Katherine Vareck is in for the shock of her life when she learns upon her husband Meri’s accidental death that he had married two other women. Her entire business, along with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be a royal supplier, is everything she’s been working for and now could be destroyed if word leaks about the three wives.
Meri’s far more upstanding brother, Christian, Duke of Randford has no earthly clue how to be of assistance. He spent the better part of his adult years avoiding Meri and the rest of his good-for-nothing family, so to be dragged back into the fold is…problematic. Even more so is the intrepid and beautiful Katherine, whom he cannot be falling for because she’s Meri’s widow. Or can he?
With a textile business to run and a strong friendship forming with Meri’s two other wives, Katherine doesn’t have time for much else. But there’s something about the warm, but compellingly taciturn Christian that draws her to him. When an opportunity to partner in a business venture brings them even closer, they’ll have to face their pasts if they want to share each other’s hearts and futures.
This book opens as Katherine Vareck, Lady Meriwether, arrives at the solicitors for the reading of her husband’s will. What she doesn’t know is that there are two other women arriving for the same purpose. The clerks were bringing them to the room where the solicitor just left Katherine, not exactly subtle. She realizes what is going on when she hears Christian, the Duke Randford, arrive and adamantly demand the solicitor ‘take care of it’. One of the problems Mr. Hanes has is that they can’t find any money to return the women’s dowries. When she confronts Christian with his responsibilities as Meri’s brother he isn’t having any of it. He’s cleaned up far too many of his brother’s messes and he’s done.
A few things happen after the Duke departs, first Katherine has a discussion with her companion, Willa Ferguson, regarding the other two wives and second she invites them to stay at her home. They’re all in the same boat and they all have to wait for answers.
The Duke himself has sort of a change of heart, realizing he should help these women somehow he returns to the solicitor’s to find they’ve already left. He gains a new employee as he recognized the man begging for coins as Phillip Reed, a talented carpenter who served under his command. The realization that others who served were out there with no means of employment struck him and he vows to help them.
The second wife, Constance Lysander, is pregnant and she traveled with her Aunt Venetia. They were expecting the Duke provide accommodations for them which is obviously not happening.
The third wife Blythe Howell, is the sister of a Viscount. She wants to avoid her brother at all costs.
All of these women need to avoid scandal and that’s going to take some doing. Katherine is the only one in a relatively good position since she has a successful business and is up for a Royal contract.
There are many twists and turns in this story for each of these women, although we center on Katherine and her growing relationship with Christian.
This is a delightful tale that had me laughing out loud, sniffling and fanning myself from the heat generated by Katherine and Christian.
I can’t wait to read the next installment of this series.
5 Contented Purrs for Janna!
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Janna MacGregor was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri. She credits her darling mom for introducing her to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels. Janna writes stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes. She is the mother of triplets and lives in Kansas City with her very own dashing rogue, and two smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pugs. She loves to hear from readers.