imbuing her realistic characters with subtle depths!”—John Charles, American Library Association
Scarred and hardened by the betrayal of his late wife and his latest mistress, the Duke of Alban decides to withdraw from the depressing swirl of London for a trip to the north, where he can visit his beloved aunt and regain the composure that has deserted him. But his hopes for a serene retreat are dashed by the voluptuous beauty of Kittie Douglas, the young widow who serves as his aunt’s companion and stirs a deep longing—and a deep mistrust—within him.
Kittie has long heard about the duke’s upstanding character and has imagined him to be a paragon of male virtue, but meeting the man leaves her with a distinctly different impression: though he’s strikingly handsome, his late wife’s duplicity has left him moody, taciturn, and even suspicious of her intentions where his well-to-do aunt is concerned. But perhaps most frustrating is that he’s blind to her own upright nature and tender inclinations, unaware that she harbors a deep wish to soothe his heart and make him whole again.
As a war wages within Alban between his inability to trust Kittie and his overwhelming desire to possess her, she struggles to break through his bitter resolve, tempted all the while to abandon him and her hopes for a lasting romance. Until a startling revelation from Alban’s aunt shocks them both into realizing what’s at stake, and forces Alban to recognize that if he’s to have any chance at happiness, he’ll have to open his eyes—and his heart—to Kittie’s true beauty and the promise of unwavering love . . .
This book was originally published as The Duke and Mrs. Douglas.
Benedict Fairburn does not quite need his ailing great-aunt’s fortune, especially since he’ll have to marry to get it. His family, however, thinks otherwise—as do many of the eligible ladies in London—and the pressure is mounting. An embarrassment of attentions fill Benny’s time, but the young lady he prefers roundly dislikes him.
Claire Dalton, cousin to one of Benedict’s oldest friends, is too busy debuting in Society to pay much attention to the Fairburn boy who once insulted her past bearing. He doesn’t recognize her, but that’s hardly upsetting, especially with the fetching Mr Graham offering his arm.
Unfortunately, Mr Graham is not all he seems, and each week brings a fresh disaster for Claire’s first Season. It’s enough to drive a young woman to distraction, especially since Benny Fairburn keeps behaving so very oddly. Concealed tragedy, poor orphans, a dotty great-aunt, deception and misunderstanding whirl in every direction, ready to explode.
Benedict and Claire are perfect for each other. Unfortunately, it may take catastrophe to make them realize as much…
Pamela Neville is a free-spirited young beauty who has no intention of subjecting herself to the stifling restrictions of London society—until her grandmother lures her with an irresistible offer. The indomitable dowager promises to teach her everything she needs to know to elicit a proposal from Sir Colin Valens, the man Pamela has adored since childhood.
Soon Pamela is feigning the same coy disinterest of the other women of the ton—and catching Colin’s eye in the process—but the green-eyed gamine can only be demure for so long. And each time she indulges her more wild, carefree side, she runs headlong into the startlingly handsome Lord Strongwycke, who seems to find her entrancing just for being herself. Suddenly Pamela finds herself with the vexing dilemma of being pursued by two different gentlemen, and in what seems like the span of a heartbeat both men offer for her hand.
Now Pamela faces a choice between clinging to the dreams of a girl and a life that would allow her to live as the free spirit she longs to be.
This is a fully revised edition of a book originally titled Pamela’s Second Season.
“Simpson excels at imbuing her realistic characters with subtle depths!”—John Charles, American Library Association
Recently widowed and left to raise a daughter on her own, the self-sacrificing Lady Nell Simmons knows she faces an uncertain future: her late husband’s cousin and the rightful heir to their estate has staked his claim and is demanding Nell’s removal, despite the fact that her delicate daughter is fearfully ill. When the heartless heir sends his wayward brother Charles to hasten her departure, Nell is relieved to realize that the scandalous man has more compassion than she imagined, but she’s still wary of his motives—as well as the romantic feelings he stirs in her.
