Friday, June 14, 2019

Marrying a Marquess

The final (for now) book in the Fortune’s Brides series arrived on online retailers this week and has already earned several five star reviews! I’m thrilled!

Never Marry a Marquess tells the tale of shy Ivy Bateman, who has always felt more comfortable behind the scenes than front and center. She is happiest caring for her family and baking sweet treats. She certainly never expected the wealthy Marquess of Kendall to propose marriage, especially a marriage of convenience. It seems his baby daughter needs a mother, and Ivy cannot deny the attraction of the role, or the attraction she feels for the handsome marquess.

Kendall had asked Miss Thorn of the Fortune Employment Agency to find him a particular sort of lady. His heart went to the grave with his first wife. Now, all he cares about is ensuring his frail daughter doesn’t follow it. Installing Ivy Bateman as his next marchioness will not disrupt his life or make him question his love for his dead wife. But as he comes to appreciate Ivy’s sweet nature, he begins to wonder about their future. When an old enemy strikes at Miss Thorn and all her ladies, a grieving lord and a shy lady must work together to save the day. In doing so, they might just discover that love, and a good cinnamon bun, can heal all wounds.

Here's a little taste:

Her eyes were brown, a lighter shade than his, and he had never noticed how thick her lashes were, like strands of gold against her cheeks. They fluttered now, and her skin turned pink, as if she recognized his attention.

He shifted, and her hand fell to the velvet of the carriage seat.

“You asked about the house earlier,” he said. Yes, that was the ticket. The weather, the estate. Anyone might have commented on them. There was nothing overly familiar about the topics. And he could look away without diving into her gaze.

“Yes,” Ivy said. She sat taller, as if gathering herself as well. “What’s it like? What do you love about it?”

There was that word, the word that could not be spoken between them. But it was perfectly fine to share what he admired about his home. In fact, it was remarkably easy.

“I think I appreciate the history of it most,” he told her. “The estate has been in my family for seven generations, but the first evidence we have found of a settlement dates back to Roman times.”

“Romans.” She seized on the word. “I’ve read about them. They were a mighty army that had swept across the Continent, across even England. Did they build a fortress on your lands?”

He removed his hat and tossed it across to the empty seat. “Not a fortress. We believe the area to have been used as a clay works.”

Her eyes sparkled. “Clay works? As in trade? I thought marquesses were supposed to be above such things.”

“We never practiced the trade,” he said with an answering smile. “We merely protected the remains of it. The first Marquess of Kendall conducted the initial investigation. My great-grandfather took it one step further, enclosing the ruins in an Italian villa, Villa Romanesque.”

Her brows went up. “An Italian villa, in Surrey?”

He imagined the owners of the neighboring estates had initially reacted the same way. “There are others—Marble Hill House, Nympton. In any event, my father and I have worked to ensure the remains are protected for future generations.”

She licked her lips, and now his gaze latched onto the rosy pink, as soft looking as petals. “Remains. Dead bodies?”

He jerked his gaze away. “No, no. No bodies. Whoever left this establishment moved on, as we found few belongings. The most marvelous piece is a mosaic pavement. I’ll show you when we reach the house.”

She nodded eagerly. “I would greatly enjoy seeing that.”

Perhaps as much as he would enjoy showing her. His passion, Adelaide had teased him. The only thing capable of taking him from her side for long. Until she had left his side forever.

Ivy was watching him expectantly. Had she asked him a question?

“Sorry,” he said. “Woolgathering.”

She titled her head to one side. “And what marquess gathers wool with the farmers?”

How easily she made him smile. “What else can I tell you?”

“An Italian villa sounds like a cozy home. How many rooms are there, all told?”

He frowned, skimming over the plans of the house in his mind. “Forty to fifty, I suppose, around the center plaza.”

She stared at him. “Forty to fifty?”

“Yes, nothing too ungainly. I know some of the larger country houses boast more than two hundred rooms, but I never saw the need for anything larger. I hope you don’t mind.”

She visibly swallowed. “No, I don’t mind. It sounds quite large to me. I would not want to clean so many rooms.”

Her voice had a breathless sound to it, as if she feared he might set her to such a task.

He waved a hand. “I leave the cleaning and maintenance to Mrs. Sheppard, our housekeeper. Though I imagine she will want your direction. You are the marchioness.”

All color fled. “Yes, I suppose I am.”

And she did not look the least bit happy about it.

You can preorder the book at fine online retailers and purchase in print at Amazon:



ashguyot said...

I very much enjoyed this book, and I love the series as a whole! I can't think of a clean historical romance series I've devoured quicker. Will we be seeing more of Miss Fortune? I sincerely hope so :).

Regina Scott said...

Thank you so much! I'm delighted you've enjoyed the series. There may be more of Fortune in the future. For now, it's heads down and fingers on keyboard to complete my October 2020 book for Revell. :-)