Zebra, Oct 2008, $6.99
In Newport, Rhode Island heiress Elizabeth Cummings is appalled with her socialite climbing mother. Her mom is pushing for her daughter to marry the Duke of Bellingham over Christmas. Elizabeth is resistant to wed a stranger just for his title especially since she loves someone else.
The Duke Randall Blackmore loathes the idea of marrying for money especially an American social climber. However, he needs her Yankee dollars so he agrees to wed Elizabeth. Her mother arranges for Elizabeth and Randall to meet. He is stunned by her beauty and intelligence and wants her as his wife even if she was a pauper. He must wean her off this rival so he starts a seduction in order to marry his beloved by the holiday season.
Although the theme of an arranged marriage has been used a zillion times especially with aristocratic England, Jane Goodger refreshes the concept with an engaging historical as the lead male knows he must convince his reluctant beloved they are a loving match in spite of an arrangement. The story line is a lighthearted frolic as Randall conspires with Elizabeth’s mom to marry her daughter by Christmas. Fans will enjoy his missteps starting with the selection of his ally to make a woman who says no his duchess.