Love conquers even the most unlikely lord in USA Today bestselling author Ella Quinn’s delightful Lords of London series, as a reformed rogue endeavors to prove himself worthy of his chosen bride . . .
Mistakes happen, to be sure. Rarely are those mistakes as unfortunate as the one made by Nathanael, Viscount Fotherby, when he abducted the now Lady Merton to save his friend from marriage. Nate has been trying to make amends ever since, leaving behind his self-centered ways to fulfill his duties—and that includes finding a wife of his own. One woman sparks his interest above all others—a lady he helped when she was rescuing a child. Alas, there is a devilish complication . . .
Miss Henrietta Stern, Lady Merton’s younger sister, is intrigued by the stranger who comes to her aid—until she learns his identity. Nate’s stunt could have ruined her sister’s reputation, and her family may never forgive him. With beauty, connections, and a sizeable dowry, Henrietta has plenty of admirers. Yet no other suitor quickens her pulse quite like Nate does. Her heart insists that the gentleman has changed for the better. But can a renowned scoundrel possibly prove himself to be the perfect husband?
His mother was sitting on a small sofa and a tea tray had been placed on the low table in front of it. “Fotherby, I thought you had work to do.”
“There was nothing pressing, but I realized that as soon as people know we are here, we will begin receiving invitations. And we have never discussed what I want in a wife.” He didn’t quite know how to bring up the lady he’d assisted. There was always the chance his mother knew her family. He might as well just say it. “Also, while I was at the workhouse, fetching Miss Odell and her baby, I discovered that there are charities that save children. That is something I would be interested in. Do you know any of them?”
“Please stop looming over me and have a cup of tea. We shall address the requirement of a wife first. Then I shall give some thought to the charities.” He selected a chintz-covered chair, and she handed him a cup. “What do you want in a wife?”
“I want her to be down-to-earth, intelligent, and”—he wanted to say “courageous,” but how to explain that?—“and be equal to me.” He’d seen that in the Odells and some other couples. “But not stuffy or too serious.” He wanted her to love him, not who he was. He’d heard Merton had found that and was happier for it.
“Well, that is an interesting combination.” She sipped her tea. “Do you want beauty and grace?”
A pair of light eyes—he wished he knew the color—under long, thick, black lashes passed through his mind. “Some beauty. I do like the combination of black hair and light eyes. I suppose most ladies are graceful.”
“Yes, most are.” His mother turned to her maid. “Bring me my pocketbook.” Once it was handed to her, she began making notes. “Is there anything else?”
He thought about the lady again. “Someone not in her first Season. I want someone who has maturity, if not in age, than in behavior.”
Mama drew her lips under as she wrote again. “Very well. I shall see who is here for the Season.” She put the pocketbook on a side table. “Do you know anyone who meets these criterion?”
Nate felt heat rise in his neck. “I did, in a loose meaning of the term, meet a lady.” He supposed he’d now have to tell his mother where. “When Mr. Odell was in speaking with Miss Bywater—although she is now Miss Odell—I saw a lady in need of assistance.”
His mother pursed her lips. “And you were able to render it?”
“Yes.” Damn, he never should have said anything.
“You are certain she is a lady?”
Her brows rose. “And would this have anything to do with searching for a charity?”
“Er. Yes.” He downed his tea. “I believe she is working for a charity.”
“You do know that if she is working, she will not have a dowry.” Mama’s face was a mask, and he wished he knew what she was thinking. Still, he did not think she disapproved.
“That does not matter to me. What I want is a lady of character and compassion.” After all, he was the one who would have to live with her.
She met his gaze and seemed to study him for a long few moments. Finally she nodded. “Very well. I shall make inquiries. I hope for your sake that she is a lady.”
“She is a lady.” He almost growled the words. He did not have to hope at all. He, like everyone else, knew when a female was a lady. Nate rose. “I am well acquainted with the breed. I’ll see you in the drawing room.”
USA Today bestselling author Ella Quinn’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side (political science professor and lawyer). Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them.
She is married to her wonderful husband of almost fourty years. They have a son and two beautiful granddaughters, a Great Dane named Lilibet, and a cat named Winnie. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make their dreams come true lived on sailboat for three years. After cruising the Caribbean and North America, she completed a transatlantic crossing from St. Martin to Southern Europe. She’s currently living in Germany, happily writing while her husband is back at work, recovering from retirement. She expects to be back on the boat in 2022.
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