Foolish Bride

Foolish Bride

by A.S. Fenichel

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781601839657
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 03/28/2017
Series: Forever Brides , #2
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 65,689
File size: 984 KB

About the Author

A.S. Fenichel gave up a successful IT career in New York City to follow her husband to Texas and pursue her lifelong dream of being a professional writer. She’s never looked back. Multi-published in erotic paranormal, erotic contemporary, Regency historical romance and historical paranormal romance, A.S. will be bringing you her brand of romance for many years to come. A.S. loves to hear from her readers. Be sure to write visit her website at asfenichel.com, find her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

Read an Excerpt

Foolish Bride

The Forever Brides


By A.S. Fenichel

KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.

Copyright © 2016 A.S. Fenichel
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-60183-968-8


CHAPTER 1

See the dressmaker
Find just the right gift for Michael
Ask Mother for pin money
Write to Michael so he will know I am thinking of him


Elinor had many more items to add to her morning list. A knock on her door forced her to put down her quill. "Yes."

Mother stepped inside. "Your father wishes to see you in his study, Elinor."

"Why so formal, Mother?"

"The matter is quite urgent." Virginia Burkenstock folded her hands and grimaced; her sour face much different from her normal serene expression.

Elinor placed her list inside her desk, stood, and shook out her skirts. When she reached her father's study, nerves twisted her stomach. She entered, her mother close at her heels

Rolf Burkenstock scratched his belly where it hung over his trousers, then tugged on his morning coat. He pointed at the chair near his desk. "Sit, daughter."

She obeyed.

"You will not marry Sir Michael Rollins." Clearing his throat, he fiddled with a document on his desk.

For a full thirty seconds, Elinor couldn't respond. It was so outrageous for him to be cancelling her wedding a mere month before the much anticipated day, she was sure she had misunderstood. She stared at him for some sign that he would say more or make her understand. "Father?"

"We'll say no more on the subject, Elinor. It's bad enough that we will have to deal with some gossip for breaking the engagement. The man should be left with some dignity." Her father's new earldom meant that Sir Michael Collins was now beneath her, but she never dreamed that either man would go back on their word. Recently raised to the rank of Earl of Malmsbury by the crown, Rolf had a new sense of his own worth. He stood prouder, had lost much of his natural modesty, and lived in fear of gossip and scandal.

Lady Virginia's eyes were puffy and her nose red. She bit her lip and sniffed, which she always did when trying to contain her tears. Several strands of her blond hair had escaped her usually neat chignon.

Father hadn't cried, of course. His imposing height and piercing pale blue eyes usually intimidated Elinor, but now he wouldn't make eye contact, looking from a spot on the wall to one in the carpet. As a diplomat for the crown, he met with kings and princes on a regular basis, but his own daughter made him uncomfortable.

"Has Sir Michael cried off?" Elinor was calmer than she would have thought possible.

Now neither of her parents would look her in the eye.

"Father, what is going on?" Her voice gained an edge.

Mother spoke. "He has been injured, Elinor."

"Injured? When? How? Why was I not summoned to care for him?" Panic rose in her chest. She rushed away to gather her wrap and have the carriage take her to Michael's townhouse.

Both of her parents shouted in unison, "Stop."

She spun, gaping at them. Her place was at Michael's side if he required care.

Mother sprang forward like she might leap over the table to reach her. One hand covered her mouth and, with the other, she reached toward Elinor.

Hands outstretched, Father strode across the room with his hands like claws about to physically restrain her if she persisted in her efforts to leave.

It was almost comical.

Father pointed one fat finger at her. "You are forbidden to see Sir Michael. You will not care for him. He is nothing to you, as you are no longer engaged. I will be dissolving the contract immediately, so there is no reason for you to be in his company ever again."

"Father —"

"I will brook no argument, Elinor. You will obey me in this." Returning to his desk, he pushed a pile of papers to one side and plopped a heavy glass ball on top of them.

The entire world had gone upside down. Her parents had lost their minds. It wasn't possible that she couldn't marry the man she loved, after a year-long engagement. Her emotions boiled to the surface. "Will no one tell me what is going on?"

"Elinor," Mother scolded, "you must not raise your voice like a scullery maid."

