on August 31st 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
A liberated widow. An impoverished earl. A forced marriage may be just what they needed…
Lady Candace Daniel is finally free from her cruel, abusive husband. He’s in no position to order her around from six-feet under. And with all the fun she’s having on the social circuit, she intends to never let a man have that kind of power again…
Corin St. George has inherited an earldom and a ramshackle estate. He’s toiled for years to restore the property to its former glory, and he has little respect for the noblewomen around him squandering their husbands’ fortunes…
But when Corin is thrust into a compromising predicament at a ball, he’s forced to marry Candace, the unlucky widow who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Neither spouse has an interest in being together… until friends and fate conspire to show them the possibility of love…
If It Takes a Scandal is the fourth and final book in the Marriage by Bargain series. If you like 19th century settings, stubborn but lovable characters, and second chances at happiness, then you’ll love Ruth Ann Nordin’s marital tale.
The vicar cleared his throat. “If we are all gathered together, I can begin the wedding ceremony.”
Before he spoke, Candace turned to face Corin. “Before we begin, I have a request to make of you.”
“I don’t think you’re in the position of making requests,” Corin replied, a sharpness underlying his words. He was struggling to remain polite but was having difficulty doing so.
But Candace was not going to let his bad mood deter her. She would not let fear hold her back anymore. So keeping her tone firm, she said, “I want to live in separate townhouses.”
Corin’s eyebrows rose in surprise, and he finally gave her a good, hard look, as if to determine how serious she was.
Anna hurried over to her side. “Think of it, my lord. There are benefits to such an arrangement. Your marriage will still satisfy the scandal, but you won’t be restricted to the bonds of a wife. Your life will still be your own.”
“It will be a marriage in name only,” Jason added.
Corin’s gaze went from them and back to Candace. “I was going to propose the same thing once the ceremony ended.”
Candace felt that flutter of hope emerge once more. “You were?”
He nodded. “I was going to suggest an arrangement where you live in your townhouse, and I live in mine. I will allow you an allowance once a month. But only once a month. You will not be allowed to spend more than what I give you.”
“You’re worried about how much of your money I’ll spend?” Candace asked.
“Isn’t every gentleman worried about how much money his wife will waste?” Corin asked.
“I’m not,” Jason spoke up. When everyone looked at him, his face grew pink. “But then, my wife is sensible when it comes to spending money.”
Candace turned her attention back to Corin. So he was worried about money. He was afraid she’d be one of those wives who would run his estate into financial ruin. This could very well work to her advantage! She had more than enough money to last her three lifetimes if she wished. But he didn’t realize that because if he did, he wouldn’t make such a ridiculous offer of an allowance.
“I have another idea,” Candace began. “If you don’t come to my bed, I won’t take a single farthing from you.”
The vicar gasped, but she ignored him.
Corin studied her expression. “Are you being serious?”
“Very,” she replied.
“But he needs an heir,” the vicar told her, and despite his hushed tone, everyone could hear him. “He’s a titled gentleman.”
“He’s a titled gentleman who’s worried about his money,” she replied, not breaking eye contact with Corin. She could tell by the way Corin’s eyebrows furrowed that he was weighing the pros and cons of such an arrangement. “What good is an heir if there’s nothing in the bank?” she continued, hoping it would settle the debate he was having within himself.
At once, he made his decision. “I’ll accept that arrangement,” he told her.
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