Having just emerged from mourning following her mother's death, Eleanor is exactly where she wishes to be at the age of four-and-twenty: an on-the-shelf spinster and unofficial companion to her aunt. Unfortunately, her ambitious uncle has other plans for her future. On the eve of his house party, he lays down an ultimatum: either Eleanor marries the man of his choosing, or he'll force her seventeen-year-old sister to do so instead.
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In all his years in the army, Lord Gabriel Winters never once would have described an opponent as beautiful. But when he finds himself staring down the barrel of Miss Amelia Watson’s pistol, it’s the only word that comes to mind. Despite her clear distrust of him - and not to mention his own determination to avoid English women at all costs - Gabriel is more than intrigued by his friend’s bold neighbor. Amelia has plenty of reasons to distrust strangers, and the broad-shouldered, devilishly handsome viscount deserves no exception.
As the niece of an earl, Elizabeth Abbington knows all about the stifling expectations and responsibilities placed upon peers of the realm. She has no desire to marry into that kind of life. Instead she dreams of traveling abroad, where she can put her talent for languages to good use. When her dear friend invites her on a trip to Spain, Libby jumps at the chance to begin her adventure.
Prudence Landon has always done exactly as she should. She's obeyed her parents' every word, lived by society's every dictate, and even agreed to marry a man more than twice her age simply because it was expected of her. In the fortnight before her wedding, she decides it's high time to bend a few rules before life as she knows it is over. Viscount Ashby leads a charmed life. Betrothed since the age of seven, he is perfectly content to allow his off-the-market status to keep the marriage-minded mamas at bay.