Cover image for Love with the proper husband
Title:
Love with the proper husband
Author:
Alexander, Victoria, 1965-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Avon Books, 2003.
Physical Description:
374 pages ; 18 cm.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780060001452
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Distressed over the current widespread disinterest inmatrimony among their eminently marriageable offspring, the formidable matriarchs of the ton have taken matters into their own meddling hands with the formation of The Ladies' Society for the Betterment of the Future of Britain. Their first challenge: the Earl of Pennington.

Miss Gwendolyn Townsend has seen her late father's estate go to a distant cousin she can't abide ... leaving her well-educated, able to make a perfect curtsy -- and penniless. So imagine her shock when it's discovered that a match had been arranged between herself and Marcus Holcroft, the Earl of Pennington -- one of the most eligible members of London society. Marcus constantly leaves her breathless and confused ... and though she's hesitant to marry a man she's just met, in the end she has no choice. But she makes some conditions first ...

Marcus cannot believe that the bride who has been foisted upon him is insisting on rules to their wedding ... and bedding! He's a man who has never had to tempt any woman into his arms. But even more surprising is that Gwendolyn is clearly hiding something -- and it shocks him to think that their exquisite kisses -- followed by his lessons in passionate lovemaking -- wouldn't be enough to make his wife tell him her every secret. After all, he's promised to be a proper husband -- isn't it fair to also expect a proper wife?


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

The author of several post-Regency-era romances, Alexander (Her Highness, My Wife, etc.) once again delivers snappy dialogue and droll situations but fails to lay a solid foundation in her latest. One morning Gwendolyn Townsend receives three surprises: she learns that her father did not leave her penniless upon his death, as she had thought; that she has three orphaned nieces who need her support; and that her father arranged her marriage to his friend's son, Marcus, the Earl of Pennington. Marcus is equally astonished to learn that if he doesn't marry Gwen, he will lose his fortune. What begins as a marriage of convenience soon blooms into a love match, and life seems perfect-except that Gwen, afraid that Marcus thinks girls are useless (as her father did), still hasn't told him about the existence of her nieces. Instead of allowing Gwen to grow by confessing her secret and, later, by trusting her husband when another crisis occurs, Alexander ends her tale with a heroine who chooses the wrong path and seems likely to continue doing so. Ironically, the epigraphs that begin each chapter focus on the foibles of men, but Marcus is indeed a proper husband, demonstrating loyalty, trust and understanding. Gwen, however, falls short as a wife and as the heroine of this middling tale. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Excerpts

Excerpts

Love With the Proper Husband Chapter One Men are untrustworthy, disloyal swine who care for nothing save their own pleasures and the perpetuation of their line. Gwendolyn Townsend No good ever came of a summons from a solicitor . Gwendolyn Townsend stiffened her already ramrod straight posture and ignored the urge to pick at the worn cuff of her pelisse. She was the daughter of a viscount, and regardless of her current circumstances, she would not be intimidated by a mere solicitor. Furthermore, she was not at all pleased to be kept waiting. She ignored as well the fact that, in spite of her lineage, she was nothing more than a governess at the moment and an unsuccessful one at that. No good ever came of a summons from a solicitor. It was harder to ignore the long-forgotten warning that had surfaced in her mind with a vengeance and refused to let her be. It had echoed in the back of her thoughts ever since the letter from her late father's man of affairs, Mr. Whiting, had at long last reached her in New York. And why shouldn't it? She'd heard the servants at Madame Chaussan's Academy for Young Ladies say it often enough through most of the first sixteen years of her life, and indeed, hadn't it always proved true? The last time Gwen had had anything whatsoever to do with a solicitor had been five years ago when Mr. Whiting's nephew, taking up his uncle's business, had informed her she was penniless. She still recalled that moment--the discomfort of the young man, a scant few years older than she, at his announcement, and the sympathy in his brown eyes. She remembered the look in his eyes as clearly as she remembered his words. "Miss Townsend, forgive me for keeping you waiting." A gentleman of distinguished appearance stepped into the room and crossed to her chair. Gwen knew his name, but they'd never had occasion to meet before now. He extended his hand, and she accepted it cautiously. "Your appearance is something of a surprise. I did not expect you for several days yet." "I thought it best to return to England at once." "Of course." He withdrew his hand and nodded toward the door. "You remember my nephew, Albert?" Only now did she note the younger man standing by the open door, a decidedly apologetic expression on his face. There was no sympathy in his eyes today but an odd look nonetheless. "Of course." She smiled politely and waited. If there was one thing, and indeed there might well be only one thing, she had learned through seven positions of employment, it was how to give the appearance of patience. Mr. Whiting took his place behind his desk and nodded dismissively at his nephew. Albert started toward the door, then abruptly turned back. "Miss Townsend, please accept my most heartfelt apologies." At once she recognized the look in his eye as guilt. He stepped closer. "This is entirely my fault, and I cannot tell you how truly horrible I have felt since the error was first discovered. I have been most concerned about your--" "That's quite enough, Albert," Whiting said firmly. Error? Gwen's gaze slid from Albert to his uncle and back. "What error?" she said slowly. "It was a mistake." Albert shook his head. "Quite inexcusable, and I shall never forgive--" Mistake? "Albert." Whiting's voice cut through the room. Albert ignored him. "Miss Townsend, please understand I consider myself at your service from this moment forward. Should you need anything whatsoever, up to and including the benefits that can only be derived from marriage, I should be honored to offer my--" "Albert," Whiting snapped. "I will take care of this. I'm certain you have other duties to attend to." Albert hesitated, then nodded. "Of course, Uncle." He squared his shoulders and met her gaze. "Again, Miss Townsend, my apologies." He left without another word. Gwen stared after him. A hundred myriad thoughts swirled through her mind, but not one made any sense. Whiting cleared his throat. "Miss Townsend, I--" "What mistake?" Her gaze snapped to his. Whiting paused as if considering his words. He was distinctly ill-at-ease, and for the first time since her father's death, a glimmer of what might have been hope surfaced within her. When she'd received Whiting's letter she'd been curious, of course: it was accompanied by an already paid passage back to England. But he'd said nothing more than that there was a matter of importance regarding her family that required her immediate return. She'd been only too glad to bid her employers and their annoying offspring goodbye and had sailed on the first ship home. "Mr. Whiting?" She'd assumed Whiting's summons had to do with the signing of papers regarding her father's estate or the transfer of ownership of his property, matters she'd assumed as well had been settled long ago. Still, whatever it was, it was significant enough, in Whiting's eyes, to provide her with a way back to England, and that was all she really cared about. Now, looking at the solicitor's obvious discomfort, coupled with his nephew's abject apology and strange proposal of marriage, Gwen realized the "matter of importance" was far more significant than she'd imagined. "Miss Townsend." Whiting folded his hands on the desk in front of him. "My nephew should never have informed you of the state of your finances in the manner in which he did. Nor should he have said anything whatsoever so soon after your father's demise." Gwen's heart sank. "It was most thoughtless of him and--" "Mr. Whiting, as much as I appreciate ..." Love With the Proper Husband . Copyright © by Victoria Alexander. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Love with the Proper Husband by Victoria Alexander All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.