Circumstances beyond his control leave Chrispin, Viscount West, nearly destitute, forced into a sham "Fleet Marriage" to Dulcie Blessing, saving Dulcie and her father from debtor's prison. Each go their own way, never suspecting that they will see one another again.
Chrispin returns to his ancestral home where fate steps in and his monies are restored. Now he can offer marriage to the woman he loves. But that same fate brings him face to face with Dulcie Blessing and the news that the fake marriage is real.
Chrispin is angry at Dulcie's return and believes that she is after his money. But he soon realizes that this prideful, enticing sprite wants neither his money nor this marriage.
As the days pass, against all obstacles, they come to enjoy one another's company, and fall in love. However, others are working to dissolve not only their marriage but their newfound love.
THE WEDDING brings readers into a time period of great wealth and grinding poverty, transporting them to Fleet Prison, the terrors of Newgate and Bedlam and into the lives of two people who rise above it all. Fast-paced and brimming over with rich historical detail, Ms. Layton depicts this colorful era in all its glory. SENSUAL (May, 374 pp., $4.99)