Published by Harlequin Special Releases on March 20th 2018
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
and you'll have your freedom."
Her father's will dictates Violet Harper must wed or be disinherited--yet she'd rather face the wilderness of the wintry Yorkshire moors than be bound to cynical, damaged soldier Captain Lance Amberton. Lance promises a marriage of convenience that will grant Violet her independence. In exchange, she must put her faith in Lance and see beyond his gruff exterior to the man beneath...
His lips quirked as he poured again. ‘I admire your good taste. This is a particularly fine claret. Is that sufficient?’
‘Yes, thank you.’
She reached for the glass and took a tentative sip. The wine had a far mellower taste than Mr Rowlinson’s brandy and made her stomach feel pleasantly fuzzy. She took a few more mouthfuls.
‘Strictly speaking it’s meant to be savoured, not gulped.’ There was a smile in his voice. ‘Trust me, when it comes to alcohol I’m an expert.’
‘Oh.’ She took another mouthful and let the wine sit on her tongue for a few seconds before swallowing. Instantly the flavour seemed richer and more intense.
‘You know your hair really does suit you.’ He sat down opposite. ‘I like it more and more.’
She peered across the table suspiciously. ‘You don’t have to say that.’
‘I’ve already said that I’ll consider your offer.’
‘I know that, too.’ He reached for his own glass. ‘Do you think that I’m trying to charm you?’
‘I was simply offering a compliment based on fact. That’s allowed, isn’t it?’
‘Just as long as it’s honest.’
‘I’ve told you before, Violet, I’m many things, but not a liar.’
‘I’m sorry.’ She watched as he filled his own glass to the brim. ‘I just tend to assume…’ She bit her lip. She didn’t want to say what she tended to assume. She didn’t want to think that way any more, but old habits were hard to break.
’That I’m lying because I’m a fortune hunter and wouldn’t dream of giving you a compliment otherwise?’
She winced at his bluntness. ‘I suppose so.’
‘You have so little confidence in yourself, then?’ He put the bottle down with a thud. ‘You know, sometimes I wish I’d hit your father when I had the chance.’
‘So do I.’
Both of his eyebrows shot up, though whatever response he was about to make faded as two maids entered the room carrying bowls of steaming Julienne soup.
‘This looks delicious.’ Violet licked her lips with anticipation. ‘I feel famished. It’s funny, but ever since I got here I’ve felt as though I could eat a horse.’
‘You could do to eat a couple.’
‘Father never let me eat much. He said it wasn’t ladylike.’ She swallowed a spoonful and sighed with pleasure. The soup was so delicious that she was half tempted to pick the bowl up and drink. ‘I feel as though I’ve been hungry my whole life. Now I want to make up for lost time.’
Jenni is giving away a signed US paperback copy of Captain Amberton’s Inherited Bride.
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Who is your favourite Victorian hero, Rochester, Heathcliff, John Thornton or somebody else?
Jenni Fletcher is a new-to-me author, this is the first book I have read of hers and it definitely won’t be the last.
Violet Harper is kept under the thumb by her father. Supposedly he keeps her from having any kind of social life because he cares about her safety. On one occasion he allows her to attend a ball where unknown to her she is to meet her future husband. Between his and her father, they have come up with a plan where after her father dies she is to marry Arthur Amberton if she is to inherit her father’s fortune. Arthur knows of the plan and is despondent over it. He is in love with another woman whom he wants to marry, but he just can’t stand up to his father. Violet is to be kept in the dark until the reading of her father’s will. She won’t even get a chance to argue about it.
At the ball, not only does Violet meet Arthur, she meets his twin brother Lance. He is a charmer and even though her father has forbidden her to talk or dance with him, she is cajoled by Lance into doing just that. She is enjoying herself for the first time in her life until something Lance says is taken the wrong way by her and she rushes off the dance floor away from him. His father than castigates him in front of everybody and Lance storms off with his father telling him to go and to never come back again!
5 Years later and Lance has to return home because both his brother and his father are dead. He has been injured by a bullet and can no longer stay in the army, so he makes his way home to take over the estate and all its responsibilities. Shockingly he finds out that one of those responsibilities is to marry Violet. Their fathers hadn’t indicated a specific name in their wills, just that Violet must marry the heir, who Lance happens to be now. He never wished to marry but the estates and his mining project could definitely benefit from her inheritance, so he doesn’t fight the will.
Unfortunately Violet does. She has been under the thumb for all of her life, and now she would rather be penniless and free than have money and be forced to marry Lance who she remembers devastated her at her first ball. He actually just expects her to turn up at the church to get married to him after he sent her the instructions via a letter. He didn’t even have the decency to see her in person. It’s with no doubts that Violet decides to run away.
Will Lance catch up to her, and can he convince her that it wouldn’t be hell on earth to marry him? You will have to read the book to find out!
I absolutely loved this story. Violet and Lance had deep-seated issues that they had to deal with even before they could contemplate the possibility of marrying and being happy. I felt so sorry for Violet because her father in his supposed care of her stripped away all of her confidence. She felt worthless and that no man would ever want to marry her. It would take a very strong caring man to prove to her otherwise. Lance is that man if only he can convince her that it’s not just her money that he is after. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the couple learn to deal with their issues and watching Violet bloom. There were a few other characters in the book that I loved too, Lance’s ‘man’ and his housekeeper to name just a couple. This book was a real delight to read and I am looking forward to reading more from this wonderful author.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers’ copy of this book.