She stared at her and forced her mouth closed. Everyone had lost their minds. She took a deep breath. "Mother, I have been summoned, told that I am no longer engaged, and informed that I am not to even see Michael again. What reaction were you expecting?"

"I expect you to act like the lady I raised you to be." Mother straightened her back and folded her hands in her lap.

"Then tell me what has happened to Michael."

"Sir Michael," Father corrected.

"As you wish, Father." She continued to stare at Mother as if seeing her for the first time.

"It is just as well. He is beneath you now anyway. I was only allowing the wedding because the agreement was already signed, and I did not wish to renege. It is a shame that a true patriot has suffered such a fate, but you can certainly do better now that you are the daughter of an Earl." Father was mostly talking to himself, but she listened for some bit of logic that would make this sudden change of plan make some kind of sense.

"Mother, what is going on?"

Father cleared his throat. "I'll leave you two ladies to have a chat." He practically ran from the room, his morning coat flapping as he went.

Most people in London society thought Elinor was silly and senseless, and she would admit to her closest friends that she rather liked the low expectation her ignorance afforded her. However, at that moment she wasn't concerned about what society, her friends, or her mother thought of her intelligence. "Mother, I demand to know what is going on."

Mother sat in the small chair, then leaned forward, putting her head in her hands. The pose imitated the one she'd taken just over a year earlier, when the paper had reported Elinor's certain ruin. She and Michael had been caught kissing in a library at a ball by Lady Pemberhamble, the most notorious gossip in London. The kiss had been brief and passionate. It had been foolish really, but she couldn't help herself when she was with Michael Rollins. Then, when Michael had escaped town after the report became public, she was only saved by her friends' support. She hated causing Mother any pain, but needed to know what was going on.

"Elinor, please take a seat," Mother whispered.

She perched on an armchair facing Virginia. Whenever summoned to her father's study, she snuggled into the soft cushion. Usually the chair was warm and cozy, and no matter what silly rules her father set out to impose, she would snuggle into the chair and listen to him with half an ear. She waited for her mother to speak.

And she waited.

Mother held her head, fidgeted in her seat, and looked up and back several times at the Persian rug between them.

After a full three minutes, it became clear that Virginia might never speak if not prompted further.

"Mother, I can see that you are upset. Shall I ring for tea?" Though tea was the last thing in the world that Elinor wanted, it might put her mother at ease and thereby speed up the dissemination of information.

"No, dear. That will not help today."

"What would help, Mother?" The question came out less kindly than she intended.

Mother looked up, and a weary sadness dulled her usually clear blue eyes. "What I am going to tell you is not easy for me, Elinor. These kinds of things are just not discussed. Your father had much difficulty in his explanation to me, and I dare say probably left out quite a bit. Now, I will tell you, but at this point who knows where the story has gone wrong with so many people between the source and you and me."

Elinor couldn't think of a single response.

"Sir Michael was in an accident of some kind while working on behalf of England. He was in France." She looked up at her daughter hopefully.

"He did mention that he would be traveling on the continent for a few weeks. He promised to return a week from now and told me that I should not be concerned about his missing the wedding. He said it rather jokingly, and so I took little notice." Michael often went away on some business for the crown. Never asking the nature of his business, she'd accepted him at his word.

"Yes, well, I do not know the exact nature of his business in France, but I do know that it was official and important, according to your father. I also do not know the exact nature of the injury or how he obtained it. I cannot tell you exactly where he was in France. I do not know when he returned to England."

"Mother, what do you know?" Elinor's frustration leaped to her breaking point.

A deep sigh shook Mother's shoulders. "It would seem that his ability to be a proper husband has been compromised."

Elinor waited for her to continue. This couldn't be all the information she would be receiving.

Virginia took a deep breath and her expression eased, as if satisfied with her explanation and would say no more.

"What is that supposed to mean?"

Her mother's frown returned. She pulled her handkerchief out of the waistband of her skirts and dabbed her bright red cheeks. "It means that you cannot marry him."

"But why? You have not told me anything." Hysteria was one more bit of strange conversation away. Her skin itched, which meant red blotches were appearing all over her neck, arms, and face. It happened whenever she was hysterical, and there was no way to stop it.

"I have told you enough," Mother said.

"No. You have told me nothing." Elinor stood and walked toward the door.

"Elinor, stop."

She faced her mother. "Tell me what has happened, or I swear I will go directly to Michael and ask him myself." She scratched her neck making the blotches worse.

