‘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.
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?
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.