Lord Julian Caldicott accepts a request to search for the missing wife of Mr. John Tait. Evelyn Tait disappeared five years ago, and as Julian attempts to follow a cold trail, he meets with resistance, lies, and suspicion from those who should seek most eagerly to aid him. Matters grow more complicated when the investigation drives a wedge of silence between Julian and his dear friend Hyperia West.
Julian battles his own past, unexpected enemies, and Hyperia’s disapproving brother while searching for the prodigal wife, and just when he’s tempted to give up in disgust, he realizes the lady is in serious danger. She needs not only to be found, but also to be rescued from imminent peril, no matter the cost to Julian or to the dreams he’s dared to begin to cherish.
He’d rather carry hod in hell…
Finn Cathcart, an increasingly successful sculptor, is having a perfectly fine time on the Continent cavorting with alabaster nymphs and marble goddesses (so to speak), when he’s informed that a ducal title awaits him back in England. The same family who disowned Finn’s father now needs an heir to prevent all their wealth from falling into Crown’s greedy hands.
…She’d rather he did too.
Wilhelmina Cathcart is the widow of the previous ducal heir, and she has no patience with fledgling peers who come grumbling to their honors. Mina has a daughter to raise, meddling family to manage, and no time to explain Mayfair society to a stubborn, backward, contrary duke… even if he is charming and a good listener. Mina and Finn are on the point of admitting a powerful attraction when an enemy close at hand threatens to ruin their hope of a happily ever after. They will have to work together, and put aside both well earned pride and treasured prejudices, if their shared dream is to bloom into a shared future.
Trevor, Marquess of Tavistock, has finally decided to stop larking around on the Continent, come home, and take a bride. His solicitors applaud his decision to settle down, provided he chooses a wealthy young lady to be his marchioness. Those years Trevor spent seeing the world were bad years for the lordly coffers.
Trevor is reluctant to consign himself to a mercenary marriage, and instead considers selling off some of his smaller properties. While inspecting one such estate, he meets Miss Amaryllis DeWitt. Her family is desperately trying to find a title for her to marry, and she does have the most lovely fortune, but she thinks Trevor is an aspiring beer merchant, and he thinks the truth might get him drop-kicked back to France. Then there’s the tenant Trevor finds on another estate, whose existence the solicitors have been trying to hide…Will it be truth or true love for Trevor and Amaryllis?
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.