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As maid to some of the most wanton ladies of the ton, Margery Mallon lives within the boundaries of any sensible servant. Entanglements with gentlemen are taboo. Wild adventures are for the Gothic novels she secretly reads. Then an intriguing stranger named Mr. Ward offers her a taste of passion, and suddenly the wicked possibilities are too tempting to resist….

Henry Atticus Richard Ward is no ordinary gentleman. He’s Lord Wardeaux and he is determined to unite Margery with her newfound inheritance by any means—including seduction and deception. But when the ton condemns the scandalous servant-turned-countess and an unknown danger prepares to strike, will Margery accept Henry’s protection in exchange for her trust?

Publisher and Release date: Harlequin / MIRA, 5 April 2013

RHL Classifications:
Time and Setting: Regency England
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2
Rating: 4.5 stars

Review by Maggi:

This is the final installment of Cornick’s Scandalous Women of the Ton Series. Margery Mallon has never known high society, except as a lady’s maid serving members of the ton. Henry, Baron Wardeaux is given the task of finding and returning to the earl, Lord Templemore, his lost daughter, before he dies. When Henry restores Margery Mallon to her rightful place with her grandfather, Margery finds herself an heiress and one of the wealthiest women in England.

I love a bit of intrigue and mystery and while this has a subplot threaded throughout the story, it never takes over the romance. Margery isn’t an indulged member of the ton. She’s a down-to-earth heroine and a kind one. We view society through her eyes, warts and all, as she moves effortlessly from below stairs to the upper echelon. She’s a small but feisty woman, who won’t be taken advantage of. And it’s nice that her new position doesn’t change her. I warmed to both her and the hero, Henry, from the start. Henry, particularly, because he would have inherited the title instead of Margery if he’d failed in his mission. But his sense of honor and his affection for Lord Templemore would never allow it.

Restoring Margery to her proper place does not guarantee her a happy life, however. She is trying to guard her heart against Henry, who, although passionate about her, doesn’t love her. And due to her sad past, she’s determined to marry a man who does. When her life is in danger, Henry fights to protect her while fighting his own desires. The passion between them sizzles! Margery’s past is not easily left behind. She’s from an adoptive family of thieves, and can remember nothing of the savage act that destroyed her life and left her mother dead when she was four years old.

Henry is a man who will never waver from the task allotted him. He has fought under Wellington and always obeys the rules. He doesn’t care about Margery’s past. He only cares to reunite her with her grandfather. In his quest, he employs whatever means necessary to determine if Margery is the earl’s daughter, determined that she will not take advantage of the old man. Under the alias, Mr. Ward, he tests her virtue, but when he kisses Margery, before revealing his true name and his mission, he loses her trust.

Once Margery becomes an heiress, their relationship is placed under a great strain. Henry is now ranked beneath her and an unsuitable husband. And he will never risk his heart; he doesn’t believe such a thing as love exists.

Conflict and great dialogue results:

“Alas, Lady Marguerite, the laws of inheritance cannot be bent to my will. You could be the most notorious courtesan in London and it would not change the fact that you are heiress to Templemore.”

He caught her wrist and pulled her close, moving so suddenly that she jumped even though he held her tightly. “Your logic is also at fault,” he said softly. “If I had intended to seduce you I would not have stopped.”

About me:

I’m an Australian author of historical romance and romantic suspense. I write novels in the Georgian, Regency and Victorian eras. My latest release is a Victorian romantic murder mystery set in England, The Folly at Falconbridge Hall.

Maggi Andersen


1 Response

  1. Maggi, I’ve read all the books in the Scandalous Women of the Ton and it was a brilliant series. I enjoyed Forbidden but my favourite from the series was Desired. I loved that one!

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