Lord Dearborn's Destiny by Brenda Hiatt
Venus, make her fair . . .
Though not a superstitious man, Lord Dearborn humors his mother by going to her fortuneteller, who informs him that he will meet his Destiny --a beautiful blonde --this very Season. He scoffs, until he meets Miss Rosalind Winston-Fitts, an absolute vision of blonde loveliness. Entranced, he believes the fortuneteller may have been right after all and pursues the new beauty with an eye to making her his wife. To be sure, Miss Rosalind is not as witty or lively as her small, dark cousin, Miss Elinor O'Day, but Dearborn's tastes have always run to statuesque blondes. Besides, who is he to question Destiny?
Perfect, but unattainable
Ellie O'Day lives on sufferance in her aunt and uncle's household, but she is truly fond of her cousin Rosalind. So surely it is the height of disloyalty to find herself so strongly attracted to Lord Dearborn, Rosalind's most eligible suitor! Still, Ellie cannot deny the thrill she feels when she dances with the Earl . . . nor when she trades quips with him and bests him at cards. Since her life would be a misery were she to stay on as Rosalind's companion after her inevitable marriage to Lord Dearborn, Ellie would be much better off to instead immure herself in Ireland, on her grandfather's estate. If only the call of love were not so insistent . . .