REPROBATE LORD, RUNAWAY LADY
After so many half-truths and out-and-out lies between Amelie and Gareth it is amazing that they are able to ever resolve their issues. He has been hurt in the past, which is why he keeps to himself and she is feisty and independent. However, readers do not get to know much more about the characters than these traits. Fortunately, the author makes up for this with secondary characters that add color to the story and help keep the plot moving. Additionally, the awful Rufus Glyde is dastardly without being cartoonish. He is controlling and selfish and makes a great villain.
Due to her unapproachable manner and refusal to entertain marriage proposals, Lady Amelie Silverdale has gone through an entire season without a fiancée. But in order to save her family from financial ruin, Amelie’s father is forcing her to marry the elderly Rufus Glyde. Amelie is horrified at the thought of being tied to the odious Glyde so she decides to run to her grandmother in Bath who she is sure will agree to help her. While fleeing her house, Amelie literally falls into the arms of Gareth Denville.
Gareth is looking for a distraction and is more than willing than to follow Amelie on her journey thinking it will offer ample entertainment. Gareth has been abroad for seven years after being banished for allegedly cheating at cards. He is back in England after recently inheriting the title of Earl — something he refuses to discuss. Amelie is equally unwilling to talk about her problems and pretends she is a mere ladies maid. During their journey, Amelie and Gareth face accidents and the occasional visit from a common enemy, and a relationship blossoms. Yet despite their feelings, both refuse to part with their secrets. Can they learn to trust each other or will earlier deceptions destroy their newfound love? (HARLEQUIN, Apr., 291 pp., $5.99)