When childhood friends—fortune hunter Hugo Penhallow and wealthy but oppressed heiress Katherine Brooke—decide to wed, neither can imagine what the future has in store for them or how marriage can save them.
After having been wounded in Canada, Capt. Hugo Penhallow comes home to straitened circumstances and calls on his former playmate Katherine, who jumps on his arrival as salvation and asks him to marry her. Her rich parents are looking for an advantageous match, and while Hugo doesn’t have a title, Penhallow is “an old and illustrious name that loomed large, extremely large, among the haut ton." Unfortunately, in the years since they last met, Katherine’s parents have taken draconian measures to keep their lively daughter in check, and she’s become an angry, suspicious young woman. Once married, Katherine retreats behind a protective screen of brittle hauteur, and the ever genial Hugo realizes he might regret his impulsive decision to marry her. A honeymoon visit to Hugo’s cousin Gabriel, his lively wife, Livia (the couple from Berne’s debut, You May Kiss the Bride), and Gabriel’s formidable grandmother Henrietta, who takes Katherine under her wing, chips away at her insecurity, and once the couple heads to London for the season, the bride begins to wonder if there’s hope for them after all. Startling news sends them back to Hugo’s childhood home, where, surrounded by his large family, Katherine continues her journey of rediscovering her true self. Berne’s third Penhallow title maintains the exquisite writing, lush emotion, and complex characters we’ve come to expect, this time with a heroine who is knocked back time and again but finds herself strengthened by the choices she makes, the people she helps along the way, and, to her pleasant surprise, the remarkable man beside her.
An elegant, poignant, and joyful romance and a must-read for Regency fans.