A funny thing happened on the way to the gallows…
One minute, London banker Quinn Wentworth is facing execution. The next, he’s declared the long-lost heir a dukedom. Quinn has fought his way up from the vilest slums, and now he’s ready to use every dirty trick he knows to find the enemy who connived against him.
There’s just one tiny problem…
Jane Winston, the widowed, pregnant daughter of a meddlesome prison preacher, crosses paths with Quinn in jail. Believing his days are numbered, Quinn offers Jane marriage as a way to guarantee her independence and to provide for her child. Neither thinks they’ll actually have a future together.
They were wrong.
He’s a wealthy gutter rat out for vengeance. She’s a minister’s daughter who must turn a marriage of desperation into a proper ducal union. Are they doomed from the start or destined for a happily-ever-after?
Colin MacHugh is trying to come up to scratch as the brother and heir of a newly minted duke, but Polite Society isn’t keen on a former army captain acquiring even a courtesy title. At the suggestion of an aristocratic friend, Colin takes an interest in a charitable home for urchins. Miss Anwen Windham is devoted to the same institution, and as Colin and Anwen work together to save the failing orphanage, their interest in each other becomes passionate.
When the orphanage’s troubles take a criminal turn, everybody is suspect, from Colin, to the children, to Anwen. If Colin blows retreat and heads home to Scotland, the orphanage will surely fail. If he stays to fight the accusations coming at him from all sides, he could lose a future with Anwen–and his life….
Lady Joan Flynn needs a husband—any husband—if she’s not to find scandal and mischief under her Christmas tree. Scottish wool magnate Dante “Hard-hearted” Hartwell needs an aristocratic wife to gain access to the financing that will keep his wool mills secure and safe. Can holiday magic weave an expedient match into true love, and spin wary differences into trust?
Louisa Windham’s fondest wish is to retire from the marital field so her sisters can find decent matches. When Sir Joseph Carrington steps forward to defend Louisa’s honor, she instead find herself married to a man perceptive enough to discern the poet’s heart she keeps hidden beneath her scholarly reserve. Though they are married, Louisa and Joseph still have to learn to trust their love for each other to defeat those who wish them ill, and to ensure their union results in the happily ever after they both deserve.