Fifth time’s the charm.
The Lady Claire Curse has left Claire Cavensham, an otherwise very marriageable young woman, 24 and on the verge of spinsterhood. After her fourth fiance breaks their engagement, her tattered reputation is barely saved when Alexander Hallworth, Marquess of Pembrooke, offers for her hand even though they barely know each other. Surprisingly, they find that their marriage of convenience is a better match than either had anticipated, leading two unhappy nobles to begin to hope they might have a happy ending after all. Though Claire’s lifetime of grief over being the only survivor of an accident that killed her parents seems as though it may interrupt their happiness, the real danger to their marriage is the secret Alex is keeping. He didn’t propose to Claire to save her—he proposed as part of a larger plan to ruin her previous fiance. And the passion between them, strong as it is, may not survive that revelation. MacGregor’s debut, and the first in the planned Cavensham Heiresses series, is an enjoyably complex treat. Though Alex’s characterization is somewhat uneven, the obstacles of the plot lead to an ultimately satisfying resolution. Winningly, although there’s plenty of sizzle between the newlyweds in multiple passionate scenes, their efforts to build a meaningful partnership outside the bedroom make this a mature addition to any Regency shelf.
An impressive debut.