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    Matters of the heart override proprietary

    As a young debutante, Diana makes a foolish mistake, one which could have been overlooked except for the malicious gossip that it generated, which in turn forced her into a marriage with a man she despised. When he obligingly dies in the arms of his mistress, Diana finds that in a world where men rule, she is somehow still to blame for his death while he is buried smelling of roses. Being widowed brings Diana to a new cross roads in her life, one where she refuses to bow down to the restrictions society has placed on her, and reckons that if her reputation has already been destroyed she has nothing to lose. She doesn't take into account the Earl of Stanhope's intervention and his protective nature. For every daring act Diana commits, Arthur is there to ward off possible repercussions. Having been introduced to Diana in previous books where she was a self-pitying and rather miserable young lady, I enjoyed reading about her transformation and the growth of a spine. I also enjoyed the unravelling of Arthur Abbott as he came to realise that when the heart is involved, rules have to take second place. It helps to read these books in sequence as many of the characters in this book have appeared before, but the story can nevertheless be read as a standalone. The plot has redeeming qualities, although the text does need some additional editing. I received a copy of this book as a gift and this is my honest and voluntary review.

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