Lovers and Ladies
Signet, Apr 2008, $14.00
"The Fortune Hunter". Amethyst “Amy” de Lacy decides to marry for money so that her husband will bestow dowries on her sisters and pay off the debts her late wastrel dad engulfed her brother Jasper with. However, Amy wonders how to meet a wealthy spouse when her family cannot afford a season. Hopes rise when Jasper wins a lottery. The four siblings debate whether to buy real tea or invest until Amy takes the pittance planning to go to London to attract a wealthy suitor. However, she stops off at the new neighbor’s place where she meets Harry Crisp. He falls in love, but before he can propose she reveals her scheme that she must marry money though she is attracted to Harry. Heartbroken that he loves a fortune hunter, Harry leaves.
"Deirdre and Don Juan". A married Earl, Mark Juan Carlos Renfrew is known by the Ton as Don Juan for his numerous affairs. His wife left him for another man early in their marriage so though he remains tied he feels free to chase women. However, when he learns his spouse died, Mark needs a spouse before the Mamas learn he is unshackled and make London unbearable. His mother suggests he marry his friend Lady Deirdre Stowe, who is not what one would call a second looker. She loves Howard Dunstable the mathematician and has a deal with her parents if no one proposes she can wed her beloved. Mark proposes, which Deirdre is forced to accept; one kiss tells him he is no longer a rake, but he must convince her they belong together.
These are two reprints of early 1990s Regency romances that loosely are part of a series (see EMILY AND THE DARK ANGEL) as characters reappear; however these are not the first books in that saga so some references feel unexplained. Still these are two entertaining traditional Regencies starring strong lead characters and solid support casts that Jo Beverly fans will enjoy.