Sir Charles Blake, widely known to be a rake and a wastrel, has agreed to serve as his brother’s henchman only as a means to having his considerable debts erased. But when he arrives at the estate, determined to do his unpleasant duty, he’s struck by Nell’s quiet dignity and her generous spirit, and surprises even himself by tending to her ailing daughter. And as a ferocious winter storm strands him there, Charles slowly comes to find himself torn between his obligation to his brother and the feelings of tender longing Nell has inspired in him.
Wondering if he can possibly defy his own brother’s wishes at the risk of leaving himself destitute, Charles realizes he must summon a resolve he’s not sure he possesses. For by facing his true feelings for Nell and convincing her of his sincerity, he may finally be able to restore his tarnished reputation and secure both their futures—and their hearts . . .
And her father, who is a rich man, has helped support The Priory through difficult times and Charisa is his only child.
Greatly saddened to hear that the charming Marquis has died, she is however glad that his heir, Vincent, will be coming home soon from his Army posting in India to claim his title and estate.
But then Fate strikes another blow with the news that Vincent has been killed in India. Reluctantly Charisa and her father prepare to welcome the next in line to the Marquisate, the half-French Gervais Mawde, who no one seems to know anything about.
But as soon as he arrives at The Priory they sense that something is wrong. Penniless, he immediately sets about selling off the family treasures and dismissing loyal servants, even the Vicar!
Worse still he forces his attentions onto the shy and unworldly Charisa. But just as she begins to despair, her prayers are answered and Vincent appears, alive but in terrible danger.
Someone is trying to kill him and now they realise who! None other than Gervais, who is not only a murderer but also a Devil worshipper and is planning to use innocent Charisa in a Satanic Black Mass.
The burning question is, can love conquer the forces of darkness?
When Truelove Becket’s betrothed went missing in a naval battle, she vowed never to marry unless she found someone she loved as much. In the seven years since then, the quiet vicar’s daughter has lived a simple and contented life helping the poor people of her village. But now another man has asked for her hand in marriage and, unsure if she is ready to commit to him, she agrees to accompany her beautiful cousin Arabella on a trip to visit friends so she can take time to think it over.
Viscount Drake cut a dashing figure when he returned from war to a hero’s welcome, but the Battle of Waterloo left him a shattered and haunted man. As his dreams are invaded by the terrors of war he becomes a sleepless shell of a man, and as his torment grows he begins to wonder if marriage to the lovely Arabella will help restore him again. But as Arabella coquettishly flirts to secure Drake’s hand and his riches, it is the pretty and practical True he turns to for solace.
With the weight of her marriage proposal bearing down on her, True finds herself irresistibly attracted to Drake’s quiet dignity and genuine distress, just as he finds himself drawn to her honest nature and soothing compassion. When a spark of passion ignites between these two who have both lost so much to war, they will have to confront their biggest fears—and everyone else’s plans for their futures—to discover if love can truly cure all ills.
“[Miss Truelove Beckons] is well written and flows brilliantly. A wonderful heart-wrenching and romantic tale.” —Goodreads
To her horror and mystification she overhears one day her stepmother ordering her lover, the Viscount More, to marry Odela –for her money as he has very little himself.
This is the first that Odela hears of the American oil shares that her late mother left her, which have now accumulated into a vast fortune.
Unwilling to tell her father that he is being betrayed by his wife, Odela seeks refuge with her old Nanny at the country house of the Marquis of Trancombe.
Almost straight away there is an undeniable and irresistible attraction between her and the handsome Marquis.
But no sooner has she found safety than new danger appears in the form of a ruthless thief and she finds herself, together with the Marquis, imprisoned under threat of death.
Will she and her hero die ignominiously before their love can be awakened?
