Lady Jillian Simpson has made many mistakes in her life, but the worst was falling for an artist who took advantage of her trust. She is fairly certain her father has found and destroyed all of the paintings, all but one, at least until she encounters the dashing Mr. Storm and learns another exists. But after everything she's experienced, how can she ever trust him with her secret or her heart?
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If you are looking for a light, quick read in the Regency genre, this is a great novella. This story is part of a series featuring the Duke of Danby working his matchmaking magic in the background. It is also part of the Spirited Storms series, following the adventures of the Storm siblings. In Jane Charles' Ruined by a Lady, the lady in question is Lady Jillian Simpson, who has been the villain, or at least adversary, in a few of Charles' previous stories. Jillian has failed utterly in her attempts to land a husband and please her father. Her underhanded actions have alienated her from anyone she might have formed a friendship with. She'd like to thwart her father and just marry a nice, decent man instead of having to nab the highest ranking man in the room. However, a terrible mistake from her past has led her to question her judgement where love is concerned. When Samuel Storm starts paying attention to her and happens to mention that she looks just like a woman in a painting in his possession, Jillian panics. Sam is the first man to be interested in her for herself and not just her dowry or connections, but can she trust him with her secrets, and will he still love her when he finds out what she's done in the past?