In an effort to preserve the family estate, Ian MacGregor, the Earl of Balfour, must marry for money. When a promising match emerges in the form of Genie Daniels, a rich English heiress, Ian begins devising a strategy to woo her. When he meets Genie’s poor cousin Augusta, he discovers a new avenue to Genie’s heart. But after spending time with Augusta and falling for her charms, Ian begins to question whether or not he’s willing to forfeit his heart to save the family name…
Victorian Era Scotland
Heat Level 2
Rating 4 stars
REVIEW BY LADY BLUE
Ian MacGregor is now presumed to be the Earl, since his older brother is about to be declared legally dead. (He travelled to Canada, and has not been heard from in several years.) As head of the family, Ian feels it’s his duty to make a beneficial marriage, and bring a level of prosperity back to his clan, which has suffered setback after setback in recent years. It was a revelation to me that the potato famine affected Scotland, since it’s widely known as the Irish potato famine.
The MacGregor family has begun having wealthy English families as paying guests in their home. It’s a popular attraction, since their land adjoins Balmoral Castle, and Queen Victoria and Prince Albert reside there some of the time. One of the guests is an English heiress, and Ian has already made arrangements with her father to court her.
When the heiress, Eugenia, and her family arrive, Ian begins his courtship. The heiress, however, has a dream to only marry for love, and in particular doesn’t want to marry a title. Her father badly wants the match, and does all in his power to encourage it.
Augusta is part of the extended family, and fully understands the situation. Though Ian initially thinks her plain, they come to develop a friendship and a passionate attraction. Both realize nothing can come of their relationship, and plan to end it when an official engagement is announced.
However, there is a twist to the story, and there may be a chance for a happy ending. That is, if Augusta survives………
This book has wonderfully drawn characters, Ian, strong and dutiful, and willing to sacrifice his personal happiness for his family and clan; and Augusta, who is so loving and deserving of happiness. Their dialogue and interaction is lovely, and you can’t help but root for their “happy ever after.” This is a highly recommended read.
This book is available in paperback from all standard booksellers for $7.99, and is available on Kindle for $6.79.