"Donna Lea Simpson is a masterful storyteller. The crafting of the story, the wonder of the romance captured me and reeled me into a timeless love story." —Goodreads
Jane Dresden has no patience for the merciless gossip of the ton or the handy hypocrisy of the nobility, and now that her mother has arranged for her to marry the supposedly cruel Viscount Haven, she fears for her future happiness. In an effort to appease her mother and also put an end to her matchmaking, Jane agrees to meet the man, but in a fit of panic runs from the engagement and takes refuge in a country cottage, disguised as a maid. There she meets a kind and comforting local farmer who shares her taste for simplicity and quickly captures her heart.
Lord Haven had long ago resigned himself to the unpleasant duties of his title and accepted the hard truth that taking a wife and producing an heir was among them—though he shudders at the prospect of spending his life with the charmless woman his mother has arranged for him to wed. Wishing to delay their formal meeting until the last possible moment, he shrugs off his stifling attire and escapes to his favorite sanctuary, a simple cottage on his grand estate. There he meets a caring and captivating maid who steals his heart, and in the guise of a common farmer he proceeds to court her, fearing all the while that his ruse will be discovered.
As the two struggle with the implications of their deceit and the shattering knowledge that revealing their true identities will doom their blossoming bond, each is forced to choose between duty and heartfelt desire, never suspecting that their fated match holds the key to a true and lasting love.
This is a fully revised edition of a book originally titled A Country Courtship.
“Simpson excels at imbuing her realistic characters with subtle depths!” —John Charles, American Library Association
As chaperone to the Season’s most desirable young miss, Amy Corbett has two specific duties: to ensure that her charge’s reputation remains spotless, and to see her betrothed to an exceptional beau. Given that the coquettish Lady Rowena manages to maintain an air of propriety while being a flirt of the highest caliber, Amy knows her job should be easy—if only the calculating young aristocrat weren’t so set on toying with men’s hearts, including that of her latest prey, the debauched Lord Dante Pierson.
Like other gentlemen of high standing and low tastes, Lord Pierson’s restless desire for excitement had driven him into a life of squalor and scandalous social blunders. Finding himself drunk and mud-spattered in a gutter one night, he spies an angelic apparition in a passing carriage and is overcome by a will to reform—surely such a woman could give him hope of rebirth. When he learns that the anonymous beauty is Lady Rowena, he vows to coax that flicker of warmth into a flame.
As Rowena lures the unsuspecting Pierson ever closer to heartbreak, Amy realizes that for all the talk of his wastrel ways, he is actually a gentle and caring man to be championed and cherished. And in an unguarded moment, the unassuming Amy and downtrodden Lord Pierson will discover that they possess kindred souls—and will make a daring decision to follow their own true path to happiness and love . . .
This book was originally published as Lord Pierson Reforms.
Lady Honoria Maitland has promised her dying father that, before he breathes his last, she would find a husband to take care of her. But she wants a gentleman that loves her, not her dowry or her name. When she reunites with her old friend Benedict, she proposes a plan that will help them both: a faux courtship and betrothal. She can teach him how to woo a woman and simultaneously ease her father’s last days. But Honoria’s clever plan failed to account for Benedict’s heart...or her own. Is she strong enough to bear the loss of her father and her friend?
Eldest daughter of an eccentric art collector, Arianne Richards has become the caretaker of the family’s empty coffers and her irrepressible siblings. Discovering a hidden painting, she is determined to sell it to obtain the funds to send her ill mother into the country. But why does her aristocratic cousin’s suitor, the handsome and wealthy Lord Galen Locke, show so much interest in her humble person? And why does he so badly want the mysterious painting?
One question teased Arianne’s mind. The other troubled her heart. And both offered answers as startling as ghost from the past and the secrets of love.Keywords: aristocrat, art, Regency, humor, Wales, lost love
Both her mother and father have died and so she is an orphan, but a very rich one indeed.
So when her uncle and Guardian insists that she should marry the middle-aged Duke of Malnesbury, she is appalled at the idea and refuses point blank.