"He is no longer able to father children," Virginia screamed.

Elinor stood still and let what Mother said seep into her mind. "This is certain?"

"Your father had it from Lord Marksbury at his club. I cannot imagine the earl would make up such a tale." Virginia pressed two fingers to her temple, which meant she was developing a headache.

It was difficult not to sympathize, but she had to get to the heart of the matter. "Perhaps his Lordship was mistaken. Where did he hear this news?"

"I do not know. You know how fast news travels in London, dear."

"And how in error those rumors often are." Anger welled up from her gut.

Virginia stood, walked over to her, and placed an arm around her shoulder. "I understand that you would wish the rumors were false, my dear, but I am afraid we must look elsewhere for a husband for you."

Her life was once again turned upside down by the will of London gossip. She shrugged off her mother's embrace and stormed across the room. "Look elsewhere. You make it sound like we are purchasing a dress. I will not be looking anywhere, Mother. I will marry Sir Michael Rollins or no one at all until I hear from his lips that he does not want me. Father can do as he wishes, but I will not cry off. I am not quite sure how anyone could know whether or not my fiancé is capable of producing an heir, but I am certain that London's gossips will not stop me from having the man I am in love with."

"Do you mean to disobey your father?" Virginia's eyes were wide and her skin pale as death.

To actually state such a thing would be foolish. Her father would likely lock her in her room, or worse, exile her to the country estate. She must be smarter than them. "I will think on all you have explained to me, Mother. I realize I have become overwrought. I would prefer to go to my room now, if that is acceptable to you."

"Quite understandable, dear; you will need some time. I completely understand. We will not accept any invitations for the remainder of the week. Monday will be soon enough to begin again. I do hate the thought of starting this whole marriage business again. We were so close." Sighing heavily, she closed her eyes.

Elinor left her mother, curtsied to her father, who hovered outside the door, and rushed up the steps to her room. She had to have a plan.

Sitting at her desk, she pulled out her journal and made a list. Perhaps the most important one of her life.

Get out of the house unseen
Transportation
What to say to Michael
Would he require care when she saw him?
Find the address of the best surgeon in London
What if he refused to see her?


The last item sat her back in her chair. Then what? Tears filled her eyes. Elinor wiped them away, but more came.

All her shock at the news she wouldn't be married to Michael overwhelmed her. Gasping for breath and shaking uncontrollably, she tried to move herself to the bed. She had to write a letter to Michael. She had to know if he had truly thrown her over. It was obvious that she wouldn't be able to go to him, at least not immediately. It would take time to plan a clandestine visit to a man's townhouse.

Once the tears began, she couldn't stop them. Writing was difficult with the flood coming down her cheeks and blurring her vision. After several failed attempts, she gave up and put her head on the desk. Racking sobs shook her body.

There was a scratch at the door, but Elinor did not answer.


* * *

She woke to a dim room hours later without the slightest recollection of being undressed or put into her night clothes. The fire was warm and kept the room from complete darkness.

Had the entire evening been a horrible nightmare? The dread in her chest spread down her arms. It had all happened. If her father had his way, she would never be Mrs. Michael Rollins. Fresh tears filled her eyes.

At her washstand, Elinor splashed her face with cool water, wiped it dry, and went to the small desk strewn with a dozen crumpled and torn pages. She opened one of the tear-splattered attempts at writing from the night before.


Michael, why have you deserted me?


Even to her grief-stricken mind, the note was pathetic and selfish. He was injured, and she was only thinking about herself. Had she even asked Mother about the seriousness of her fiancé's injuries? She couldn't remember.

She began a new letter. It took her the rest of the night to compose the correspondence, but once done, she was satisfied. Once he responded, she would know how to proceed.

What if he were too ill to respond?

Taking another sheet, she wrote a second letter addressed to his mother. This was even more difficult than the first. The sun peeked through the heavy drapes by the time she'd completed her writing.

She rang for her maid.

Josephine popped her head in a moment later. "Miss, have you been up all night?" Her tone was near scolding.

"Josephine, can you take these two letters and see that they are delivered without my parents' knowledge?" Elinor's voice was higher than normal even with the scratch of a sleepless night.

Josephine took the letters and stared at them. She scrunched up her nose and frowned.

