Lady Lucy MacMorlan may have forsworn men and marriage, but that doesn’t mean she won’t agree to profit from writing love letters for her brother’s friends – letters that become increasingly racy as her fame grows. That is, until she deliberately ruins the betrothal of a notorious laird, Robert, Marquis of Methven.
Past centuries of bloodshed have left the Methven and MacMorlan families bitter enemies and Robert is furious that Lady Lucy’s letters have cost him the bride he needs so urgently to save his ancestral clan lands. Now he makes Lucy a shocking proposal; in return for his silence she must become his wife and provide him with the heir he needs. It is an inconvenient marriage of convenience but can the rugged laird and the bluestocking beauty fight against the power of love?
What’s the harm in a little fun stuff like writing love letters for one’s brother and his friends? After all, they really aren’t very good at it and it’s a way to gain a bit of pin money and we all know that in that historical era it was a rare woman indeed who had access to her own funds. Yet this story is a case of being “hoisted on the point of one’s own pitard” as a specific set of letters does far more harm than good and thus begins the troubled and difficult marriage between the letter-writing Lady Lucy and the very PO’d bridegroom, Robert.
Nicola Cornick is one of those authors that writes with unmitigated creativity. She seems to be bowing to the literary protocols of historical novels but in her own way she gives each one twists and surprises that keep each one enjoyable and far from predictable. So it is with this story. Of course, we all know that many Regency romances begin as adversarial marriages of convenience or possible as friendship kinds of relationships where there is certainly no love to bind the couple together. But here, Lady Lucy must “pay the piper” for her transgressions so that in addition to being caught in a marriage of convenience when she had no intention of marrying the first place, she is now caught by a man who is the last in a long line of peers with whom her family as been as serious odds for generations. It’s a tale well calculated to keep the reader entranced and engaged emotionally as well as intellectually, following the story as well as hoping for the best for these two people who must deal with their own issues as well as those of their ancestors that have fallen upon them without their consent.
I think this kind of historical romance is such fun to read–so very entertaining on so many levels. It’s one of the novels that I have most enjoyed in recent weeks and am delighted to have had the opportunity to read and review it.
I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.
You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.