THE BARGAIN (revised from The Would-Be Widow)
Revised and expanded version of an early Regency (The Would-Be Widow), The Bargain tells the story of Lady Jocelyn Kendal, who needs to marry by her 25th birthday in order to receive her inheritance. Impulsively she strikes a bargain with a mortally wounded officer, Major David Lancaster, but what happens when you marry a dying man, and then the blasted fellow hasn't the grace to die?
Sometimes the opportunity to misbehave is very tempting indeed, even for the most well-bred young lady.
3 and 1/2 out of four stars
Marry the local vicar -- a stodgy man with six impossible children -- never! Deborah Percival is determined to discover passion in a man's arms, not duty in a dull marriage. And when she becomes stranded at a countryside inn, tantalizing Anthony Aldercy, the Earl of Burnell, offers her the chance to fulfill her dreams. Deborah knows she should say no -- but how can she resist?
The Lady is tempted...
The earl is determined to repair his roguish reputation -- and a marriage to a demure highborn lady of the ton will do this -- but he cannot deny deborah's charms. Her lush curves tease his senses, while her delicous honesty touches his heart. But when she disappears, he's desperate, so he searches all of london to find her, refusing to rest until he brings her into his life -- and his arms -- again.Perhaps Deborah is not the only one being tempted...
I own one Cathy Maxwell book, "You and No Other." I adore it!
(And yes, Nathan is on the cover, shirtless, LOL!)
I am surprised I have not read more of her books before now, so checking again at our teeny, tiny library, there were a few older titles on the shelves. I picked this one first, loved the blurb on the back.
Deborah Percival, widow, knows nothing of love, married off to a man 37 years older than her (ewwwww) to save her family from financial ruin, she always did what she was told, followed society's strict rules and strictures.
All that went out the window when she met Anthony Aldercy at an Inn, during a coach trip to London to stay with a sister. The bridge is washed out, and they must stay for days in this small inn. Tony is an earl, from an impoverished family plagued with scandal, he has fought hard to restore his fortunes, by agreeing to marry some chit he hardly knows.
The attraction between Deb and Tony is so immediate, so stark and overwhelming, they tumble into bed, and...in love. Highly-charged love scenes, scorching romance between these two leads, however, reality soon slaps them both in the face. Both characters are, of course, flawed. Tony is almost obsessive over his need to avoid scandal, he is determined to marry the respectable lady he made a deal over, risking his own heart and happiness. He offers the only thing he can, Carte Blanche. Deb is mortified, what will her family think? And, she is very hurt. After what they shared. They go their separate ways.
Deb's family is annoying as hell, her sisters and their husbands selfish and cloying, after all she sacrificed (marrying the older man) so her sisters could marry well, and for love. The one thing denied to her.
It is quite a ride for Deb and Tony to get to their HEA, a lot of twists and turns in a road full of pot holes, but the emotions are real and the conflicts heart breaking, wonderfully crafted and written.
3 and 3/4 stars out of 4