STORY: They were both quite sensible. Until they met.
A Footloose Beauty
How dare her guardian stop sending her allowance? The very independent Miss Jillian Lamb leaves her beloved countryside and travels to London to set matters straight with the obviously pompous and old-fashioned Earl of Coltrane. She’s been on her own for quite some time, thank you, and has devoted her life to helping the widows of war veterans. She has no desire to enter society or have a stranger meddle in her life.
Nothing prepares her for the shock of discovery. The Earl, a veteran himself, suffering from permanent injuries, is hardly old and out of fashion. In fact, he’s fairly irresistible, with extraordinary blue eyes. He is, however, stubbornly prepared to do his duty as her guardian. His immediate mission? To present his wayward ward to the ton and find her a husband.
A Man Of His Word
How has one sharp-witted young woman taken control of his household overnight? Mark Delacourt, Earl of Coltrane, finds his gentlemanly manners tested to their limits; his courtly charms have been rusty ever since his return from the war in a wheelchair.
Determined to follow the rules of decorum, he’ll battle her willfulness and see her wed according to society’s demands. And yet once she becomes a sensation, his heart tells him he may be making a terrible mistake.
REVIEW: Mark Delacourt, the Earl of Coltrane, has finally returned from war. During that time, he had been a spy for the Foreign Office in Napoleon’s France. He had been caught and tortured in a French prison. Mark’s father had always been a very hard, cold, and unloving father and to escape his father, his mother had run away to her native France when Mark was very young. Mark is now left with a lot of pain in his back from many times of meeting the rack while in prison. Currently, he is attempting to catch up on correspondence and other pressing matters now that his father has died and he is the Duke.
Miss Jillian Theodosia Lamb is the daughter of a man who spent his life traveling to foreign countries in search of treasures that he, in turn, would sell to collectors back in England. His biggest collector had always been Mark’s father. So, after the death of her father, Jillian became a ward of the old duke and now she is Mark’s ward. Jillian had previously been living in her old home with a few retainers and had a fairly profitable farm going.
When Jillian arrives on Mark’s doorstep, wet and feisty, he is surprised to find that she is his ward and she claims that she has not been receiving monies as she had been before the old duke died. When Mark learns the whole story, he decides that Jillian should remain in London and have a season under the watchful eye of his aunt, Margaret. Ill-mannered and outspoken, Jillian fights this but finally submits. In no time, Jillian has become a lovely butterfly and is in huge demand by the eligible gentlemen looking for a wife.
Jillian and Mark have been at odds with one another from the first time they met. Mark feels that she is an out of control hoyden and she thinks he was an old stick. Determined to see that she does not get into trouble, Mark attends the same soirees as Jillian and he soon finds he is attracted to her as well. Is there a chance that the two of them can learn to accept one another’s true personalities to allow them to find love?
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and had quite a few laughs at the antics of Jillian. Both characters are beautifully developed and the “side” characters of the story are also well written.
Connie for b2b
I thank Belle Books and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this terrific novel.