Psyche Fremont has known two constants in life: Her passion for her art, and society’s determination to ignore her talent. She isn’t looking for anything other than a handsome model when she crosses paths with Michael Delancey, and he’s only interested in making a few discreet coins lounging about in the altogether. Both Michael and Psyche are guarding secrets, but when love blooms, can they continue to guard their hearts?
Lady Violet and Sebastian MacHeath are trying to forge a cordial marriage out of unlikely beginnings. When they are invited to a summer house party, they accept, hoping to make the excursion into a belated wedding journey of sorts–or at least a respite from meddling relatives. No sooner do they arrive, than their host’s ward is accused of petty wrongdoing. As the charges escalate into familial acrimony and worse, Violet determines that a scheme is afoot to discredit the young man.
Unraveling the mystery before a criminal investigation goes too far will require that Sebastian and Violet trust one another as they haven’t in years. They can get to the bottom of the unfortunate developments at the house party, but can they solve the mystery of how to be husband and wife in more than name?
Two novellas set in the time of mistletoe…
Lady Mistletoe’s Holiday Helper (from Yuletide Wishes)
Lord Marcus Bannerfield is former military and all business. He has no patience with frivolity, but when he becomes guardian to two orphaned nieces, even he knows somebody had better decorate his household for the yuletide holidays. Lady Margaret Entwhistle’s business offers that exact service, but she doesn’t expect his lordship pay for her efforts with kisses!
Kisses and Catnip (from Love and Other Perils)
Max Haddonfield is a man of science with a soft spot for stray cats. When he donates one of his foundlings to a library to protect the books from hungry mice, he never dreams that Lady Antonia Mainwaring will reward his generosity by stealing his heart!
Ash Dorning has loved Della Haddonfield from afar for years. He has played the part of the cordial family connection and battled every demon from lack of funds, to meddling relatives, to a recurring case of the blue devils–while other men have won Della’s smiles. When Della lands in the midst of scandal, those fellows who fawned over her hand disappear behind the nearest potted palms, leaving Ash to waltz to the rescue.
Della is compromised by a thoroughgoing bounder, and only Ash’s loyalty stands between her and hopeless ruin. But Ash has played least in sight with her for too long, and too many secrets lie between them for Della to believe that Ash is motivated by anything other than gentlemanly duty. When troubles comes calling once again, Ash and Della either learn to trust their love, or they will lose everything they hold dear—including each other.
Robert Rothmere is hiding a past no duke should have endured, but he’s not hiding it well enough. Sooner or later, his enemies will learn that he spent years locked away at a private asylum. To get their hands on his wealth, they’ll try to send him right back to his worst nightmares. If Robert is to foil their schemes, he needs to marry a perfectly proper, blessedly boring, deadly dull duchess, immediately — and he knows exactly which quietly delightful lady he’d love to entrust with that role.
Lady Constance Wentworth has cultivated a reputation for utter forgettability. She never speaks out of turn (in public), never has a daring thought (that she admits aloud), and never comes close to courting scandal… as far as anybody knows. Her path crossed Robert’s years ago, though, and she’s never forgotten the extraordinary lengths he traveled to keep her safe when she hadn’t a friend in the world. She longs to be his demure duchess…but little does he know that to marry her would be utter madness
Oak Dorning is an artist determined to take his place among London’s most successful portraitists. Town life is expensive, though, so a temporary post restoring a few old paintings for a ruralizing widow strikes Oak as a prudent detour on the way to his brilliant future.
Verity Channing was married to a renowned artist, and knows firsthand how spiteful London sophisticates can be. A quiet life in the country is fine with her–also lonely and rather dull–until Oak finds scandalous treasures lurking in her art collection. When somebody sets out to ruin Verity, Oak must choose between his cherished ambitions and the lady who fills his dreams.