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REVIEW

"American Independence vs. English Propriety in this spirited Regency Romance"

London 1805

Fancying herself in love, young Lucinda Prescott allows Malcolm Devering, heir to an earl, to isolate her and indulge in a passionate kiss. Lucinda had no doubts that the situation would have gotten far worse if her father hadn't caught them. As it was she'd been thoroughly compromised. Unfortunately she wasn't deemed a suitable match for the earl's heir, and so instead of wedding her beloved, she finds herself married to his younger brother Harry. From that day forward Lucinda had determined to be the soul of propriety, even if her new husband was not. Ten years of lonely marriage had ended in scandal when her husband died while bedding his mistress. Over the years Malcolm too had shown his true colors, relentlessly pursuing his brother's wife. Harry had left Lucinda deeply in debt and his dishonorable brother refused to settle them unless Lucinda did his bidding. She refused.

1816

A year after Harry's death the opportunity arises for Lucinda to settle her husband's debts without scandal or impropriety. Marriage of course was her only option, and with the help of the Duke of Raynewood's patronage she would be accepted by society. All she had to do was to turn the duke's young American granddaughter, Margaret, into a proper British debutant. Unfortunately, the young lady's brother has different ideas. Garrett Lynch crashes a soiree being held in her honor, demanding that she leave with him at once. He cares nothing for the duke or his highborn manners. Garrett is a hard working American sea captain, owner of his own shipping line, and proud of it.

Meg stubbornly refuses to go, and Garrett determines to stay until he can change her mind. His sister is all the family he has left, not counting his grandfather. Many years ago the duke had disinherited Garrett's father, his second son, for loving an Irishwoman. That woman had been Garrett's mother. The two had eloped to America. Life had been difficult and Garrett blamed the unfeeling duke for his parents' early deaths. He was still mourning his mother. Ironically, Garrett is now the duke's heir, his uncle having died childless.

The conniving duke sees Meg's stubborn refusal to abandon her plans as an opportunity to keep both of his grandchildren in England. He has a grand match in mind for Garrett and charges Lucinda with teaching him proper deportment as well. Unfortunately, she likes the passionate American just as he is, and he is determined to bed the lovely widow for as long as he remains.

An affair is not at all what Lucinda wants or needs, and so the struggle begins to maintain her decorum and resist his advances. Malcolm Devering, now an earl, isn't about to let Garrett win his spoils either. Will Lucinda hold fast to her famous propriety and land herself a necessary husband, or will she follow her heart and find true happiness at last?

As much as I love the glitz and glamour of an old fashioned English regency, I have a soft spot for the independent spirit of my own countrymen, and could not but help enjoying Garrett's determination to hold his head up proudly among the snobbish ton. Garrett never compromises, and Lucinda must decide if she can give up everything she knows for a chance at the brass ring. Highly enjoyable.

Copyright 2002

Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted September 6, 2002

SUMMARY

Widow Lucinda Devering has a chance to settle her husband's debts without losing face, as long as she can turn the Duke of Raynewood's American granddaughter into a proper English lady. But the girl's brother has other ideas. Garrett wants nothing to do with England or his estranged grandfather, even though he is the duke's long-lost heir. His mission is to bring his sister home to America and then get back to his shipping business--but she won't go! Determined to save his sister from herself, he stays in England to convince her. While there, he decides to teach the lovely Lucinda a few passionate lessons of his own. But Lucinda needs a husband, not a lover, and so the battle of the sexes begins...

 

A Necessary Husband
by Debra Mullins

Avon Books
May 1, 2002
ISBN #0380819082
EAN #9780380819089
384 pages
Paperback
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Other Books by
Debra Mullins

Three Nights...
A Necessary Bride


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