A Hidden Beauty Lucinda Cardington doesn't care that she is close to being "on the shelf." She has more serious pursuits in mind and is perfectly content to leave dreams of romance to silly young ladies like her sister. Yet when her sister places herself in a compromising situation with London's most scandalous bachelor, the entire family's reputation comes perilously close to ruin. Suddenly Lucinda is in the limelight . . . and in need of a husband. James Simpson's rakish ways have finally caught up with him. Snared in a scandal that for once is not his doing, he is forced to do the honorable thing and offer marriage to the lady. But her father won't agree to a dowry unless James can also find a suitable husband for the lady's elder sister-quiet, reserved Lucinda Cardington. As James gets to know the vibrant, charming, and passionate woman behind Lucinda's shy exterior, he comes to the distressing realization that he doesn't want her in anyone's arms but his own . . . "Delamere weaves rich historical detail into a lovely, poignant romance of faith, trust, and second chances." -Katharine Ashe, author of When a Scot Loves a Lady, on An Heiress at Heart
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I dont know who paid off the previous person to rate this book so high, but i can assure you it is not a 5 star book at all.
July 1853 Lucinda Cardington and her younger and pretty sister, Emily Cardington, are both eligible for marriage. Lucinda is not interested in getting married, but Emily is quite eager. Lucinda is a very intelligent young woman who would rather set up her own home when she comes into a trust at age 26, hire a companion and live as she would prefer reading books and learning. Lucinda is quite involved with her good works. She is the Patron of the Caring House for Wayward Ladies located in the Spitalfields area of London. It is a school that teaches skills to women and helps them find a good job. Most of these women were previously prostitutes. Many people are scandalized that Lucinda is associating with these women and working in this unsuitable part of town. Unfortunately. the girls' parents are adamant that they marry and they insist that Lucinda, being the older, must marry first. They each have a dowry of 50,000 pounds which makes them quite desirable. James Simpson is an outgoing man, but one with little funds. One of his interests is photography and he has become quite good at it. Unfortunately, the Cardington family disapproves of him on the grounds that he is an untrustworthy rogue. He has always enjoyed flirting with debutantes. While attending a ball at the home of Lord and Lady Trefethen, he is introduced to and dances with Emily. She is immediately enamored by him. Later, he finds Lucinda reading a book on photography and they share a wonderful discussion about it. James is quite intrigued by Lucinda and her intelligence and outspoken ways. However, Minx that she is, Emily finds ways to meet with James hoping he will propose to her. One night, Lucinda follows Emily as she is sneaking out to follow James as he heads to Cremorne Gardens to chat with his friends. This is not considered a proper place for women at night. Just as Lucinda catches her trying to talk to James, they are all discovered by a member of the press and a scandal erupts. Although he is completely innocent in this, James does the gentlemanly thing and offers for Emily’s hand. While Lord Cardington is pleased, he first insists that James find a husband for Lucinda before he will agree to allowing Emily to marry him. How does a man go about finding a husband for a woman that does not want to get married and how does he deny his own attraction to Lucinda? I really enjoyed this novel and found it to be extremely well written. Once again, Jennifer Delamere has proven her great writing skills and I look forward to yet more novels from her.