Edward Adair, heir to the Duke of Boulstridge, is more interested in finding a missing family heirloom than a wife. But when his parents issue an ultimatum – marry or lose your allowance – he reluctantly agrees to attend a house party to find a bride. Instead, he discovers attractive but infuriating Miss Isabella Winthrop in his library, reading the private family journal that holds clues to the location of the heirloom.
Though Isabella finds Edward haughty and arrogant, she offers to take him to the next clue mentioned in the journal if he will pay her, which will enable her to help her brother restore his estate. Edward counters with an offer of an even larger payment…if she agrees to masquerade as his betrothed to deter the other ladies until the house party ends.
As they work together to solve the mystery their mutual attraction grows, but just when they begin to think they should make their engagement real, a secret is revealed that could destroy everything.
REVIEW: London – 1846
Edward Adair, Earl of Kenworth and heir to the Duke of Boulstridge, spends his days drinking and wasting time with his friends. But he has also spent an enormous amount of time in search of a famous tiara reported to be hidden somewhere in his family home. His grandfather had left a journal with clues to its whereabouts. His parents have chastised him saying that he needs to spend more time managing his estates, attending parliamentary sessions, and, in general, settle down and marry. To that end, his parents are planning a house party at Welsey Manor to introduce Edward to a group of eligible young ladies from which to choose a bride.
Isabella (Isa) Winthrop is a paid companion to Lady Concord who has been invited to the house party. No one but Lady Concord knows Isa’s true identity which she hides under plain, dull clothes. Isa has been forced to work as a companion to help pay the debts incurred by her father which has put her family estate at risk. Isa is the daughter of Lord Stowe, an Earl.
The Duchess of Kenworth and her daughter are very welcoming to Isa and invite her to borrow any books from their library that she wishes to read. When she finds an old journal written by an earlier Earl, she is taken aback when Edward finds her reading it and chastises her. After she explains that his mother has invited her to enjoy the books in the library, he then explains the mystery of the rare, pink diamond-encrusted tiara that has been missing for many years. She adds some information that she just happens to know and the two of them pair up to try and find the tiara.
The young ladies invited to the house party do not interest Edward at all but with his mother pressuring him to select one of them to marry, he and Isa agree to a pretend engagement. This, coupled with their desire to discover the tiara, puts them together a lot resulting in an attraction that cannot be denied.
Will they find the tiara? Will Edward and Isa find true happiness?
Once again, the author has written a very intriguing novel with romance, a good mystery, and lots of humor. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and look forward to reading more from her.
Connie for b2b
Complimentary copy provided by the publisher