by Patricia Bray

December 2001
ISBN: 0-8217-7122-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Marcus, Duke of Torringford, must get married before his thirtieth birthday in order to inherit the title – and he only has three weeks until his birthday! On a drinking stupor, he and his brother decide the only answer is to advertise for a wife! While this is socially unacceptable during the Regency, it has comical possibilities in a romance novel!

Penelope is a spinster and has been living with her brother since her parent’s death. But things are no longer comfortable as he is about to become engaged to Amelia, who does not want Penelope to continue living with her brother when they are wed and so, Amelia answers the advert in Penelope’s name.

From a doubtful beginning, Marcus and Penelope get along together well enough. But there are a lot of obstacles in their way before true love dawns on them.

The book is a pleasant easy read and both Penelope and Marcus are likeable characters. I found that I wanted to see how they fared after their marriage and Ms. Bray told a pleasant story in which she describes the raising of Beagles as gun dogs and what is involved in their training. Marcus owned Kennels and bred and raised them before he unexpectedly inherited the Dukedom.

There is not a great deal of passion in the book but I felt that the story did not lack romance despite this. When one of Penelope’s early suitors returns and pays her marked attention, Marcus’ jealousy is quite unexpected, and amusing at times as well.

Ms. Bray describes the Regency period well in the book and uses Edinburgh as the setting rather than London as is common with Regency romances. Back then it was very much a city of culture and the book describes this through the reading groups and dinner parties that Penelope attends.

I enjoyed the story a great deal and easily give it a four-rose rating.

Reviewed in January 2002 by Mary.

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