She, as no other ever could,
reached every corner of his heart.
Powerful and influential Lady Harriet Windsor’s pampered life takes a turn when she becomes the guardian of her orphaned cousin.
Used to always getting her way, she comes to the jarring realization that she must now secure her young charge’s future. And she is willing to pull every string at her disposal to do just that.
Playful and flirty with a certain disregard for social etiquette, Timothy Ramsay, third son of the Marquess of Westbrook, has a reputation to match his mischievous ways. With his family unable to control him and many a respectable lady warning their daughters to stay away from him, he is a true heartbreaker. Or is he?
Unable to stay away from each other once they cross paths, Timothy’s undesirable reputation is not the only trial they must face: a bet he made to conquer the challenge that is Harriet’s heart comes to light. Thrown in the middle of a game they think they can control, they belatedly realize they focused on the king and lost sight of the most important player: the pawn.
This book opens at the acclaimed ball at Almack’s. Lord Timothy Ramsay is looking down over the spectacle with his friend Lord Curtis Sutton. Together they observe as a couple enters the room, they recognize the gentleman as His Grace, Harley Windsor, the Duke of Pickering and rightly guess the woman at his side is his sister Lady Harriet. Timothy is instantly taken by this beautiful woman and is about to go down to be formally introduced when Curtis stops him. What ensues is a bet, that Timothy won’t make Lady Harriet fall in love with him by the end of the season.
Lady Harriet while not specifically promised to anyone, is being courted by His Grace, Cecil Sydney the Duke of Redfield. That didn’t stop her from accepting a dance with Timothy or any of the others attending this ball. To Timothy however, the stakes had been raised on this game of courting. He’d like nothing better than to best the Duke.
Lord Timothy’s plotting has him at the park when Lady Harriet and her niece Miss Abbie are riding in their barouche, with the Duke escorting them on horseback. Of course he manages to seat himself in the barouche with them, much to the Duke’s chagrin.
This is a favorite scene.
“I’m sorry, but I feel a little light-headed. I wish to go back home and lie down awhile.”
“Do I need to fetch a doctor, Lady Harriet?” the Duke immediately asked.
“No, that will not be necessary, Your Grace,” Harriet shook her head. “I’m just a little tired. Nothing else.”
“All right, if you are certain,” the Duke cordially answered.
“The lady is certain,” Timothy interfered, and Harriet knew that if he continued in this manner, it would not end well.
“I do not recall inquiring of you,” the Duke hissed at Timothy.
“I thought, perhaps you did not hear well, my good man,” Timothy chuckled. “After all, you are her senior by twenty years.”
“Are you trying to imply -” the Duke growled, but before he could finish his entire thought, Harriet interrupted him.
“Your Grace,” she smiled benevolently, “you are very kind to ask, and I assure you that I am perfectly fine. I do feel bad for cutting this short, and I promise a much longer outing next time, at your earliest convenience.”
The Duke seemed appeased by this sudden change of direction in which the conversation had headed. He seemed to swallow heavily, his Adam’s apple bobbing up and down just once. Then, his gaze fell upon Harriet, with a half-smile.
“I shall hold you to it, Lady Harriet,” he nodded. “I am to travel to Brunswick on an urgent business matter, and I shall be away for the next three days, but after that, I would be happy to meet you.”
“Splendid,” Harriet smiled. “Then, we shall arrange something upon your return.”
Harriet turned to Timothy, expecting to give him a quick but courteous farewell, and see him on his way. However, what he said next left her completely stunned.
“Perhaps, you wouldn’t mind if I joined you and lovely Miss. Abbie for an outing in the meantime,” Timothy said casually, as if he was simply commenting on the weather today.
Harriet didn’t even know what to say to that at first. The Duke’s face reddened with rage, as his jaw squared from the pressure his teeth were putting on one another. Abbie herself was caught off guard by this, and simply gazed on, shocked, with lips parted, as if she tried to say something, but changed her mind in the last minute.
Harriet, the one who was supposed to offer a reply to that, remained stunned. Simply stunned.
“Lord Ramsay,” the Duke’s voice rose like the threatening smoke of a potentially active volcano about to erupt, “does this infer that we are rival suitors?”
Harriet and Abbie looked on in horror at what might ensue. Harriet had never witnessed a brawl between two men, and she hoped she never would. But this was dangerously close to it, even though one of the two men still appeared calm and composed. She wondered how on earth Timothy managed to succeed in this.
“In order to be able to offer a reply, I would need to get acquainted with the lady in question properly,” Timothy shrugged, as if his reply was nothing extraordinary.
Harriet felt her lips drying. The utter absurdity and rudeness of this reply did not escape anyone’s attention. She half-expected the Duke to jump down from his horse and give Timothy a piece of his mind. But the Duke remained seated on his horse, squeezing at the rein so hard that his fingers turned white.
A moment later, Harriet felt washed over by a sudden wave of laughter, but she dared not part her lips and let it out. It remained stifled inside of her.
He thinks I shall deem his playful banter scandalous. He wishes to shock me. But he doesn’t know me yet. Not one bit.
“So, what say you, Harriet?” Timothy urged, even daring to wink at Abbie. “The three of us could have so much fun.”
With a blissful smile on her face, Harriet leaned out of the carriage. Her hand gently pressed the Duke’s shoulder, in an effort to show him that a man like him had no reason to fear such a dog. Timothy was all bark, and no bite. She was almost certain of it. And that meant he would be easy to predict, easy to control, and also, easy to be amused by.
“All right then… Timothy,” she made sure to say his name slowly, accentuating every syllable. “Let us arrange an outing then.”
“Excellent!” Timothy exclaimed, bowing quickly just once, then jumping out of the carriage and right onto his horse, galloping away in mere seconds.
Harriet knew they were all stunned. In all honesty, so was she, but she also felt the promise of something new and exciting. Something she had never felt or experienced before.
What she failed to notice were the eyes that loomed over her. Menacingly. Possessively.
Patricia Haverton. Season of the Marchioness: A Historical Regency Romance Novel (Kindle Locations 427-467). Patricia Haverton.
There is much fun in every outing with Timothy as he always includes Abbie. The conversations are lively and the activities enjoyable for all.
The Duke isn’t making quite the same impression on Harriet. He seems to think she shouldn’t know anything about business and should only worry about clothes and the household. She on the other hand, has with her brother begun supporting a workhouse to ensure the people within are treated fairly and have what they need.
There’s lots of suspicions being hinted at throughout the book adding mystery to the story. Of course the road to happiness can’t be totally clear.
A very enjoyable read with just the right touch of suspense and plenty of romantic interludes.
5 Contented Purrs for Patricia!
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Born the oldest of three children, Patricia Haverton grew up believing that she’d follow in her father’s footsteps and pursue a career in science. However, her worldview changed when she decided to explore her British mother’s roots. The trip to her ancestral lands solidified her conviction that she had found her true calling in the romanticism of the Era of Kings and Queens.
A hopeless romantic and a firm believer in the idea of soulmates, Patricia changed the course of her life and decided to get her degree in Creative Writing and Psychology. As she jokingly says ever so often, “she lives in the past now, where love shows the way and Dukes save the day!”
When she’s not weaving tales of love that prevails, Patricia enjoys spending time with her husband, roaming the British countryside, where they have been living in for the past decade.
Now would be the time to let yourself go and experience the true magic of the Regency Era! Let your imagination run wild, live amazing adventures through the eyes of brave heroes! Like the legendary wise wizard, Patricia will be your guide!