Something About Emmaline

( 36 )

Overview

Alexander Denford, Baron Sedgwick, is a gentleman to be envied. He lives a rakish life of well-celebrated ease and contentment and has one person to thank for his perfectly ordered existence—his dearest wife, Emmaline. She never complains about his mistresses or his penchant for late nights out. His friends are envious, but they don't know the truth—Emmaline doesn't exist. But when he starts receiving bills from London for clothes, shoes, hats and a staggering amount of other ...

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Overview

Alexander Denford, Baron Sedgwick, is a gentleman to be envied. He lives a rakish life of well-celebrated ease and contentment and has one person to thank for his perfectly ordered existence—his dearest wife, Emmaline. She never complains about his mistresses or his penchant for late nights out. His friends are envious, but they don't know the truth—Emmaline doesn't exist. But when he starts receiving bills from London for clothes, shoes, hats and a staggering amount of other female accoutrements, he realises something is decidedly amiss.

Posing as Emmaline isn't a stretch for the newly arrived Lady Sedgwick, she's been conning gentry for years. But as the popular baron's wife, she now has the one thing that has eluded her—entree into London's inner circles. Against Alexander's better judgment, Emmaline is impossibly fixed in his life. And suddenly Emmaline is challenging him to be the husband she deserves.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060549312
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/25/2005
  • Series: Avon Romantic Treasures Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,082,009
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Boyle has always loved romance and now lives it each and every day by writing adventurous and passionate stories that readers from all around the world have described as "page-turners." Since her first book was published, she's seen her romances become New York Times and USA Today bestsellers and won the RWA RITA® and the Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Awards. She resides in Seattle with her family, her garden, and always-growing collection of yarn.

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Read an Excerpt

Something About Emmaline


By Elizabeth Boyle

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Elizabeth Boyle
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060549319

Chapter One

For his first month home at Sedgwick Abbey, Alex found himself left in blessed solitude.

Instead of being there to greet him, his grandmother had decided to remain at her sister-in-law's estate for an additional month, most likely unable to leave until they had caught up on every bit of family gossip. Therefore, his summer began with no pestering talk of heirs, no lengthy discussions of Emmaline's continued ill health, just a continuation of his perfectly ordered life that Jack had the audacity to call "boring."

But eventually his grandmother had decided she could no longer leave him to his lonely exile and had returned home like a whirlwind, her herd of pugs trotting in her wake.

Genevieve Denford, Lady Sedgwick, had been born in France, and the sixty-odd years she'd been in England hadn't diminished her Gallic presence in the least.

His grandfather, another reluctant-to-be-wed Denford, had taken a trip to Paris in his late sixties and had brought home (to the horror of his own heir apparent) a French wife.

Given his grandmother's joie de vivre, Alex doubted his grandfather had stood a chance.

A lesson to all unmarried English gentlemen, he'd decided years ago. Never venture across the Channel.

Grandmère had greeted him merrily when he'd come in to breakfast and hadn't stopped talking since. "And imagineImogene's shock when I told her ..." she was saying from her end of the table, where she sat encircled by her dogs.

It had been quiet without Grandmère, he mused as she barely paused between bites to regale him with tales of his great-aunt's grandchildren--and, horrors, a few greatgrandchildren. Heirs abounded in Aunt Imogene's world, and he knew the next few months would see no end of hinting and prodding that he and Emmaline should be doing the same as well--producing the next Sedgwick baron.

He'd have to make a note to his solicitor to have his wife's next letter from Emmaline detail a litany of female complaints that would unhappily prevent such an event. The more, the better. He hoped that would keep Grandmère sufficiently diverted through grouse season.

The door to the dining room opened and Burgess, their butler, entered, staggering beneath a large silver tray. Behind him, a footman followed with an even bigger tray, just as laden with papers and notes.

"My lord, a pouch from Mr. Elliott's office arrived this morning along with the mail," Burgess said, setting his burden on the dining table before Alex. "To be specific, there were three pouches." His bushy brows rose. "Large ones."

Alex stared up at the monumental pile, his knife and fork held in midair. "What the devil is all that?"

Burgess, being ever the diligent butler, replied, "The regular newspapers and periodicals for her ladyship, but the remainder appear mostly to be bills, my lord."

"Bills?" Alex looked at the collection again. He'd instructed his London solicitor to take care of all his outstanding accounts. Besides, that pile looked like something Jack had run up, not him.

"Unlike Elliott to be so inefficient," Alex muttered, as he began to sort through the mess. "Ah, here is the answer. Seems Mr. Elliott's wife has inherited property in Scotland and they needed to inspect the place. His clerk is attending to all his business in his absence. I'll have to speak to him when he returns--the fellow has obviously gotten my accounts mixed up with some wastrel client of his."

"What is it, my dear?" his grandmother asked from her end of the table, where she was dropping tidbits to her dear dogs.

He waved his hands over the pile of bills. "Just the London papers and such."

"The papers! Why didn't you say so?" She rose and hustled down the side of the long table, her lace cap aflutter. Before Alex could stop her, she swept aside the neatly arranged piles to get to her most favorite thing in the world--the gossip column in the Morning Post. Separating the pages with the skill of a farmer's wife plucking a hen, she had her quarry in her clutches in a flash and settled into the chair next to Alex to begin reading.

Hopefully not aloud, he thought as he continued his sorting.

He was rewarded with a minute or so of silence before she couldn't contain herself.

"Lady Vassar had a baby. A son, it says." She sighed and then shot him a significant glance. "An heir is so important, don't you think, Alex?"

