Now that she’s seen her three nieces—daughters of the Duke of Faraday—successfully married off, Mrs. Penelope “Penny” Parker finds herself adrift. But the lovely widow is not without purpose for long. Wealthy bachelor David Cavanaugh is in desperate need of a pretend wife—and he’s convinced that Penny would be perfect for the role.
Risking scandal and her good reputation, Penny agrees to accompany David to the country and play the part of his blushing bride in order to make his grandmother’s final days more restful. She vows to do anything to appear part of a loving couple—even if that means going along with David’s seven-year ruse about his fictional family.
But Penny and David’s game of make-believe starts feeling all too real. Has Penny found a match of her very own? Or will she and David be parted forever once the curtain comes down on their show of romance?
Larissa Quinn travels directly from Miss Simmons' Seminary to the wilds of Westmoreland to care for her elderly aunt. After the day-long journey, the only place for the weary travelers to sleep is the barn of an over-booked inn with only a single vacancy. Larissa, who has no intention of sleeping on a pile of straw, steps forward, claiming to be newly wed to Sir Randall Trent, baronet and unwitting accomplice in Larissa's scheme for adventure, in order to claim the last empty room.
Convinced they will never see one another again and that no one will be the wiser about their little white lie, Larissa and Sir Randall part ways, though not before Sir Randall can bestow upon Larissa a passionate kiss that sends her reeling. Both are surprised to be thrown together again so soon in London for the Season.
When their secret is discovered, Larissa and Sir Randall are forced to band together in the face of a crime spree in which Sir Randall is implicated. Life is about to offer Larissa an adventure unlike any she had ever imagined.
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