On the night of her 3rd attempt at coming out Carlotta Fairleigh climbs out of her bedroom window to sneak a peek at the murdering marquess, Hayden St.Clair only to find herself alone with him in his rented townhouse with her reputation ruined.Seeking to stop a duel between Hayden and her brother-in-law Sterling she convinces Hayden to marry her. They are married by special license and immediately set off for Cornwall and his estate.
Hayden has been tried and convicted by society for the death of his first wife and has sworn never to remarry and has shunned society for over 4 years. He has done this to protect his daughter Allegra. He also never wants to be in love again as he has never forgiven himself for the death of his first wife. He finds himself drawn to Lotti and marries her to avoid scandal from her being found in his arms in his home and because he needs a governess for his 10 year old daughter. He plans for the marriage to be in name only.
Lotti is also attracted to him and hopes that someday he will love her as much as he loves his first wife and to that end sets out to make him fall in love with her. The journey finds her trying to befriend an angry little girl and fighting a ghost who not leave her husband in peace. She takes refuge in her writing and writes a novel about her experiences and the truth as she knows it about the death of her husband's first wife.
This report prepared by plnorth
Avon, Aug 2003, 7.50, 384 pp.
Carlotta “Hertforshire Hellion” Fairleigh has earned her reputation with only her family prestige keeping her from being banned from polite society. However, in 1825 Lottie returns to London to make her latest previously delayed debut, vowing to behave. However, being Lottie she cannot resist sneaking into the home of Hayden “Murderous Marquess” St. Clair, infamous for killing his best friend in a duel over his wife's honor and not long afterward, his spouse vanished.
Hayden vowed to never marry again, but Lottie has compromised herself. Honor refuses to allow him to ignore this situation so he reluctantly marries her. The newlyweds journey to his remote Cornwell home in Cornwell where the apparent ghost of his first wife haunts the halls. However, it is the ugly recollections of his first marriage that prevent Hayden from falling in love with Lottie as she has done with him.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner