John Fitzhugh Wyckerly inherits the title of Earl of Danecroft — and the mountain of debts that go with it. A mathematical genius, he makes a comfortable living by gambling, but now he must marry well to pay off his creditors. But first he reclaims his illegitimate 6-year-old daughter, Penelope.
Abigail Merriweather needs a solicitor to help her regain custody of her four siblings, and seeks Fitz’s help. Intrigued by this petite female, he promises to help her in return for her taking care of Penelope. When Abigail comes into some money, she shuns all suitors and Fitz talks her into marrying him.
But Abigail’s solicitors feel that he is unfit to be a guardian for the children. Fitz agrees to give up Abigail’s inheritance and allow her to have final custody of her siblings. Though he gambled and won the children for her, he’s lost his beloved wife. But Fitz’s bossy pocket Venus is determined to change this infuriating man’s mind, for Abigail needs him as much as he needs her. (SIGNET ECLIPSE, Jul., 338 pp., $7.99)