In a moment of drunken inspiration, Harry, the future Duke of Worthington, makes a pact with Miss Louisa Drake. If they have not married in the next six years, they will wed. Genius! After all, he's already madly in love with her, although Louisa refuses to take him seriously.
But years and circumstances tear them apart, until the dear friends barely know one another. Now Harry is a widower from a loveless marriage to a woman who was murdered. He no longer contemplates frivolous things like lost love and a deal made over too much brandy. So, he is beyond shocked when a bedraggled Louisa appears at his door, demanding marriage.
When Louisa trudged through a blizzard to get to the wilds of Northumbria, it was never with the expectation that Harry would marry her. The old Harry would have seen through her scheme and teased her until she told him the truth. But this isn't the Harry she'd known. When he insists that he will not marry her, she demands he find her a suitable gentleman who will. She is even willing to return the favor and find him a wife too. It's a perfectly reasonable solution.
Except Louisa never expects to find herself terribly attracted to this new Harry, a man now brooding and intense and absolutely irresistible. And she starts to realize she is, in fact, the very wife he needs to be happy again.
But can Harry overcome the guilt and regrets of his first marriage, and allow himself to be with woman he's never truly stopped loving? Or will Louisa end up marrying another and be lost to Harry? This time forever.
BIOGRAPHY Award winning author Christie Kelley writes Regency set historical romances from her home in Maryland. When not writing, she is usually in the garden, fixing something around the house and surrounded by her two sons and two Siberian cats.
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