Married to the Viscount (Swanlea Spinster Series #5)

( 36 )

Overview

The dashing Viscount proposes a marriage in name only . . . in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries' sexy historical romance

Abigail Mercer was thrilled at being reunited with Spencer Law, whom she met once and later married by proxy. But now Viscount Ravenswood denies all knowledge of their union! Too many witnesses have made it impossible for the secretive Spencer to reject his bride without causing a scandal. So he has proposed a marriage in name ...

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Married to the Viscount (Swanlea Spinster Series #5)

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Overview

The dashing Viscount proposes a marriage in name only . . . in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries' sexy historical romance

Abigail Mercer was thrilled at being reunited with Spencer Law, whom she met once and later married by proxy. But now Viscount Ravenswood denies all knowledge of their union! Too many witnesses have made it impossible for the secretive Spencer to reject his bride without causing a scandal. So he has proposed a marriage in name only until they can locate his mysteriously absent younger brother—who is responsible for everything!—and untangle this messy affair.

Abigail is incensed, irate . . . and irresistibly attracted to this handsome, infuriating man who hides his smoldering passion behind a proper exterior. So the lady will agree to his terms on one condition: Spencer must seal their bargain with a kiss. But he finds that one deep, lingering, unforgettable kiss isn't nearly enough. And keeping his hands off his pretty wife is going to be much harder than he thought.

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Editorial Reviews

Rexanne Becnel
“Powerful Romance.”
The Oakland Press
“One luscious romance filled with sensuous moments that will make your heart beat a little faster.”
Christina Dodd
“Another winner from Sabrina Jeffries - it sizzles with passion, humor, and adventure. You won’t want it to end!”
Lisa Kleypas
“Dance of Seduction is a treasure of a book, written with wit, charm and burning sensuality. This skillfully written novel is an absolute pleasure to read. Anyone who loves romance must read Sabrina Jeffries!”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060092146
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/30/2003
  • Series: Swanlea Spinster Series , #5
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 284,173
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

At the tender age of twelve, Sabrina Jeffries decided she wanted to be a romance writer. It took her eighteen more years and a boring stint in graduate school before she sold her first book, but now her sexy and humorous historical romances routinely land on the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists and have won several awards. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and son, where she writes full-time and is working on her next novel.

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Table of Contents

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First Chapter

Married to the Viscount

Chapter One

Even the finest butler may blunder when announcing a surprise guest, but he should use the occasion to learn the correct styling. One never knows when a surprise guest may become important in his employer's household.

Suggestions for the Stoic Servant,
by the Butler to a Very Important Gentleman

London
April 15, 1822

The bride-to-be was here. The groom-to-be was two hours late. As betrothal dinners went, this one qualified for fiasco of the season. Spencer, reluctant host of the fiasco, surveyed the immaculately appointed dining table in his London town house and sighed. How soon could he call an end to this painful ordeal and retreat to his study and his cognac? Probably not for at least another hour. Anything less would rouse suspicion among his twenty-six guests.

Thanks to his quick thinking and talent for lying, they didn't even know the dinner was a fiasco. And until he found out why Nat had disappeared, he had no intention of letting them in on the secret.

He glanced over at Lady Evelina, the bride-to-be. Thank God she'd apparently accepted his far-fetched tale. Like a china doll, she perched on her chair in cultivated perfection, blond ringlets framing her flawless brow, her cheeks pink but not rouged, and her gown the ideal hue for her porcelain skin. Only her sparkling eyes hinted at the sweet-natured girl Nat and Spencer had teased while she was growing up.

Catching his eye, Evelina dabbed daintily at her cupid-bow lips with a damask napkin. "I do hope they don't detain poor Nathaniel at the police offices all night. Did his note say how long it might be?"

That damned fictitious note. "No, but they'll probably keep him awhile," Spencer lied with all the practiced ease of a former spymaster. "He'll have to give testimony against the ruffian he caught snatching that woman's reticule."

"It was so brave of him to run off after the villain all alone," she said. "And then to insist on carrying that man to the police himself -- how noble of him!"

"Yes, Nat is nothing if not noble." That lie came harder in the face of young Evelina's starry-eyed loyalty.

Not that Spencer had any other choice. Engaging in a manly pursuit of justice was an acceptable excuse for not attending one's betrothal dinner; abandoning one's bride-to-be was not. Until Spencer knew the reason for Nat's apparent defection, he had to keep lying. Otherwise, Evelina and her widowed mother, Lady Tyndale, would suffer public humiliation. Which Spencer refused to allow.

