A Victorian-era New York banker finds out his mother lied to him about his father’s death. His father is very much alive—and the heir to an English earldom.
Alexander (The Scandalous Adventures of the Sister of the Bride, 2014, etc.) returns to her Millworth Manor series with a new historical romance about Jackson Quincy Graham Channing, straight-laced vice president of his maternal grandfather’s American bank. Jack’s life is turned upside down when a dull dinner party is interrupted by the arrival of Col. Basil Channing, a British adventurer who was married to Jack’s mother, Elizabeth, a scant week before her parents persuaded the couple to part and have the marriage annulled. When Elizabeth realized she was pregnant, she never got up the nerve to inform Col. Channing that they were still married, or that he was a father. Now united after 30 years, Jack and his father travel to England. Jack is charmed by his cousins, the ancestral home he’ll inherit one day and a redheaded family friend. But Lady Theodosia Winslow, also known as Teddy, has decided to stop viewing marriage as the goal of her life and the easy way out of her financial difficulties. She wants to focus instead on her discreetly genteel party planning business. “I’ve tasted what it feels like to provide for myself,” she declares. Although Teddy and Jack enter into a sham engagement so she can avoid an unwanted marriage to her cousin, both resist making the engagement a real commitment.
The plot avoids leaning too heavily on the love story; readers will come for the romance and stay for the family dramas as the characters struggle to understand themselves.