Becky is the envy of the courtesans of the demi-monde - the indulged mistress of the wealthy and charismatic Marquis of Aldridge. But she dreams of a normal life; one in which her daughter can have a future that does not depend on beauty, sex, and the whims of a man.
Finding herself with child, she hesitates to tell Aldridge. Will he cast her off, send her away, or keep her and condemn another child to this uncertain shadow world?
The devil-may-care face Hugh shows to the world hides a desperate sorrow; a sorrow he tries to drown with drink and riotous living. His years at war haunt him, but even more, he doesn't want to think about the illness that robbed him of the ability to father a son. When he dies, his barony will die with him. His title will fall into abeyance, and his estate will be scooped up by the Crown.
When Aldridge surprises them both with a daring proposition, they do not expect love to be part of the bargain.
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About the Author
Jude Knight has been telling stories all her life: making up serial tales to amuse her friends and children, imagining sequels to books that have moved her and left her wanting more, occasionally submitting short stories to magazines and the radio, starting more than a dozen novels set in different times and places. She has devoted most of the last forty years to a career in commercial writing and raising a large family (most recently as grandmother-in-residence while a daughter was out of action for three years). She and her own personal romantic hero, with whom she has shared those forty+ years, now live with two cats and frequent visitors in a small town in rural New Zealand. Judy wrote and published her first historical romance in 2014, and now has the wind in her sails and a head full of strong determined heroines, heroes with the sense to appreciate them, and villains you'll love to loathe.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1807 Through circumstances beyond her control, Rebecca “Becky” Winstanley, has been on her own since the age of 15. Her latest protector flees creditors, stealing what she had saved to build a better life for her daughter & sells Rose & her daughter to creditor to help over his debt. As Rose attempts to flee capture she encounters a naked man in the summer house. What she doesn’t realize is this discovery sets off a chain of events that will change her life and give her the two things she craves most: a better life for her daughter and love. Lord Aldridge, a.k.a. The Merry Marquess, doesn’t know how he came to in a summer house with a horrendous headache, naked and being stared at by a beautiful woman. After learning the reason this woman is fleeing he hides the woman & her daughter. After receiving a cryptic message from Aldridge, his cousin arrives & they devise a way to help Rose flee. 1810 Three weeks of every year Baron Hugh Overton spends time in London with Aldridge drinking and carousing in an attempt to temporarily forget his responsibilities & everything he has been through. Introduced to Aldridge’s mistress during this time, Hugh takes an instant dislike but can’t help but be intrigued by the way she comports herself & her devotion to her daughter. This intrigue that leads Hugh to eventually accept Aldridge’s ridiculous proposal. In the years since Aldridge rescued her & she agreed to be his mistress, Becky has had two different personas: Aldridge’s mistress & Becky, a genteel woman devoted to her daughter. As her contract with Aldridge nears its end, Becky is looking forward to a quiet life in the country raising her daughter in a place where no one knows her background. Finding herself pregnant she listens to Aldridge’s bizarre plan & is confused by Baron Overton’s acceptance since she is aware of his disdain for her profession. Agreeing to a courtship to see how things go between them, Becky soon finds herself caring for Hugh. A sweet courtship develops into a marriage; a marriage that Becky is under the impression is idyllic. A marriage where she feels her background no longer bothers Hugh. Until that ideal is broken when Hugh, without thinking, makes disparaging remarks about women who sell their body which turns into a verbal argument leading Becky telling Hugh her whole story, a story that has Hugh resenting every man who has held control of Becky’s life, himself included which leads to a very poor decision. When Becky delivers a daughter instead of son coupled with Hugh’s detachment since her revelation throw Becky into a deep depression. A depression so deep that when she hints at killing herself Hugh contacts Aldridge for help. An event that breaks through Becky’s haze in a heartbreaking manner & unveils the true depth of feelings Hugh has for her. 1813 Hugh realize that his family needs to be taken care of should anything happen to him. This realization has him reaching out to Aldridge to ensure they will be since Hugh has no male heir. A request laid out to Aldridge after Hugh has a little fun teasing the man who introduced him the love of his life. Jude Knight writes in a way that has the reader feeling every emotion the characters feel alternating between loving them, feeling sorry for them, and exasperation with their antics. Take those feelings, add in a meddling mother and the reader will be laughing, crying, and threatening to knock some sense into them.
I adore Jude Knight's writing. She slowly draws you in with words that create great imagery. From the opening line, I was drawn into Becky's story. I felt her heartache and determination and did not judge her for the choices she needed to make for her and her daughter to survive. I had a clear picture of Aldridge, a confirmed womanizer, and his friend Hugh, who has a tortured soul. Just when I thought Becky would finally find her happiness with Aldridge, Jude introduced a plot twist that involved Hugh, which was interesting and complicated. While I did not always enjoy the antics of Aldridge and Hugh, I admired Becky's resolve.
Let me say, Love love love! I absolutely ate this story up! I only put it down to eat dinner! Lol, I ate lunch reading. I adored this book. Though short, at 157 pages, there is an entire story here. Not just a short thought. Becky, also known as "The Rose of Frampton," poor dear, was put through so much! I literally teared up at one point in the book. Starting out as the book did was a great way to introduce characters that would play a role in the story. A man passed out in a garden house, a woman in desperate need of escape! Her rescuer is a sensible man, though he has lived the life of a rake, he is kind. which is shocking to her. Becky has been tossed around like a possession most of her life. But Aldridge takes her and her daughter in and treats them both well. Keeping the details of their relationship away from the daughter. Aldridge's friend Hugh Overton is a rake of the first order! He has no direction since his wife and child passed and only his 2 step-daughters to worry about. Aldridge comes up with an idea that may benefit everyone. We will just have to see if the people most affected by the plan agree! There are characters to despise in this book, and characters you feel for. A true emotional romp.I love the way Jude Knight writes. You can almost see some of the settings and room decor that is described. I also appreciated the " cleanliness" of the story. Usually, a story of a kept woman gets fairly dirty. But I was happy it did not. I must say, the author has given us another beautiful story! The only thing I would wish for was more of Aldridge's story! *I received a copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.