Elinor was grateful Josephine couldn't read.

"If you will promise to take yourself to bed immediately, I will see them delivered. I'll not have you becoming ill."

Elinor grabbed her in a quick hug. "I will sleep for a while. Just see that those are delivered, Josephine. It is very important."

"Yes, Miss." She tucked the notes in her apron and bundled her mistress into bed.


* * *

Knowing that Rolf Burkenstock waited below stairs, Michael fought the pain shooting down his legs and up his back until he was somewhat upright.

His mother, Tabitha, tucked several pillows behind his back. "Are you sure you are up to this, Michael? I can send his lordship away. I'll tell him to come back in a week. It's impertinent, his coming at this point in your recovery."

Closing his eyes, he waited for the sharp agony of his wound to subside to a dull ache. "Another week will not change what Malmesbury has to say. Tell him to come up, please."

A deep frown crossed her face. "As you wish, but I think he could wait a week or so."

Forcing a smile, he pushed the pain to the side. "Your objection is noted."

She brushed his hair back from his forehead. "Do not let him overtax you, or I will become cross."

"Yes, ma'am." It had been years since Mother had ordered him around. Hiding his amusement wasn't an option.

With a nod, she left the room.

Michael's hero status might have kept the bill collectors at bay after his father's death, but nothing would stop Malmsbury from having his say. No amount of money or deeds done would help him now.

Hands flat against the mattress, he pressed himself more erect and endured the jolt of pain, clenching his teeth to keep from crying out.

