Patrick Danvers, the Viscount Westover, was known by another name among the proper people of society. "Devil Danvers" he was called, and no respectable young lady dared be seen in public with this man whose scandalous escapades quite overshadowed his startling good looks.
Caroline Ashley was a very respectable young lady, but also one with no one to protect her and no money to call her own. How could she resist Devil Danvers made her a cold-blooded proposition to be the wife he needed to win a wager and claim a fortune that hung on his producing an heir?
Thus the battle was joined--between the dazzling lord who had every means to make a young lady say yes to his every desire, and a young lady determined not to surrender her pride...not even for love...
It's been a while since I've read a traditional regency! A friend suggested I picked this one up and I just couldn't resist it. I have very greatly enjoyed Anita Mill's medieval books and I was curious at what she would do with regency.
The beginning of the story sets up the character of Patrick Danvers, he has just inherited his title but to claim his fortune he has to marry. It is quite obvious that this is another of those cases where people call him the devil but he is actually a nice and misunderstood gentleman, if a bit hot headed, who doesn't bow to other people's opinions.
When he meets Caroline Ashley she is a companion to his young cousin. Danvers' cousin really likes Catherine, who is only a few years older than she is, and it is she who first comes up with the idea of marrying them. Danvers would get his inheritance and Caroline, who works for a living, would be taken care of. Caroline doesn't know the cousin his Devil Danvers and she actually likes him till her starts to make his proposal... and she misunderstands his intentions and leaves him standing in the middle of a ballroom.
So far nothing really stands out... they eventually understand each other but Caroline doesn't want to marry without love and rejects his offer. Enters the Devil Danvers best friend. Trying to help his friend, Bertie decides to kidnap Caroline, take her to France and when they get there, since she will be ruined, she will have to accept Danvers' proposal. I thought this kidnapping scene was quite funny and from then on I really wanted to continue reading and see how Mills was going to pair everyone up. There are a few misunderstandings, the funny kind not the annoying kind, before everyone finds their match but I thought this was a really nice story. I kept hoping she would actually write something for Bertie too but I guess he was really not in the petticoat line!