Sally Cowan, Countess of Norwood, spent ten miserable years married to an overbearing oaf. Now she’s free, she plans to have some fun. But before she kicks her heels up, this Dashing Widow sets out to launch her pretty, headstrong niece Meg into society and find her a good husband.
When rich and charming Sir Charles Kinglake gives every sign that he can’t get enough of Meg’s company, Sally is delighted to play chaperone at all their meetings. Charles is everything that’s desirable in a gentleman suitor. How disastrous, when over the course of the season’s most elegant house party, Sally realizes that desire is precisely the name of the game. She’s found her niece’s perfect match—but she wants him for herself!
There are none so blind as those who will not see…
From the moment Sir Charles Kinglake meets sparkling Lady Norwood, he’s smitten. He courts her as a gentleman should—dancing with her at every glittering ball, taking her to the theatre, escorting her around London. Because she’s acting as chaperone to her niece, that means most times, Meg accompanies them. The lack of privacy chafes a man consumed by desire, but Charles’s intentions are honorable, and he’s willing to work within the rules to win the wife he wants.
However when he discovers that his careful pursuit has convinced Sally he’s interested in Meg rather than her, he flings the rules out the window. When love is at stake, who cares about a little scandal? It’s time for charming Sir Charles to abandon the subtle approach and play the passionate lover, not the society suitor!
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Charming Sir Charles (Dashing Widows Book 5)
Sally Cowan was married at seventeen to a much older man. While the marriage may have earned her the title of Countess Norwood, it also came with a spouse who was surly, unkind, and unfaithful. Her husband died in an accident after ten years of marriage, and now four years later, Sally is enjoying her freedom and is contemplating having an affair. Wedded life is not for her, but perhaps she can find the passion her marriage lacked. It’s just a shame that she’ll never get to experience genuine love. But first things first, she has to see that her niece, Meg, who she’s chaperoning, becomes engaged to the lovely young man who has been much in their company for the last two months, Charles Kinglake.
Sir Charles was smitten the moment he set eyes on Sally, and he has been spending every moment he can with her and her niece. Each time he’s with her, he falls a little more in love. But while she is charming and delightful, and appears to enjoy his company, she gives no indication that she feels any more for him than friendship. Charles’ frustration is building, and he’s beginning to lose hope that Sally will ever love him. Little does he know that Sally believes it’s her niece Charles is courting.
When Sally misunderstands a conversation she overhears, she believes that Charles has finally fallen for Meg, and is about to propose. All of a sudden Sally realizes that she will be losing the wonderful friendship she has with Charles, and that her feelings for him go much deeper. Horrified at this realization, Sally avoids Charles, and is very stiff and proper in his company when she does see him. Now poor Charles is more confused than ever – he had just decided to confess his love to Sally and she’s treating him like a pariah.
Anna Campbell’s DASHING WIDOWS series is about six women, all widowed, who have made a decision to go forward and enjoy their lives. One thing they have in common is a determined character, and most have consciously decided not to marry again – the reasons vary, but most of these ladies had unhappy first marriages. I found Sally to be the most stubborn of the widows. Even when all the misunderstandings have been straightened out, when Charles confesses his love, and then when he boldly declares that all her real or imagined impediments don’t matter, she still refuses him. Charles is a swoonworthy hero, who had an aura of honor and goodness about him that made me fall a bit in love with him myself, and he’s one of my favorites that Anna Campbell has written. Sally has to do some soul searching, and some self evaluation before she can find a happily ever after with the most CHARMING SIR CHARLES.