The Reluctant Bride

The Eternal Collection

Book 181
Barbara Cartland EBooks ltd
Free sample

In the economic collapse that follows the Napoleonic Wars, retired Ambassador, Sir Horace Lambourn, and his family are all but bankrupt and cannot meet their ever mounting bills.

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. 

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Additional Information

Publisher
Barbara Cartland EBooks ltd
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Published on
Feb 14, 2019
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Pages
298
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ISBN
9781788670081
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Romance / Clean & Wholesome
Fiction / Romance / Historical / Regency
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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 When her sister, Denise, seven years her senior, and her husband Alistair drowned in a storm at sea, the beautiful nineteen-year-old Pepita Linford is left alone to cope with the care of their young children, Rory and Jeanie, as well as Alistair’s huge amount of debts. Exiled from his Scottish Clan for ever by his father, the Duke of Strathnairn, because he dared to marry an Englishwoman against his wishes they then settled in Hertfordshire. Alistair had been deprived of his allowance from his father and had lived on a fast-dwindling legacy from his mother.  Virtually destitute Pepita has no choice but to travel to Scotland to throw herself and the children on the mercy of the Duke of Strathnairn.  But sadly His Grace, consumed with hatred for the English, is not in the slightest pleased to see them, but grudgingly agrees that they can stay at his imposing Castle for a short while. Pepita is at once aware of the hostility and dislike of the Duchess of Strathnairn, who does everything she can to make life unpleasant for her and Rory and Jeanie. Save for the children Pepita finds herself on her own in a hostile country until she finds warmth, kindness and sympathy in the handsome and charming Torquil McNairn, Alistair’s cousin.  Soon that warmth becomes an all-encompassing and consuming love for both Pepita and Torquil. But surely it is a passion doomed.  Pepita is determined that she must never inflict Alistair’s fate on Torquil – to be an outcast for no other reason than that he loved a ‘Sassenach’ from England!
 The handsome Viscount Trent finally makes up his mind to accede to the pleadings of his family and get married. He is twenty-seven and for a long time they have been begging him to take a wife and produce an heir to his illustrious title, his famous stately home and his vast estate. On the whole he finds debutantes extremely boring and has enjoyed a number of affaires-de-coeur with older married women. However there is one girl, Marigold Marlow, he considers outstanding and she is the acknowledged great beauty of the Season. As she is so beautiful, the Viscount is convinced that Marigold will make him a perfect wife, but he is astonished when, having proposed to her, she tells him that she has not quite made up her mind.   She will let him know on Wednesday if she accepts his proposal of marriage. As the Viscount expects her to fall immediately into his arms, he is surprised, but content to wait until Wednesday for her answer, which he is certain will be ‘yes’. As he drives away from Marigold’s house, a young girl holding a white Pekingese in her arms begs him to give her a lift to London. He sees no reason to refuse and finds as they drive off that she is Salvia, a cousin of the beautiful Marigold. He then learns that Marigold has her eyes on the son of the Duke of Northerncliff, who is seriously ill.  In fact if he dies as expected, she intends to marry his heir as one day soon he will be a Duke. Feeling surprised and angry, he is even more astonished to learn that Marigold is cruel to animals and that Salvia is running away because she is so unkind to her dog as well as to her. How the Viscount dreams up a way to avenge himself on Marigold and, if the Duke does recover, how he can escape marrying her as he has now changed his mind. How the Viscount’s plan succeeds. And how Salvia takes London by storm, faces appalling danger and finally finds the love of her life is all told in this unusual story by BARBARA CARTLAND.
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