‘Lord Haven’s Deception’ by Donna Lea Simpson

lhd dlsSTORY: 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’.

REVIEW: Jane Dresden’s mother, Mrs. Olivia Dresden, wants her to marry Viscount Geraint (Gerry) Walcott Haven, Lord of Haven Court. Jane has never met the man and is utterly against this marriage. All she wants is her own cottage somewhere so she can live a quiet and peaceful life. Along with Jane’s mother, her abrasive aunt, Lady Mortimer, is the one who has pushed and arranged for Jane to journey to Haven Court to meet the Viscount. Jane tells her family that if after two weeks, she finds they do not get along, then she should be allowed to retire to the country. When Jane arrives at Lord Haven’s home town, she goes missing which results in Lord Haven searching for her. Everyone is afraid that she has been abducted.

Mary Cooper, a young widow with a small child, has long been a friend to Lord Haven. She calls him by his name, Gerry, not Lord Haven. Even though he is a Viscount, he prefers a simple life and does all he can to befriend and care for all of the people in his town. One night, Mary hears a noise outside and finds a young woman cold and hiding in her barn. She immediately brings her inside to warm her up. She tells Mary that her name is Jenny and she is a lady’s maid heading back to her home in Scotland. She says that she simply got parted from her coach while they were changing horses. However, Mary doesn’t think she is telling the truth but decides to help her anyway.

When Lord Haven stops by to see how Mary is doing, he meets Jenny and is told that she is Mary’s cousin. Instantly smitten by her beauty and charm, Gerry and Jenny begin taking walks around the moors enjoying the beauty of the area. As they spend time together, their attraction grows.

One day, Mary tells Jenny that she likes her but doesn’t believe she is who she says she is. Realizing that she will soon be found out, Jenny decides to flee and becomes lost in the moors.

Will Gerry find her? Will the truth finally come out?

This was a good story but I felt that Gerry and Jenny having no idea who the other truly was, is a bit hard to believe. However, there are some very good characters in the story and I’m sure readers will really like Haven’s grandmother.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

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