Let It Be Love (Effington Family & Friends Series)

Let It Be Love (Effington Family & Friends Series)

3.7 60
by Victoria Alexander

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When New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander created the Effingtons, she introduced an irresistible clan. Now, meet her most unforgettable hero yet . . .

Dashing Jonathon Effington, the Marquess of Helmsley, has had more than one lady willingly fall into his arms. But he's so delicious none has ever complained at their inevitable parting. And


When New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander created the Effingtons, she introduced an irresistible clan. Now, meet her most unforgettable hero yet . . .

Dashing Jonathon Effington, the Marquess of Helmsley, has had more than one lady willingly fall into his arms. But he's so delicious none has ever complained at their inevitable parting. And while Jonathon's no stranger to passion of the flesh, his heart has remained untouched. Until now . . .

At each Christmas Ball, Jonathon selects a delectable lady to share the pleasures of the evening—after all, it's a holiday tradition! But he is shocked to discover that his choice is replaced by an enchanting stranger who surprises him with a proposal of marriage. Beautiful Fiona Fairchild is desperate—only a wedding will save her sisters and her inheritance. But Jonathon has no interest in marriage, and what starts as a shocking proposal turns into a scandalous proposition that might ruin them both . . .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Charismatic bachelor Jonathon Effington, marquess of Helmsley, is a Victorian-age cad with a difference. He never kisses and tells-not even about his notorious annual Christmas trysts with whatever woman who's caught his fancy during the holiday season. He now claims to be ready to marry, once he finds the smart, spirited, strong-willed wife of his dreams. Meeting all qualifications-and needing a husband to gain her inheritance without being forced into an arranged marriage-Fiona Fairchild substitutes herself for Helmsley's Christmas trystee and proposes. Sure that it's a joke, he accepts. The comedy of errors that ensues as the inexplicably panicked marquess attempts to escape his commitment with honor pushes the conventional love-hate plot stretch into strain; after all, Fiona's clearly the marquess's dream damsel. Still, the story's far-fetched twists are festive enough, and coupled with the characters' considerable charm, render this rollicking historical romance from bestseller Alexander (When We Meet Again) the perfect holiday read. Agent, Meg Ruley at Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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Effington Family & Friends Series
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Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

Read an Excerpt

Let It Be Love

By Victoria Alexander

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Victoria Alexander
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060593202

Chapter One

Six days later . . .

"What am I to do, Oliver?" Miss Fiona Fairchild paced the width of her cousin's parlor and ignored the amused, or perhaps bemused, expression on his face.

Fiona and her sisters had arrived at Oliver's home a scant hour ago accompanied by the ContessaOrsetti, who had graciously agreed to chaperone them on their journey from Italy. She was traveling to England anyway and said it was certainly no bother. Aunt Edwina had greeted the party with an enthusiasm that quite warmed Fiona's heart and provided a significant measure of relief as well. For one thing, Aunt Edwina was thankfully nothing like the contessa, who could be both overbearing and presumptuous. For another, her aunt and cousin had had very little warning as to their arrival and it had been more than a dozen years since they'd last seen one another. After sending the contessa on her way, Aunt Edwina had spirited the younger girls off to settle them in their accommodations. Fiona had preferred to wait in the parlor for Cousin Oliver to return home.

His greeting had been just as warm as his mother's, but Fiona had had no time for idle pleasantries. In truth, she had no time to waste at all. She had a crisis of immense proportions confronting her and Oliver might well be her only salvation.

"I refuse to marry a man I've never seen, let alone met, and an American at that. He would probably wish to live in his own country and I have spent far too many years away from England already. This is my home and I have missed it more than I can say."

Oliver leaned casually against the fireplace mantel and studied her. "But you are not averse to marriage in and of itself?"

"Of course not. I wish to marry. Whatever would I do if I did not marry? I am rather a good match, you know." She turned to him and ticked the points off on her fingers. "I am of good family. I can run a household. I am an excellent hostess. I speak three languages fluently and several others adequately. And the mirror tells me, as have any number of suitors, that I am pretty as well."

"You are not as . . . round and speckled as you were as a child," Oliver murmured. "You have turned out nicely. Quite nicely."

"Surprisingly so." She grinned with the satisfaction of a woman who was indeed pleased with the way she'd turned out. "Thank you, cousin." Her smile vanished. "What am I to do?"

Oliver's brows drew together. "I cannot believe Uncle Alfred would leave you in such a position."

"He was, unfortunately, doing what he thought was best for me. He had encouraged me to marry for years before he fell ill."

"I assume there were offers?" Oliver's gaze traveled over her in an appreciative manner.

She was well aware of precisely what he saw: a figure no longer plump but curved and appealingly lush, hair that had deepened from a bright, almost orange color to a rich mahogany, intelligent green eyes that tilted upward slightly at the corners and a porcelain complexion marred only by an annoying smattering of pale freckles across the bridge of her nose that men oddly enough seemed to find enchanting. Fiona Fairchild had become a true beauty and she well knew it. Why, hadn't men compared her to a Renaissance painting?

Still, she could be as ugly as sin, for all it mattered.

