Five Star, Jan 2009, $25.95
In 1794 Viscount Damion Templeton believes his beloved grandmother is dying. He would do anything for her so when she asks him to marry, he knows he must find a bride or better yet hire someone he can introduce to his grandmother as his fiancée. Once his grandma dies, they would end the sham engagement.
Damion hires impoverished schoolteacher Alix Adams to pose as his intended. His ruse works perfect except for two things. His grandmother is not dying and he has fallen in love with his actress. Alix reciprocates even as his past rises to cause him further havoc and threatens his wealth.
Although the theme of a fake engagement has been done a zillion times this late Georgian romance is a warm tale due to the two likable protagonists who like the readers and his grandma know early on they belong together. The story line is breezy and light with the conflict coming from external sources who never quite come across as full blooded sinister villains. Still SECRET BRIDE is an enjoyable fun read as Damion finds more than a fake fiancee, he finds true love.