As the door creaked open, Michael steadied himself and hoped his expression was mild and calm. "Come in, my lord."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Foolish Bride by A.S. Fenichel. Copyright © 2016 A.S. Fenichel. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
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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Foolish Bride 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
jojosmodernlife More than 1 year ago
Elinor and Michael are engaged. This engagement came from love rather than a business transaction, which is rare in their town. Michael is in the military and takes one last mission before their wedding to secure a title for he and his new bride. It is this final mission that changes everything. Michael is injured and is no longer able to bear children. Elinor's father has just received a higher ranking title and refuses to allow any bad gossip to spread about his daughter. He cowardly dissolves the engagement as Michael is still on bedrest to recover. Elinor refuses to allow the engagement to be dissolved and fights for their love. But it is Michael that she fights because he has given up on their romance in the hopes that Elinor may marry someone more suitable. Along comes Preston, a Duke, who seeks Elinor's hand. Michael fights his jealousy, Elinor fights her conflicting feelings, and the ton is in a gossiping frenzy. Will Elinor choose love or convenience? I have only read a couple of regency romances that I enjoyed which caused me to hesitate to read this one. I feared it would be too many details about the ton, dresses, and overall scenery rather than focusing on the plot. I was pleased that this was not the case with Foolish Bride. The plot moves so quickly that I read it in one day! Furthermore, there was strong character development with both Elinor and Michael. Elinor began their courtship acting as the role of "perfect wife" as her mother had raised her to be. The devastation after her engagement was called off caused her to reveal her stronger, unfiltered self. Michael, after being called out by Elinor, realizes that he had been selfish in how he handled the fall out of their engagement as well as how he had treated his own siblings. Lastly, I was very pleased to find that this book is a part of a series. It read as a standalone and (thankfully) there was not a cliffhanger. My favorite character was Michael's best friend, Thomas Wheel. I was excited to discover that the next book revolves around him and Elinor's best friend, Dory. I will be on the hunt for the first book in the series, Tainted Bride, and look forward to the third! I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a romantic story about fighting for love. I also recommend this book for readers who enjoy surprises as well as historical fiction. On the other hand, I would not recommend this book for readers who may be put off by explicit sexual scenarios, violence, mild foul language, and kidnapping. Please note: An electronic copy of this book was generously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Crystal61 More than 1 year ago
Missed opportunities and misunderstandings have Elinor struggling to put her love for Michael aside and find another husband. She cannot settle for less than what she shared with Michael. As Michael tries to prove himself and beg her forgiveness, Elinor finds life a bit more intriguing. Their love remains strong as they work through their hurt feelings. I enjoyed this story, especially how Elinor clung to her love for Michael. She wanted to find happiness, but it would not come until her trust in Michael returned. I received a copy of this story through Netgalley, and this is my unsolicited review.
Historical_Romance_Lover More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this story! I had been looking forward to reading it since meeting Elinor and Michael in Tainted Bride and I was not disappointed. Elinor and Michael have overcome a lot to be together, but that all changes when Michael comes home injured after a mission to the continent. Not knowing if he can be the husband that he wishes to be for Elinor, he allows her father to call off the wedding. Elinor will have none of it and fights for their love. I really enjoyed Elinor coming out of her shell and becoming the woman that she was meant to be. She had hidden her real personality because of the type of person her parents wanted her to be. Once she knew that staying that young, agreeable woman was going to cost her the love of her life, she broke out of the 'box' that her parents had her in. I really enjoyed watching Elinor and Michael work our their issues and find their way back to one another. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series, Desperate Bride, which comes out in Sept. 2017. The H/H are Dorothea and Thomas whom we saw some interaction between in Foolish Bride.
BarbaraVW More than 1 year ago
I received a free book and voluntarily chose to review it. A book well worth reading. Almost everyone thinks Elinor is foolish for wanting to marry an injured man, but she is my strong woman in this book. In fact, I think she is a lot stronger than her exfiance. I love how she changes from a mild mannered young woman into who she really is. She is strong minded and eventually she shows that side of herself.
MelodyMay More than 1 year ago
I decided to take a chance on the Foolish Bride. The first book in the series was so-so, but showed promise to the series. We met Elinor in Tainted Bride. She's portrayed as a ditz in the first book, so thinking it might be interesting. Anyway, she's been burned by Sir Michael Rollins, and she had to withstand some scandal. However, the final straw was when he called off the wedding, because he wasn't whole. Basically lashed out her, instead explaining that he might be able to father children in a rational way. I totally get it, he was angry at the world, and her father didn't help the situation at all. Anyway, she decides she's done playing the flighty airhead, and decides she wants a backbone. I struggle with this transition, because she started to lash out at everyone too. Tis a good thing she has good friends who stood by her side even when she was being a B. Once Michael came to his senses, all he ever wanted was Elinor's happiness. He might not have handle the situation with tact, but he did love her enough to let her go. However, things start to look up and he feels that he good be the man she needs. Yet, there are few challenges and obstacles ahead. You the know the road to true love isn't always the easiest. All right, I almost gave up Foolish Bride. I seriously didn't like Elinor's attitude. She was kind of cruel and mean. I did press forward with the story, because I did like Michael. Both of the characters did grow as the story continues and they learn to love the people they have molded. Actually, it wasn't until about halfway through the story I had a change of heart on my feelings. I did start to enjoy the story. The beginning was a little rough for me, but it was a pretty good ending. Plus, the story got good during and after the house party. Overall, I liked Foolish Bride. I'm glad I stuck with the story. Copy provided by Lyrical Press via NetGalley
Robindpdx More than 1 year ago
