What would you do to save the ones you love most?
Sold into slavery by the men who were supposed to kill her, Angelia Gualtiero must now convince the man who purchased her to help her. Lia would do anything to save her little brother from her murderous aunt, even marry a man she knows wants nothing more than use of her body.
Marcus Renfield Halden, Ninth Duke of Caversham, needs an heir to secure his legacy and the futures of his young sisters from a desperate cousin whom he suspects of targeting him in pursuit of the title and fortune. When he sees a woman running from her guard in a market in Tangier, he is at first captivated by her beauty. After Ren learns her story, he’s in awe of her bravery. He then makes Lia an offer she cannot refuse.
Her brother for an heir.
What neither expected was to fall in love.
He wanted her…. She needed him.
After several minutes, Lia pulled away, wiping her eyes with the backs of her hands. “I will please you every night. Live out my time in service to you, gladly. I will repay any expenses you incur on my behalf, if you will only rescue my brother and our nurse from my aunt’s home. I will do whatever you ask of me–anything–for them. Please? Will you help me?”
“I will think on it,” he replied, as he mentally wondered at the speed with which he could recall his crews and sail to Italy.
Large green eyes, red-rimmed and glistening with tears looked up at him and something constricted in his chest. Wisps of sable-colored hair had fallen loose from her comb, and blew into her face from the gentle breeze in the garden. He brushed it back with his fingers, his palm touching her wet cheek. She rested her face in his hand, closing her eyes.
“I haven’t much time,” she whispered. Backing away, she fell to her knees before him, her hands rubbing her legs nervously as she stared up at him. “What can I say, what can I do, to persuade you to help me? I would give my own life to spare his.” She folded her hands together in a praying fashion, begging him as a fresh wash of tears began to fall freely down her face. “He’s just a baby. My parents loved him so.”
“I haven’t refused you, Lia. I said I would think on it, meaning my current plans must be altered, and arrangements made.” He wiped the tears from her cheeks, and rested his hand on her face. “And I’m sure your parents loved you as much as they did your brother.”
“They did,” she whispered.
Lia took his hand and brought the palm to her lips. The simple gesture sent a raging inferno through Ren’s body. The tip of her tongue traced a line between his fingers, causing his breeches to become uncomfortably tight. He groaned as she took his middle finger between her lips and gently sucked, the tip of her tongue sliding up and down the digit, making his cock harder.
Taking his hand away, he stared into her eyes. Right at that moment he decided. It was the solution to both their problems. “I know a way.” His gaze lowered to her moist, full lower lip, wondering how it would feel on his.
“Anything, Your Grace,” she whispered. Bringing his hand back, she kissed his palm once again, then his wrist, and then the inside of his bare forearm.
“You should hear what my dilemma is first, and understand my proposed solution.”
“Anything within my power is yours.”
He raised her hand, lifting her to stand before him. He gazed into her deep green eyes, and felt a hot tremor course up his arm to his chest. “I need an heir. A legitimately born son. As soon as possible.”
Wide-eyed, she stared at him, obviously shocked by his words. “For that you would need a wife.”
“To save your brother and your nurse, you need me and my ships.”
“Your Grace, surely a man as handsome as yourself, assuming you have a little coin, can find a lady to marry in your own country.”
“I don’t want someone from my own country.” He held her chin in his hand as he stared into her face. “I want you.”
This is not your usual Regency romance of the ton balls, debutantes, and titled gentlemen. Caversham’s Bride is extremely well written in an epic adventurous fashion that is reminiscent of a Bertrice Small novel. The settings vary from Morocco to Italy to England.
The hero, Ren, is not your run-of-the-Regency-mill nobleman. He actually works for a living, owns his own shipping company. His father was a duke, but mom was a rich middle class woman who taught him the value of time. Plus he likes his family, with one exception the one family member who wants him dead. His solution to end the murder plots is to marry and produce an heir. When that doesn’t work, he flees England to regroup and strategize and catch his killer.
After her parents’ deaths, Lia, the heroine, and her baby brother are kidnapped from their family home in Naples by an aunt and uncle interested only in their inheritances. After the random is cashed, her abductors decide to sell her to make even more money. Lia’s intelligent and a courageous heroine, only unselfishly thinking of saving her little brother from what is certain doom no matter the circumstance she finds herself in.
With a fantastic not technically first meeting, Ren and Lia reach a “deal” of she gives him an heir and he saves her brother. After a satisfactory dealing with each other’s families, they must of course realize that they’re in love.
I loved this book and the family involvement on all sides. This book had it all and I highly recommend. Can’t wait for the next book!!!