Where the hell was he? When Spencer had last seen Nat an hour before dinner, his brother hadn't mentioned any plans to dash out. And although Spencer's butler McFee had seen Nat receive a message shortly after that, no one had seen the man leave. But no one could find him, either, not in the house or at any of his favorite London haunts.

Nat had simply vanished, and it looked deliberate. After all, how much trouble could one man get into in only a few hours?

Spencer sighed. Nat had acted strangely ever since his return from America a month ago -- he was inordinately interested in the mail, came and went at all hours, had mysterious meetings, and in general acted like a man still sowing wild oats instead of preparing to marry.

Now this. For God's sake, where was he?

"Well, I for one am surprised Nathaniel even had the presence of mind to send a note at all," Evelina's mother commented. "But the man is always so considerate."

"And noble, too," the woman sitting next to her added with a hint of sarcasm. "Let's not forget 'noble.'"

Wonderful. Now Lady Brumley was putting her nose in it. Why in hell had Evelina's mother invited a woman popularly known as the Galleon of Gossip? He should have paid closer attention to the guest list.

But with England's chaotic political situation occupying him, he'd had no time to plan the betrothal dinner Lady Tyndale had expected him to host. So he'd unwisely given that to her, his designated hostess for the evening. Somehow the intimate little affair he'd suggested had exploded into this assembly of London society's most prestigious -- and chatty—members. That's what he got for trusting a woman with the intelligence of a pea.

And there was still a betrothal ball to get through two nights from now. Fortunately, Lady Tyndale was hosting that at her home. Spencer shuddered to think what sort of production it would be. She'd probably invited half the ton to her ball.

If there was a ball. Given Nat's disappearance tonight, that was no longer certain.

He scowled. He wanted to see Nat settled, damn it. Twenty-nine was a good age for marrying, and twenty-year-old Evelina was perfect for him. Insane as it seemed, she'd apparently been in love with the idiot from girlhood, which was all a man could ask for.

"That note from your brother," Lady Brumley commented. "Might we see it for ourselves, Ravenswood? I shall have to write about the event for the paper, and I want all the details of Mr. Law's noble act."

What the nosy woman wanted was to uncover scandal. Clearly she hadn't believed his tale. Just what he needed -- the shrewd Lady Brumley voicing her suspicions in that infamous column of hers.

"I thought you had your own sources." Spencer sipped his claret with a carefully cultivated air of boredom. "Or have you grown tired of checking your facts?"

The woman answered his sarcasm in kind. "I suspect that if I wait until tomorrow for that, I'll hear only the official story. Since the London magistrates report directly to you at the Home Office ...

Married to the Viscount. Copyright © by Sabrina Jeffries. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 36 )
Rating Distribution

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(18)

4 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2004

    READING FOR THE INTELLECTUALLY CHALLENGED

    THIS BOOK WAS THE ABSOLUTE WORST. tHE HERO WAS ARROGANT TO THE POINT OF BEING OBXOXIOUS AND VERY HARD ON THE HEROINE TO THE POINT OF BEING ABSUSIVE. vERY ABSUIVE. I COULD NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT THE HEROINE SAW IN HIM BUT I GUESS IT TAKES ALL KINDS. SOME WOMEN LIKE THAT, AND OTHERS LIKE TO WRITE ABOUT IT. SAVE YOU MOENY FOR SOME OTHER BOOK. THE BEST PART OF THIS ONE WAS THE GUY ON THE COVER. IT REALLY IS TOO BAD YOU CAN'T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2003

    Enjoyable historical romance

    In 1821 Viscount Spencer Law accompanied his brother Nat to Philadelphia where he meets attractive Abigail Mercer and her ailing father, owner of Mercer Medicinal Company. Nat wants to own half of Mercer Medicinal, but Spencer has some doubts yet promises to fund the venture. However, the Home office calls Spencer back to England so he leaves Nat behind in the states................................ A year later, Spencer waits for the arrival of Nat, who is late to his own engagement party to lady Evelina. However, instead of Nat¿s grand entrance, Abigail, in mourning due to her beloved father¿s death enters claiming to be Spencer¿s wife by proxy. Apparently, Nat forged documents, stole Abigail¿s dowry, and sat in for Spencer at a ceremony. Spencer, who had no plans to marry due to a war injury leaving him unable to produce children, sells Abigail with the idea of a marriage of convenience until they find his wastrel brother who is in hiding.................................... Before readers draw negative conclusions about Nat, he paid for Abigail to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Thus he is much more complex than just the first brush con artist that he seems. Spencer is an intriguing lead protagonist firmly believing he has no future and that the heir must come from Nat. Abigail is a charmer who makes Spencer feels whole. Regency romance fans will have good feelings towards author Sabrina Jeffries for this enjoyable historical............................... Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2014

