About the Book:
The virtuous Miss Fairclough…
…now faces ruin!
Part of Secrets of a Victorian Household. When Amelia Fairclough had sought refuge in a blizzard, a brooding stranger had given her warmth and shelter. She’d even tried to soothe him of his demons in return. But as she scurried home at dawn, she was spotted! Now he’s in the parlor, offering to do the honorable thing. Surely she’d be a fool to turn down the new Marquess of Falconmore!
Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link: Miss Amelia’s Mistletoe Marquess
Amelia “Millie” Fairclough is a teacher at the family owned Fairclough Foundation, which is currently experiencing some financial difficulties, as is her widowed mother. A proposal from the curate, Gilbert, has Millie seriously considering marriage with a man she doesn’t love, other than as a friend. The marriage would greatly improve her circumstances, and her mother’s, as well. Millie ponders the situation as she walks home from a social function, due to a misunderstanding regarding who was riding in which carriage. A sudden nasty turn in the weather, and a wrong turn by Millie, and she’s in a very precarious situation. She’s lost, and the snow is piling up. Thank heavens for the cottage up ahead which appears to be occupied. Surely the people living there will give her shelter for the night.
Cassius Whitlock, the new Marquess Falconmore, has been reduced to hiding out in his own gamekeeper’s cottage, in order to avoid Sylvia, the widow of his recently deceased cousin. Sylvia is so desperate to keep her home and to provide for her daughters, that she’s willing to seduce her cousin-in-law if that’s what it takes. Cassius is a soldier who served in Afghanistan and India, and has his own demons to deal with, without having to fend off the advances of Sylvia. When he hears a pounding on the cottage door, he fears Sylvia has managed to track him down, but the lovely half-frozen snow-woman is a stranger to him.
Though Cassius only wanted solitude, he offers shelter to Millie. As she begins to thaw out, they begin to talk about anything and everything, even her family’s circumstances, and her potential marriage. There is even a stolen kiss exchanged before Millie scurries off to bed. As soon as it’s light enough, Millie sneaks away, hopeful of not being discovered. Her hopes are not to be realized, as she is seen and recognized by a servant, and soon the gossip starts. Cassius, willing to do the right thing, calls on Millie and proposes. The last thing Millie wants is to force Cassius into marriage. He, however, is very persuasive, and convinces Millie that a quick wedding is the only solution.
You would think that the start of the marriage would be rocky, but as it turns out, things go very well. Millie fits easily into the household, even managing to figure out cousin Sylvia’s real reason for pursuing Cassius so fervently. Right from the start, Millie and Cassius work as a team, helping each other, and becoming friends and lovers. Cassius was shouldering so much misplaced guilt from his time as a soldier, yet he opens to Millie’s care, which he absorbs into his wounded heart.
Cassius and Millie are so perfect for each other, and they soon begin to realize that they are falling in love. There is one final conflict and piece of drama to overcome before their happy ever after is attained. I love how each of these characters perfectly seemed to fill a need that the other had. Their relationship was fun, caring, and passionate. The story was warm, heartfelt, and emotional. MISS AMELIA’S MISTLETOE MARQUESS is book two of a four book series about the Fairclough family, but easily stands alone. I haven’t yet read book one (but I soon will) and did not feel at all lost. I totally enjoyed this well written book, which makes for a great read in any season. ~Rose