THE EARL'S INCONVENIENT WIFE
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Angered by Society's treatment of her mother and unfounded suspicions about her character, Temperance Lattimar dreams of exploring the world, gathering treasures for her father. Hiding a dark secret, she's determined never to marry‐until her father's restrictions on her fortune induce her to suggest a marriage of convenience to her brother's rakish best friend, Gifford Newell. If he'll allow her to travel as she wishes, he can use her money to further his career in Parliament.
Then a tragic accident turns this "mister" into an earl, upsetting the comfortable terms of their "marriage blanche." Temper knows an earl needs an heir, while Gifford finds himself increasingly tempted to renegotiate their bargain of a marriage in name only--for the hoyden he once knew has become a seductively beguiling woman...
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"The strongly-written heroine and excellent hero ‐ and their very genuine feelings for one another ‐ buoy The Earl’s Inconvenient Wife to a high recommendation." A‐, Desert Island Keeper, Lisa Fernandes, All About Romance
"Justiss did a fantastic job with the construction of this novel. The character development and emotional depth are outstanding, as are the cleverly written plot twists. The pacing is very balanced, keeping the reader entertained from start to finish. A lovely and tender friends‐to‐lovers story."‐Julie Whitely, The Book Review
"If you enjoy a genuine romance, and the tropes of friends‐to‐lovers and marriage of convenience (two of my favorites in one book,) with unconventional, but strong characters, I believe you’ll savor this book, as I did."‐Rose Blue, Rose Blue Reviews
Book 1: THE HOMELY MISS HENLEY, October 2019
Through her friend Temperance Lattimar (heroine of THE EARL'S INCONVENIENT WIFE,) Emma Henley learns about the school for indigent girls run by Ellie Parmenter, wife of Temper's brother Christopher (and heroine of SECRET LESSONS WITH THE RAKE.) Finally, Emma thinks, the social contacts she's accumulated through five boring Seasons may be worth something. To the dismay of her Society family, Emma decides to use those contacts to assist the girls and find positions for the graduates.
She's never met a sensible gentleman she would trust to make a faithful spouse –certainly not charming ladies' man Lord Theo Collington. If only she didn't keep running into him –and if only she didn't have to struggle so hard to hide her unfortunate attraction to the beguiling rogue. But though she would never dare marry him, an affair with the dashing rake might be just what a strong, independent lady needs!
Book 2: THE OVERLOOKED MISS OVERTON
When, after the sudden death of her mother, Olivia Overton learned that unwise management of her inheritance has left her virtually penniless, she chooses a life of independence but penury over the prison of a loveless marriage of convenience. Hiring herself out as a governess, she accompanies two orphaned children to the home of their new guardian.
After service with the army in India, cynical, hard-drinking Colonel Hugh Glendenning returned to England to set to rights the estate he inherited from his profligate older brother. Having lost all respect for women when his wife, after the death of their child, ran off with another man, Hugh is dismayed and angry when he learns he has been named guardian of his cousin's orphaned children. Immersed in his work on the estate and scarred by memories of the death of his own child, he intends to leave their care to others and have as little to do with them as possible.
But the girls' outspoken governess has decided opinions on how children should be raised and the duty owed to them by the only family they have left. And this employee has no qualms about dressing down the man who pays her salary. Though initially he hardly noticed the plain young woman, Hugo is surprised to discover their spirited clashes over the children spark fire of another sort–an attraction he doesn't want to feel. While Olivia, determined not to become another servant seduced by the master of the house, fights to resist the man in whom she increasingly sees honor, compassion and a deep vulnerability.
Book 3: THE STAID MISS STANDISH
Shy, plump Sara Standish thought her future settled when she and her school friends vowed to remain independent. But the unexpected marriage of Emma Henley and Olivia Overton's loss of fortune leave Sara discouraged–and lonely. Convinced she will now never escape becoming that object of pity, a gently-born spinster, she continues working with Lady Maggie's Ladies Committee, her special concern improving the conditions for child factory workers.
Accompanying the Committee on a factory visit, she encounters the manager, inventor and entrepreneur William Clark, who mentors the children under his care. At first skeptical of Sara as a "do-gooder" aristocrat who'll swoop in with big promises, only to abandon the children when a new project takes her fancy, Will comes to see that her efforts are serious and her commitment genuine.
Sara finds this orphan who grew up in a parish workhouse the most intelligent, fascinating man she's ever met. Though the spark between them is strong and immediate, both know a lady of the ton could never ally herself with a commoner who deals with money and works with his hands. But as the attraction deepens, Sara must decide whether pursuing the unexpected love she found in a most unexpected place is worth giving up the world she grew up in and everyone she's ever known.
With the draft of Emma's book turned into her editor (and fingers crossed that the revisions requested won't be too difficult,) Julia turns her hand to the next of the Splendid Spinsters, outspoken, sharp-tongued Olivia Overton. Having lost her place in the world, far from everyone dear to her, Olivia hides her loneliness and fear under a prickly exterior. But soon, compassion for the bewilderment and pain of the two lost little girls given into her care helps her put aside her own grief. And when she encounters the gruff, distant guardian who seems to have no concern at all for their welfare, the battle lines are drawn...