"Yes, of course." She waved away his comment. "Aside from the aforementioned attributes, I am heir to a significant fortune. At least I was. When Father realized he would not recover . . ." A wave of sadness passed through her and she ignored it. She had mourned for her father upon his death nearly four months ago, and would mourn and miss him for the rest of her days, but at the moment she had the pressing matter of how to resolve the circumstances he had left her in to consider. "He took matters into his own hands.

"In spite of his urgings, Father felt my failure to wed was in part his fault. It wasn't, of course. I simply never met a man with whom I should wish to spend the rest of my days." She shrugged. "You must understand that after my stepmother died, I took over her duties in regards to running the household, acting as Father's hostess and helping with my stepsisters."

"There are three, aren't there? And two are twins?"

Fiona nodded. "And I could not care for them more than if they were my own flesh and blood, which in itself compounds my dilemma. Father knew if I had only myself to consider I would never marry a man I had not met."

"What would you do with your life, then?" Oliver asked mildly. "I cannot see you becoming a governess."

"Nor can I." She wrinkled her nose. "Or a lady's companion or anything else of that nature. I would probably do exactly what I have done."

"Throw yourself on the mercy of your closest living relative?" He grinned.

"Most certainly." She flashed him a blinding smile. "You and dear Aunt Edwina would never abandon me and throw me into the streets. Still, I -- or rather we -- cannot impose on your hospitality forever."

"You are certainly welcome to do so. I daresay my mother is beside herself at the idea of having four young women under her wing. She has long bemoaned the fact that she had no daughters and only one son who has not yet done his duty and provided her with a daughter-in-law."

Fiona laughed. "That does seem to be a constant theme in her letters." She sobered and shook her head. "Regardless, we cannot live here for the rest of our days as . . . as poor relations."

"You most definitely can," Oliver said staunchly.


Excerpted from Let It Be Love by Victoria Alexander Copyright © 2005 by Victoria Alexander. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

#1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander was an award-winning television reporter until she discovered fiction was more fun than real life. She is the author of thirty-one novels, and her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Victoria lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her long-suffering husband and two dogs, in a house under endless renovation and never-ending chaos.

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Let It Be Love 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 57 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Take one lovely, nice, smart and spirited English woman with a problem....................................... Fiona Fairchild urgently needs to find a husband to free her inheritance and save her from having to marry the son of her father's business associate. An unfamiliar, never before seen American that she fears may force her to leave her family and move across ocean the to live............................................... Re-introduce her the one man she had felt an attraction for as a young girl.............................................. The handsome, wealthy and still single, Marquess of Helmsley, Jonathon Effington. When Fiona boldly proposes marriage, Jonathon while enthralled by her beauty and her spirit, thinks she¿s an actress sent by his friends and rashly agrees............................................... And the fun begins when Jonathon realizes his error and like many a man at the alarming thought of an impending marriage-- gets cold feet. Will he find an acceptable way to bale out of marriage to the one woman who may be perfect for him or will he come to his senses and give up his freedom because this time¿ it could be love....................................................... This was a very charming, lighthearted and funny story with two very appealing and warm main characters. I knew Jonathon would eventually give in and save Fiona, this is after all a romance story, but I loved the way Ms. Alexander slowly developed their relationship from friendship into something deeper. I felt it was realistic and it gave the characters (and her readers) time to appreciate how perfect they were for each other and fall in love. I love the Effington Series and I hope there will be stories for all of Jonathon¿s interesting and amusing friends and Fiona¿s lively sisters too!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jonathon is so very charming, witty and funny. Fiona has just the right amount of spunk and sass to handle him. Its a good book that adds to the Effington series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was nice to read the story of a male Effington. I've certainly been charmed by all those women and have seen snippits of Jonathan Effington - so this was a nice change. He was a most believable and consistent hero. Fiona was an interesting match for him. I'm still not sure about some of her character turn abouts - but she was always interesting. It was a good read for the holidays. Does Judith get a story???? If not, who is next in the Effington saga? Keep writing, Ms. Alexander!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looks Auburn <p> Persona Sweet <p> Other Wants a mate
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NavyWave62 More than 1 year ago
Wonderful book - author did a great job developing not only the main character's but the secondary character's were very interesting too. It drag on in a few places and I did get upset at times with both, but overall - would recommend it. This is my only 2nd book by this author, loved Return of Sir Nicholas. I am now on to the book about Oliver.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Truly annoying characters, both hero & heroine were just a couple of twits who couldn't seem to get a sentence out without misunderstanding one another or misinterpreting the other's words or actions. Not in proper Regency grammar either, felt more like a current American setting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh my god! This book was such a dead bore it took me forever to finish. I really like this author , but this book put me to sleep. Couldn't wait to finish it.
bspan More than 1 year ago
Each and every book that Victoria Alexander writes is wonderful. I watch for her next book especially when they are part of a series. Can't get enough
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I feel like the word 'meh' accurately describes this book. Predictable, slow and boring characters but well written. Its worth a gander if you have nothing else to read or do.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Typical bachelor needing a bride chase and catch story by this suthor. A delightful easy read
melanie311 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. The banter has humor, and the romance is sweet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book so much that I read all of the next four about these friends. I had never read this author before and now I'm a real fan.