    Highly Recommended - you must check it out!! You must read the last Swanlea Spinster book

    I loved it, as usual Sabrina Jefferies hit this out of the park, I loved Abbey and Spencer and the butlet and maid were great, they should how protective they were to there employer,I also loved the small commedy parts..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2013

    Loved it!

    Lord Ravenswood met his perfect match. I loved that he had to be brought down to his knees, metaphorically, before he could accept Abby because as he was, the relationship would never have worked. So I am glad that for once, he didn't get to control everything. And Abby was just too cute!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    Anonymous

    The writing was good but the characters where annoying especially Abby. Abby was so insecure and prickly i just couldnt like her. Yes she had reason to to be a little insecure but does everything have to be about her my goodness she never gave hero the benefit of the doubt yes he was alpha but she turned all his words into a personal attack instead of attempting to understand the man. Conflict overly long because of this and caused reader to not see why either would want to be with each other she came off as an insecure shrew (big turnoff for me) and he came off as domineering but sweet.
    This could have been a lot better with more loving and less neurosis.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    great book

    great book

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  • Posted February 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Classic Historical Romance

    This is only my second Sabrina Jeffries book. I liked that it wasn't trying to be something that it isn't. I liked both characters and the story was cute.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2006

    Worthy of 3 1/2 stars...Good But Not Great...

    I found Sabrina Jefferies last year as a new author for me to read. I also picked up and read her books ¿Pirate Lord (very good), ¿One Night With A Prince¿ (very good), ¿A Dangerous Love¿ (not bad) and ¿After The Abduction¿ (so-so). I have found her novels to be either hit or miss - not in between (although none have ever been bad ¿ some just better than others) . In this story, I liked that our heroine ¿ Abby - was from the colonies in America. She was spunky, intelligent and warm. She wasn¿t intimidated by the royal or ranking system in England and was simply a hearty American lass. I liked that our hero ¿ Spencer - was a Viscount in England. He was serious, intense and very worldly and very focused on running his estate, family and business relationships with a stern hand. He had a good sense of humor and heart ¿ they were just buried beneath years of seriousness. Readers might roll their eyes that the author had us buying into a story line where our intelligent heroine would marry her husband sight unseen, give her dowry to his brother and turn over her fathers business to a man she barely knew. Get past this and it¿s ok. There were times I wished Abby would have left England once she got there, went back to America and showed Spencer a thing or two. She certainly threatened him often enough when he got ornery and acted out but, no¿she stuck it out and worked through it. I think had she called his bluff after the third or fourth time he got out of line¿he might have gotten a reality check earlier and not dragged things out at the end. I¿m sure sometimes readers got tired of Spencer giving, then taking back, giving, then taking back and so on. The side characters of Abby¿s lady in waiting, Spencer¿s butler and brother, family, friends and some of the charity children were appealing seconds in the book. The love scenes were tasteful. The two of them peeking into Spencer¿s peek-a-boo boxes was charming parts to some of the love scenes. Fortunately, Abby was not some simpering miss and met Spencer challenge for challenge. I liked that she never had regrets after intimacy as so many women do after the fact. Although none of the scenes got hot and steamy, they were fine. I¿m not sure why they picked the cover they did for this story. I don¿t recall Spencer washing Abby in a tub or even being in a bathroom scene with him. A more appealing picture would probably drawn in more readers. If you haven¿t chosen this author yet¿the first two books I mentioned earlier would be good starting points. I have bought some other books by her and look forward to further reading. Enjoy!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2004

    a very good read

    I am a frequent reader of novels by Sabrina Jeffers and historical romance in general. I think this novel was very good to read when you need a short break from all the intensity. However, it lacks the substance which most seasoned readers are looking for.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2004

    Sabrina at her best

    This is a light hearted and fun book.The story just flowed from the begining to the end.This is my idea of a true historical romance.

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    Posted August 8, 2011

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    Posted June 24, 2010

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    Posted June 26, 2010

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