STORY: A ENGAGEMENT OF CONVENIENCE by Regina Scott: Kitty Chapworth is nearly a spinster, and an orphan living on the charity of her uncle, with nothing to recommend her for the marriage mart. Her primary purpose is relegated to acting chaperone for her cousins until she can see them successfully married. Kitty remains focused on her duty even though she knows her future is bleak. When Quentin Adair returns from a long ten years working in Jamaica and proposes a wild charade to Kitty, she agrees, although the plan might reawaken her old feelings for Quentin. Can a reformed rake convince the perfect chaperone to overlook propriety for love?
A PERFECT MATCH by Donna Hatch: Genevieve attends a summer house party hosted by her best friend who can’t wait to introduce her to a gentleman she wants to marry, Christian Amesbury. After meeting him, Genevieve determines Christian is perfect . . . for her. Torn between loyalty to her best friend and the yearnings of her heart, Genevieve must first escape the attention of a powerful lord who’s obsessed with her and who tries to rob her of any hope for a happily ever after.
THE PAUPERS’ HOUSE PARTY by Sarah M. Eden: It’s a rare event that Edward Downy and his brother are invited to a house party by a member of the ton. But when they arrive, Edward quickly realizes this house party is different than any other. All invited guests are quite destitute, fallen members of Society barely hanging onto their homes. The hosts of the house party, the Warricks, then make a stunning announcement—they intend to gift all their properties to one fortunate guest. As the guests race to impress the Warricks, Edward finds a fast friend in Agatha Holmwood, who shares his same aversion to the horrible expectations. But their growing fondness for each other only makes the game more painful.
REVIEW: “An Engagement of Convenience” – Regina Scott
Chapworth Grange – Somerset – 1816
Katherine (Kitty) Chapworth is waiting outside at night to intercept an elopement between her cousin, Lucy, and Clive Bitterstock. Kitty has lived at Chapworth Grange for some time as a sort of chaperone for her many cousins. With Lucy being the last to wed, Kitty is striving to stop the elopement. When she does intervene, Bitterstock starts to attack Kitty only to be foiled in his attempt by Quentin Adair, a man Kitty has not seen for a decade. It appears that Bitterstock is in need of funds making an elopement with Lucy to his advantage.
Quentin is the owner of Rose Cottage which borders on Chapworth Grange. A handsome man, he is admired by many. Some time ago, Kitty caught him and her cousin, Eugenia, in a scandalous embrace. Kitty was shocked but found later that Eugenia was just leading him on. As a result of the embrace, Quentin was whipped by her uncle and left the country. Kitty blames herself for not saying something to stand up for him. When she sees him again, she apologizes to him.
Quentin has been in Jamaica improving his family’s sugar plantation. Kitty’s parents were killed in a carriage accident and she now lives with her uncle as an unpaid chatleine. When her cousins are all married, she will be sent to live with a relative. Currently, the family is having a house party and Kitty is tasked with planning and orchestrating it all.
When she and Quentin become close again, they decide to marry. But the fallout of this decision turns into a nightmare for both of them.
This is a clever story and clean.
“A Perfect Match” – Donna Hatch
England – 1818
Genevieve Marshall and her parents, Captain and Mrs. Marshall, are heading to Bainbridge Abbey. There, they will attend a summer house party hosted by Admiral and Mrs. Widtsoe and their daughter and Genevieve’s friend, Matilda. Both young girls are looking forward to seeing one another again.
Matilda is lonely at the Abbey and is pining for a handsome man she met in London. Christian Amesbury is the son of the Earl of Tarrington and they will also be guests at the house party. Genevieve thinks that Christian looks like an Adonis. It appears that his father has not been in good health since his wife passed away.
Christian is quite intrigued by the landscape and, as an artist, is interesting in painting it. In addition, Matilda’s father has commissioned him to paint the Abbey plus a portrait of Matilda. The painting of Matilda turns out beautifully. However, Christian’s eye is drawn to Genevieve and hers to him.
Can Genevieve step aside and wish her good friend happy with the man she has come to love?
This was a very clever and sweet romance. I enjoyed it very much.
“The Pauper’s House Party” – Sarah M. Eden
Somerset England – 1811
Edward Downy and his younger brother, Tom, do not care for house parties but it does provide them with a chance to see how the wealthy live and eat. They have been invited to a 3-week party at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Warrick in Somerset. Edward and Tom feel as though they have only been invited to ensure that the host and hostess have the proper number of people attending. The strange thing is that only people who are in need of money seem to be the attendees.
The Warricks are quite elderly and have declared this to be their last house party. They never had children and are going to choose an heir from the most deserving of the attendees.
Agatha Holmwood, age 20, would like to be chosen as the heir and find a good husband. When Agatha and Edward meet, they have some humorous conversations about this unusual party and enjoy laughing at the absurdity of it all. They are also in agreement to not demean themselves by fawning over the Warricks.
Agatha’s father rebukes her for not trying to be more ingratiating to the Warricks in order to be selected as their heir which would provide financial stability to her entire family. But Agatha retorts that she will not act like the person that she is not. When Edward overhears the conversation between the two of them, he is furious at Agatha’s father.
Who will be selected as the heir?
This is a clever story that provides for some interesting reading and a lesson in morality.
Copy received by “I Am a Reader”
Connie for b2b