"Yes, of course," he agreed, his gaze stopping on one of the bills before him. Four hundred pounds for carpets. Another expenditure listed furniture for one hundred and fifty pounds. Bills for drapers, carpenters, painters, and that was only the start. Why, it appeared the poor sot for whom these notes had been intended had outfitted not only a new house, but a wife and stable of mistresses, what with the unending collection of milliner, modiste, glover, and lace bills.

"And finally a mention of our dear girl," his grandmother was saying. "Listen to this: Lady S. was seen shopping diligently with the assistance of Lady R., who has taken her new friend under her wing. Lady S., so long from town, is a delight and sure to be the prized guest next Season." She pursed her lips. "About time she was mentioned. But what an odd thing to say. Why would they think her so long from town when she has lived there all her life?" She tossed aside the paper and began once again upsetting Alex's carefully wrought piles with her rustling.

"Madame!" He rose up from his seat and covered the bills with his arms to protect them from her marauding. "What has gotten into you?"



Continues...

Excerpted from Something About Emmaline by Elizabeth Boyle Copyright © 2006 by Elizabeth Boyle. 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.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 36 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    amusing brisk Regency romance

    In 1801 every male in the Ton envies Baron Sedgewick, Alexander Denford, for having the perfect wife. His compliant spouse Emmaline makes no demands on Alex and even allows him to gamble and have affairs while she rusticates. She is such a paragon to the jealous men, but only Alex knows that Emmaline does not exist; he made up this ideal woman to keep matchmakers and mamas away from him.--- His beloved octogenarian grandma reads a gossip note from the Post and Times about Lady S seen shopping in town. Bills arrive from Lady S to pay for all types of female garb. Stunned that someone somehow learned and is using his ploy Alex races to London to confront Lady S. When he sees her in his bedroom, instead of tossing her out Alex wants to toss the clever con artist on his bed to make love today, tomorrow and forever though he fears she will steal his silverware.--- This is an amusing brisk Regency romance starring two wonderful protagonists whose debates are filled with double entendres and puns. The story line takes off the moment that Alex realizes someone has personalized his brilliant strategy to fleece him. Emmaline is unique protagonist, a likable kindhearted con artist. Their pairing leads to a one sitting read by this humorous Boyle gender war.--- Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2005

    There Was Something Fun In This One...

    I just purchased from B & N and finished reading the book ¿Something About Emmaline.¿ This is the first novel I have read by this author. I saw her books showing up on top reading lists for romances so, I thought I¿d give her a try. I enjoyed the basic plot line to this book as it was not the norm. Emmaline, the heroine, was spunky, sassy and very strong in her independence. She was no simpering, wimpy English miss. I liked that the book started with her showing up as the ¿non-existant¿ spouse to Alex ¿ our hero of the story. Since Alex was not really married, (his spouse was a made up person to give him freedom to roam town and drink, gamble and cheat), well you can imagine his surprise AND those around him when she finally shows up in town and takes over everything. The story is a fun venture into the absurd of what would happen if a mysterous and of course beautiful young girl shows up and starts playing real life wife to him. Alex¿s relatives are all stunned to finally meet his shy and supposedly sickly wife as are the rest of the ton. Needless to say, Emmaline assures one and all (including Alex) that his love and courage are what saved her and made her healthy again. She is quite the story teller and everyone falls prey to her charms. Emmaline loves to play the loving spouse and spends money galore fixing up his house, having house parties and making herself lovely for outings. Alex is incredulous that his perfect missing wife story is coming to life but, he can¿t hold out too long against Emmaline¿s wit and charm. As the book goes on, you find out who Emmaline really is and why she was on his door step. There are some fun side characters to this book such as Alex¿s best drinking buddy Jack (who is the only other person besides the butler who knows the truth about the fake wife) Alex¿s Grandma, Emmaline¿s new friends, the relatives and so on. The story is fast moving and has lots of interesting twists and turns (nothing earth shattering or anything but, enough to keep things moving). Alex, the eternal batchelor, apparently gives in to Emmaline as time goes on as he is simply a boring fella following the rules and he met his match in someone who hates to play by the rules - Emmaline. She shook him up in ways he could never anticipate. The intimate relationship between Alex & Emmaline develops rather quickly and was a little unrealistic that they took to one another and fell in love so fast even though they knew practically nothing about the ¿real Alex & Emmaline¿ until late in the story but, that¿s romances for you. The passion was low in this book and was very much secondary to the story line. You¿ll enjoy the final ending of finding out who spilled the beans on the fake wife issue and put Emmaline into motion which changed everyone¿s lives. I would recommend this book as a quick and casual romance read. It was not lusty and sexy but, I didn¿t really expect it would be. Read it for fun and you¿ll be pleased you did.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2005

    Great Book!

    I thought this was a great story with a witty twist. Alex thought he was so smart tricking everyone into believing he was married but was knocked over when his scheme took on a life of its own - with a little help of course!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2014

    Good fun story

    This is a fun story It is easy to like the characters so you want them to be happy A great way to spend a snowy afternoon

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2013

    Good fun (LVR)

    Fun read about how telling lies can turn on you.

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  • Posted July 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This book was just the ticket for a long weekend: improbable and rollicking with two charming lead characters.

    The supposedly dull Alexander Denforth, Baron Sedgwick, has invented a sickly wife, Emmaline Haley who's bedridden on his country estate, in order to avoid the marriage mart. His heir apparent, cousin Hubert Denforth, isn't worried since a sickly wife won't conceivably conceive. But suddenly there IS an Emmaline, large as life, gorgeous, and living it up redecorating Alex's London home. He rushes to Hanover Square to boot out the imposter (who is she? how does she know so much?) and winds up living up to Emmaline's romantic stories about him. Lots of plot lines, all delightful, so as soon as Monday came, I went out and bought two more Boyles.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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