This was an entertaining, well-written book. Elinor has fallen in love and is engaged to be married... Until suddenly her engagement to Michael is terminated and Michael won't explain. Michael has been wounded and Elinor's father forbids him to marry her. He agrees, because he doesn't feel he can be the husband Elinor deserves. Elinor refuses to give up without an explanation, but refuses to accept his behavior in ending their engagement either. I enjoyed reading this book with all of the twists and turns that took place along the way. It can be read as a standalone book, though it is part of a series with related characters. I look forward to reading other books in this series and more books by this author.
BookReview4you More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars 'Foolish Bride' by A.S. Fenichel is book Two in the "Forever Brides' series. This is the story of Sir Michael Rollins and Elinor Burkenstock. I have read the previous book but feel this can be a standalone book. Michael and Elinor where engaged to be married. Michael has been trying to earn more money to be more 'worthy' of Elinor. But when he is injured her father who is now become an Earl chooses to end their engagement. Michael is hurt at first but knows that since he has been told he may never be a 'man' again, so Michael gave in to the Earls request to end the engagement. But Elinor sneaked into his house to talk to him but she could not get his mind changed. Elinor was a strong character and I liked how she handled Michael. Michael started off for me a little off when he wasn't strong enough to stand up to her father nor to Elinor when she first sneaked into his house. But overall I enjoyed this book and can't wait for more books by Ms. Fenichel. "My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."
Cynthia181 More than 1 year ago
I received this book from the author. I have not been required to give a favorable review All thoughts are my own. This was a wonderful story about a young woman who is engaged one minute to the love her life and then not the next. Being told by her father that he was breaking the engagement but not given a real reason why. She confronts her fiancee but he won't tell her either. But she will get her way if she has to do things to make people she is doing something else.
jdh2690 More than 1 year ago
I really “got into” this story and felt it deeply. My only problem is the title because I do not think Elinor was a foolish bride at all. On the contrary, I think she was very, very smart (albeit perhaps unwittingly). I liked her strength in fighting the foolish system of parental involvement in pairing brides with bridegrooms and the foolish, tonnish gossip which guided the rules for women and men during the Regency era. At first I had less admiration for the hero, Michael, for his following all of the tonnish strictures about what is important and what is not relating to following his heart and his own instincts about Eloisa. I applauded when he “saw the light” and admired Elinor’s strength and fell in love with her all over again but for better reasons than before. I won’t give anything away with this review so I will just say that I really enjoyed this Regency romance and now want to read the rest of this series and this author’s back list.
NNLight More than 1 year ago
All her life, Elinor Burkenstock has been groomed to be Sir Michael Rollins’ wife. She loves him deeply and when he takes one last mission right before their wedding, the unthinkable happens. Torn between grief and fury, Elinor confronts Michael and demands to know why he’s broken off their engagement. When he tells her the truth, she doesn’t faint or shied away from him. She gets angry with him and ironically, he discovers Elinor is the woman of his wicked dreams: passionate, intelligent and fiery. Michael can’t stop thinking about Elinor and the things she said in anger. The more he thinks about it, the more he realizes that he loves her even more than he did before the ghastly mission. With the help of his friends, he concocts a plan to win her back. Just as he has done so (or so he thinks), she is kidnapped by a crazed man claiming to be Duke of the lands bestowed to Michael by the King. Will Michael move heaven and earth to save her or will he be too late? I loved this book so much that I read it in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down and not even my husband could veer me away from Elinor and Michael. I first met both Elinor and Michael in Tainted Bride so I had high expectations for this book. It surpassed my expectations by a hundred-fold. Fenichel took me on a breathtaking romance adventure and I wasn’t disappointed. There’s depth to these characters that I find refreshing. There’s serious issues that both Elinor and Michael must overcome if they are going to make it as a couple. But there’s plenty of humorous moments, too. While this is book two in the Forever Brides series, this is a standalone and can be read apart from Tainted Bride. Although, I highly recommend reading that one, too. If you’re looking for a historical romance with substance, pick this up today. You’ll fall in love with the ton and their delightful, even mischievous, characters. I can’t wait for the next book in the series. Thank you to Lyrical Press (Kensington Books) for giving me an ARC via Netgalley in the hopes I’d review it. Favorite Character: Elinor. I loved how her strength, love and courage shone through. She was brought up to be a fanciful lady but underneath all that silk and satin lies an intelligent, outgoing woman who loves her beloved Michael. She’s a treat to read and root for. My Rating: 5+ stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Elinor Burkenstock and Sir Michael Rollins are engaged to wed but when Michael receives a severe wound while defending the Crown, he learns that he will not be able to father children. Thus, Elinor’s father forbids the marriage. Her father has recently become the Earl of Malmsbury and he feels that Michael is now beneath Elinor so wedding him is out of the question. Elinor is hurt and confronts Michael who tells her that she must find someone who can give her children. After Michael has healed and is ready to get back into society, he learns that the Prince Regent has given him the Scottish title of fourth Duke of Kerburghe along with the English title of Marques of Innis. These titles are in recognition of his mission for the Crown that left him injured. The last Duke of Kerburghe died leaving no heir. Elinor’s love for Michael never wavers although his hesitancy to be with her hurts her deeply. She looks for ways to convince Michael that she loves him and still wants to marry him and telling him that they can adopt children. But she constantly has to avoid her mother so she doesn’t find out. But a disturbed man appears who swears he is the person who should have received the title of Duke of Kerburghe and he is determined to do whatever it takes to gain the title. Soon Elinor is placed in grave danger and Michael is called upon to help rescue her. Will there be a way where they can truly be together? This was a nice plot. As the reader thinks Michael and Elinor may be able to get together, along comes yet another roadblock. I’m sure that readers will enjoy the book very much. Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.