Monday, October 08, 2012
The Duchess Diaries , Book 1
ISBN: 978-1-4516-8519-0 (eBook)
Floors Castle, Scotland, near the Borders, 1812
As the Duchess of Roxburghe plans her annual house party and Winter Ball, she's determined that this year her last unmarried grandnephew will accept her invitation. As a childless widow of four (and wife to her fifth husband), she's devoted all her maternal love to her sister's grandchildren. It's past time that the eldest of the three brothers—and her favorite—gives up his rakish ways and settles down. Inheriting his father's earldom at seventeen, Lord Alton Sinclair—aptly nicknamed Lord Sin—has done well by his other responsibilities, but has no interest in marriage. There are too many grateful neglected wives to enjoy. Although…something happened six years ago that put just a kink in his happiness. He was made a fool of by a young chit, and he won't be completely satisfied until she's made to pay.
At her very first ball, Miss Rose Balfour, then seventeen, met a man who made her feel strange things. Like a butterfly breaking out of a cocoon, the young lady's spirit took wing and she hoped for her first kiss. Her wish was granted out in the garden; the kiss was wonderful, but her obvious enthusiasm led her kisser—none other than Lord Sin—to believe she was more experienced than she was. She took fright at the passion he aroused and gave him a shove…right into the fountain's lily pond. Her calls for help only drew attention to the scene, and Lord Sin came to be called Lord Fin thereafter. Rose went home, back to her responsibilities and the quiet life she led with her father and two younger sisters.
The duchess discovers the identity of the young lady who so disturbed Alton those six years past. It seems the girl is one of her many goddaughters. She arranges the house party guest list to include Rose (among a rather odd assortment of others) and slyly lets Alton know she is coming. Aha! His chance for revenge! What better way to accomplish it than to seduce and abandon her. (He still believes she's no better than she should be and embarrassed him by design.)
What follows could be called a comedy of errors. There are challenges and wagers, even apologies, and a few slight injuries to body and pride involved as the party plays on. The crafty duchess and her companion are the only ones who see that Rose and Alton are perfect for each other. Certainly the principals don't.
For fun and passion, let free your imagination and join the party at Floors Castle, an actual place. Let the talented Karen Hawkins be your guide in HOW TO CAPTURE A COUNTESS, and then look forward to more of the Duchess Diaries . (Each chapter is prefaced by a selection from the Duchess of Roxburghe's diaries.) Rose's sisters, Lily and Dahlia, are also among the duchess's goddaughters who need husbands.