by Valerie Bowman
I am so excited to read and write about this much awaited book. Congratulations Valerie, it so reflects your vibrant, humourous personality!
Who knew a little pamphlet could become the Pandora's Box of this London season. It is an informational booklet, written anonymously, about the horrors of marriage, specifically the wedding night. It has spread fear in virgins throughout the city. No one knows the author's identity...except Devon Morgan, newly crowned, Marquis of Colton. He is sure it is his love of 5 years ago, the dowager Lady Lily (Andrews) Merrill. Her one month marriage to Lord Merrill, 30 years her elder, was anything but happy and fulfilling.
Five years ago Colton and Lily had been in love and were planning to run away to marry in Gretna Greene. Man-made circumstances prevented this from happening. As a result, Lily was forced to marry Lord Merrill. He died one month later and left Lily in financial ruin. Meanwhile, Devon completed his education and silently made a fortune. He is in need of an heir and decides to marry Miss Amelia Templeton, who cries off after reading Secrets Of A Wedding Night. This infuriates Colton and he confronts Lily, demanding she write a retraction. Lily did not fess up to being the author of this scandal rag. Colton is sure it is her doing and "threatens" (for lack of a better term) that he is going to seduce her and show her how a woman is to be bedded and made satisfied. He is tall, dark and insanely good looking, so why not!?! Let's sit back and enjoy the ride. So begins a colossal game of cat and mouse...but there is more than one cat in this game. There is the interference and manipulation of both parents.
Lord Merrill forgave Lord Colton (father) a large debt for his cooperation and assistance in keeping Devon from Lily, which he did by writing a note to her, as Devon, saying he was not coming to pick her up. Lily's mother was so anxious for her to marry ($$$) well that she too wrote a note, as Lily, saying she had changed her mind.
Devon's best friend, Jordan Holloway, the Earl of Ashbourne does not believe in love and does his utmost to divert his attention away from marriage. And Devon has a larger, more important secret. All this deception, all these secrets create a light hearted, entertaining, sensual and fun read. I am a Valerie Bowman fan and cannot wait for her next blossom on the bush.