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  • Absolutely wonderful

    The Westcott series is a delight, this one especially so....From the first chapter the characters entice you...the circumstances of their meeting draw you in further...Neither Wren or Alex are dramatic characters however both have had drama enough in their lives....neither believes that the other is what they need and yet, in some of the loveliest writing I have read in a long time, Mary Balough unfolds a beautifully understated romance with wit, tenderness, warmth and laughter.....Seriously lovely story telling here

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  • Fab marriage of convenience historical romance

    Wren Heyden was adopted by her aunt and uncle when she was ten years old. Before that she had a different name and was treated abominably just for having a large birthmark on her face, what we used to refer to as a port wine stain. Wren has spent the past 20 years being loved and cared for by her aunt and uncle but hiding her face from all bar a handful of people. Since the deaths of her aunt and uncle in quick succession Wren has become an extremely wealthy woman, albeit her fortune is derived from trade, but she is very lonely, so she has determined to find (aka buy) a husband. Alexander Westcott was very happy in his life, moderately wealthy, he had through careful stewardship brought the family property back into the black after years of losses. But when he inherited the title Earl of Riverdale he also inherited a vast estate in need of serious investment, but the wealth went to the late Earl's daughter by his first, and only legitimate, marriage. The only way that Alex can put the estate to rights is to marry a wealthy woman. At first Wren's blunt marriage proposal shocks Alex, but no sooner has he started to seriously consider the idea than she rescinds her offer, the thought of having to meet people without the shield of her veil to hide her birthmark is too much to contemplate. This is as much a novel about having the courage to be yourself as it is about a marriage of convenience turned love-match. Through Alex's prompting and encouragement, assisted by his family, Wren learns that her birthmark is startling but does not make her into a monster that frightens children (or animals for that matter). It even gives her the courage to confront her past. I am reading this series rather haphazardly. Suffice it to say that there is an army of Westcotts, siblings, cousins, step-cousins, aunts etc. No-one could ever keep them straight so my advice is don't even bother LOL.

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