Frances Bowes, Lady Rathmere, is the heroine of RELUCTANCE.
Married young, nine years a widow, now in her mid-twenties, she lives happily in full control of her fortune and sees no reason to endure marriage again.
Jack Slade, Marquess of Streatham, is the hero. Wracked with guilt over his wife’s death in childbirth, he flees London for his run-down estate in the north swearing celibacy for the rest of his life though still only in his mid-twenties. He believes he cannot allow his progeny to kill another innocent woman.
Frances, Jack and Charles Devenish were childhood playmates. Charles and Jack have maintained the friendship at school and in London, but Frances and the other local residents have not seen Jack since he was eleven years old.
When the story opens, Frances saves a stranger − Jack − from drowning. Discovering him ungrateful, she assumes him an insufferable idiot and forgets him. A week later, conscience pricking, he arrives unannounced at her Cousin Mary’s birthday luncheon in order to apologize for his rudeness.
This charming and thoughtful Regency story is set in the north of England away from the constraints of the ton and society’s expectations. When a handsome soldier arrives in the locality, he manages to destroy any peace of mind Frances had, and almost ruins her cousin Mary’s reputation. When his attentions became unbearable, there seems only one way out of the tangle.
Read RELUCTANCE by Jen Black and return to a very different world.