As the toast of the ton, Samuel Wortham, Viscount Ellery, should have no trouble finding a wife. Yet each lady he pursues ends up married to another. As a last hope, Sam plans a house party, intending to choose a bride from one of his guests. But when he encounters a raven-haired beauty by his estate’s pond, he’s captivated by her charm and desperate to see her again.
A quiet trip to the country is just what Gemma Desmond needs to take her mind off marriage. After all, as the daughter of a notorious criminal, her prospects seem quite grim. The last thing she expects is a chance meeting with a handsome lord and an invitation to his lavish house party. Ellery is everything she hoped for in a husband. But can she ever escape the stigma of her father’s misdeeds?
When a pair of conniving debutantes frame her for theft, Gemma has her answer. Unwilling to let her scandalous reputation taint the kind, honorable man she adores, she flees. Yet Ellery isn’t about to give her up. He might be just another viscount in love, but he refuses to let this potential bride slip through his fingers…
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Just Another Viscount in Love (The Season’s Original)
Samuel Wortham, Viscount Ellery, is ready to settle down – in fact, he’s looking forward to it with great anticipation. The problem is, his two previous attempts at courtship amounted to nothing, as the young ladies fell in love with other men. Now, a little leery, but determined nonetheless, Sam is going to host a houseparty which will include several eligible debutantes, along with a few of his friends. Maybe the close group will produce the lady meant to be Sam’s future bride. Before the party, Sam is leisurely strolling his grounds, when he encounters a lovely young lady wading in his pond. Not wanting to alarm her, Sam engages her in friendly conversation, and in the matter of a few moments, he is smitten.
Gemma Desmond is traveling the countryside with her Aunt Edith, the dowager Duchess Vale. Gemma left London to avoid scandalous talk, snubs, and slurs. Unfortunately, Gemma’s father is a notorious thief and criminal, and though Gemma has lived an honest life, she is guilty by association. Aunt Edith has even been the recipient of some social snubs for maintaining contact with her niece, despite her high social rank. Gemma and Edith stopped their travels to rest at the lovely pond, not knowing they were on private property. Though embarrassed at being caught wading, Gemma converses with the handsome young man, and also feels an instant rapport with him.
The scene with Sam and Gemma meeting at the pond is so lovely and beautifully written, that I could feel them almost falling in love at first sight. I felt an instant click that these two people belonged together. Sam finds out that the inn they will be staying at is very close by, and he comes calling and invites them to his houseparty. Though Gemma would love to attend, she doesn’t see any reason to pursue the relationship, as once Sam realizes who she’s related to, he’ll distance himself. Yet, Aunt Edith convinces Gemma to enjoy this bit of happiness, and they head off to Dunnock Park, Sam’s home.
As you would expect, the other ladies at the party realize who Gemma is, and make every effort to snub her and to keep her away from Sam, who is showing a marked preference for her. When it appears that Sam doesn’t care about Gemma’s unfortunate family connections, a couple of the “ladies” decide to concoct a plot to incriminate Gemma. These women are truly detestable villains. Will their plot work, and will Sam believe his eyes or his heart?
It’s rare that I have such a genuine liking for both hero and heroine equally. I loved their character, their personalities, their generosity, and their genuine goodness. And I mean that in the best of ways – they are interesting, fully developed people with an amazing chemistry, both physically and emotionally. Their love felt almost enchanting to me, and I adore this short story passionately. JUST ANOTHER VISCOUNT IN LOVE is full of romance and warmth, and reading it was pure delight.