She then hears the sad news that her childhood friend, Rolfe, now the Earl of Linwood, is being forced to sell the neighbouring Priory with all its contents and its huge estate to pay off the accumulated debts of his now dead elder brother,
He is just about to start an auction for everything he owns when Zarina arrives to dramatically save the day with her huge fortune and she comes up with a cunning plan.
She makes an offer to use her inheritance to pay all The Priory’s debts and avoid the auction if only Rolfe will make her his fiancée, thereby making marriage to the Duke impossible.
Reluctantly Rolfe agrees to her plan as he really has no other option.
And he also persuades Zarina to travel with him on a voyage to India – and she accepts his offer to escape a loveless marriage and perhaps to find a true love of her own at the end of the long voyage.
He leaves the beautiful nothing but the extremely valuable collection of jewels that had been given to his ancestor, the second Duke of Tetbury, by the Nizam of Hyderabad.
The trouble is that, although legendary, these jewels are also almost certainly mythical and Ilina and David have been searching Tetbury Abbey for them for years without any success.
All but destitute she dreads the arrival of her father’s heir and rather than be a burden, she decides to pretend that she is a paid employee of the poverty-stricken estate.
And when the handsome new Duke finally does arrive from the Far East, he is visibly disappointed by what he sees, but worse still he says that he intends to abandon the estate, all its loyal staff and close up The Abbey for ever.
He very quickly sees through Ilina’s disguise and then she shows the Duke round the dilapidated house and estate and regales him with the family’s illustrious history over many centuries.
Although she despises him, she uses all her charms to persuade the Duke to stay and do his duty for his distinguished and aristocratic family.
And, as little by little he yields, so Ilina’s heart slowly opens to love.
‘It is none of my business,’ he tells himself, but the sound of the girl’s weeping is inescapable and he has to go and investigate.
Instantly he is captivated by Selina Wade, the blue-eyed waif he encounters and, finding that she is being exploited cruelly by a ‘domestic agency’ proprietor who is little better than a ‘madam’, resolves to save her.
Quintus Tiverton smuggles her out of the inn in the early morning and he then spends a great deal of money, which he does not have, in buying her new fashionable dresses to make even more beautiful.
And so naïve Selina finds herself posing as the gambler’s pretty sister, as Quintus Tiverton tries to marry her off to someone suitably rich amongst the international wealthy who frequent Baden-Baden in the Season .
Little does Quintus know that poor Selina’s heart is already taken. And she only has eyes for him!
Still less does he realise that he too is falling in love.
“Simpson excels at imbuing her realistic characters with subtle depths!” —John Charles, American Library Association
For as long as she or anyone else can remember, the beautiful but cold Rachel Neville has always adhered strictly to society’s rules, and she is now reaping the rewards with an offer of marriage from an eminently suitable fiancé. Yet despite the secure future that lies ahead, Rachel is suddenly questioning her acquiescence to the strictures of the ton—and her future husband. Stranger still, she is preoccupied with thoughts of Colin Varens, a wholly unsuitable man whose proposals she has rejected several times.
Colin can’t remember a time when his heartfelt declarations for Rachel weren’t being rebuffed, but the rough-and-tumble country gentleman has finally come to terms with the rejection—and Rachel’s betrothal—and has made peace with her as friends. But as he and Rachel spend more time together, he finds her once-haughty manner thawing into the warmth and vivaciousness that attracted him so many years ago, just as he is finding a growing strength and confidence of his own.
As Rachel finds comfort in Colin’s strong embraces and the unfamiliar emotions simmering within, Colin must struggle with feelings he thought stifled once and for all and admit the hope he still carries in his heart. And as Rachel’s marriage draws near and both of them confront the reality of a life without the other, they will discover that the habits of a lifetime are not carved in stone, because a lady’s change of heart can change everything.
This is a fully revised edition of a book originally titled Rachel’s Change of Heart.