In my "Brides" trilogy, three unconventional young women vow they will never marry-only to be overtaken by destiny. The Accidental Bride could only be the story of Phoebe, the "awkward" one....
For four years, Cato, the Marquis of Granville, had been just another man-the uninteresting, somewhat intimidating husband of Phoebe's older sister. But then her sister died, and Phoebe seemed a reasonable substitute. Her forced engagement to him should have been quite a cold-blooded arrangement...except that one day Phoebe looked at Granville-really looked at him-and saw what she'd never seen before: he was darkly, breathtakingly attractive.
Once she'd noticed, she couldn't seem to stop noticing, and suddenly Phoebe was disastrously in love. It would be nothing short of torture to be married to Granville, knowing he didn't love her and never would. After all, Phoebe was not the kind of woman men fell in love with-Phoebe with her untidy hair, her rumpled clothes, and her fingers forever ink-stained from the poetry she wrote.
When running away does not solve her problems, Phoebe decides to try something a little different-something that involves a little change in wardrobe, a daring new attitude, and a bit of brazen seduction.
Granville is about to discover that his awkward Phoebe is woman enough even for him....
Warmest wishes, Jane Feather
Here is the first of my new "Brides" trilogy, in which three unconventional young women vow they will never marry-only to be overtaken by destiny. Bride #1 is the outspoken Portia....
It's bad enough that seventeen-year-old Portia Worth is taken in by her uncle, the marquis of Granville, after her father dies. As the bastard niece, Portia knows she can expect little beyond a roof over her head and a place at the table.
But it truly adds insult to injury when the Granvilles' archenemy, the outlaw Rufus Decatur, hatches a scheme to abduct the marquis's daughter-only to kidnap Portia by accident.
Portia, who possesses more than a streak of independence as well as a talent for resistance, does not take kindly to being abducted-mistakenly or otherwise.
Decatur will soon find himself facing the challenge of his life, both on the battlefield and in the bedroom, as he contends with this misfit of a girl who has the audacity to believe herself the equal of any man....
Brimming with passion, laced with humor, Jane Feather's tantalizing historical romances have been called "well-written and fast-moving...entertaining" (Booklist) and "great fun" (Publishers Weekly). Now the New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental Bride makes her exciting hardcover debut with this irresistible tale of a bookish beauty who has never met a man who could best her, tempt her, or seduce her...until now.
Brimming with passion, laced with humor, Jane Feather's tantalizing historical romances have been called "brilliantly crafted" (Affaire de Coeur) and "vastly entertaining" (Rendezvous). Now the nationally bestselling author of The Accidental Bride makes her exciting hardcover debut with this irresistible tale of a bookish beauty who has never met a man who could best her, tempt her, or seduce her-until now.
One moment Lady Olivia Granville is strolling along a path, her nose buried in a tome of Greek philosophy; the next she is plunging down a rocky cliff. Only when she regains consciousness-naked and unwittingly trapped on an unknown ship-does she discover that she owes her life to a stranger who is clearly not a gentleman!
Wickedly handsome, disturbingly mysterious, the gray-eyed master of the Wind Dancer admits to making his living from the sea. But it doesn't take long for Olivia to realize that the rogue who'd so intimately tended her wounds is a brash pirate whose schooner is bearing down upon a Spanish galleon. She knows she should be appalled. Instead Olivia is shockingly entranced...and recklessly attracted to an outlaw whose gaze holds bothchallenge and invitation.
Anthony Caxton has known from the first that Olivia Granville is no ordinary woman. But who would have thought that the sheltered daughter of a marquis would have a genuine taste for piracy? Delighted by her response, teased by her beauty, he welcomes her as the newest of his crew, confident that it is only a matter of time before he wins her surrender.
Yet even as Olivia welcomes his embrace, she remains unaware that Anthony is harboring a devastating secret...one that will lead them to heartache, scandal, and betrayal. For Anthony is much more than a common pirate. He is the mastermind behind a perilous plot of royal intrigue that could change the course of history.
And in this enterprise his opponent is none other than Cato Granville...Olivia's father. Anthony knows the success of his scheme-and his very life-depends upon minute planning, on anticipating every possible difficulty. But he never imagined that he would fall in love with the daughter of his most formidable enemy. And he never dreamed that the dangerous game he was playing would leave Olivia vulnerable to the attentions of a cunning villain-one who wants to possess the dark-haired temptress almost as much as he wants to see Anthony Caxton hang....
With more than four million copies of her novels in print and twelve consecutive national bestsellers, Jane Feather is poised to capture ever more of the voracious romance-reading audience. In this new novel, she delivers her unique take on the classic Pygmalion tale: a young woman transformed by love, who embarks on the adventure of a lifetime.
THE LEAST LIKELY BRIDE is Olivia-young, chronically shy, and addicted to ancient Greek literature. As she walks on the sands of an island off the coast of England, her nose buried in a book, she takes a fall - and wakes up days later on what seems to be a pirate ship. Her captor, though, is no ordinary pirate. He possesses the skills of both a physician and an artist. He is also the most gorgeous male Olivia has ever encountered. Most disconcerting of all, when he looks at her, he sees-not the stammering, hopelessly bookish young girl Olivia has always been-but a desirable, beautiful woman.
Feather weaves together plot and passion into a mesmerizing whole that is perfect for fans of Julie Garwood.
A quirk of fate has made Sylvester Gilbraith the heir of his sworn enemy, the earl of Stoneridge. But there's a catch: to claim his inheritance he has to marry one of the earl's four granddaughters. The magically handsome nobleman has no choice but to comply with the terms of the will, yet when he descends on Stoneridge Manor prepared to charm his way into a fortune, he finds that the lady who intrigues him most has no intention of becoming his bride. Maddeningly beautiful and utterly impossible, Theodora Belmont refuses to admit to the chemistry between them, even when she's passionately locked in his embrace. Yet soon the day will come when the raven-haired vixen will give anything to be Slyvester's bride - and risk everything to defend his honor...and his life.
Clad in black velvet and posing as a widowed French comtesse, Gabrielle de Beaucaire had returned to England for one purpose only-to ruin the man responsible for her young lover's death.
But convincing the forbidding Nathaniel Praed, England's greatest spymaster, that she would make the perfect agent for his secret service would not be easy. And even after Gabrielle had lured the devastatingly attractive lord to her bed, she would have to contend with his distrust-and with the unexpected hunger that his merest touch aroused…
From the moment he met her, Nathaniel Praed knew that the alluring Gabrielle de Beaucaire spelled trouble. But though he fought her outrageously bold advances, he could not stem the turbulent hunger that swept through him when the tall, titian-haired vixen pressed her lips to his. Now, against his better judgment, she is in his employ. And as Europe trembles at a tyrant's war and sinister minds plot against them, Nathaniel and Gabrielle find themselves at the mercy of an exquisite passion…and a love that could save-or destroy-both their lives…
Nathaniel flung himself from his horse and ran to the inert figure.
"Gabrielle! Dear God!" He dropped to his knees beside her, tearing at the snowy cravat to bare her throat, his fingers feeling for her pulse. It was strong but fast. He sighed with relief and then frowned. The black lashes formed half-moons on the pale skin, her lips were slightly parted, her chest rising and falling with each regular breath.
Her pulse was far too vibrant for an unconscious person.
"Gabrielle," he said in a near whisper. "If this is a trick, so help me, I'll make you sorrier than you've ever been in your life."
"Try it," she said. Her eyelids swept up, revealing utterly mischievous charcoal eyes, and in the same moment she sat up. Her arms went around his neck before he realized what was happening and her mouth found his.
A wildness swept through him. His arms went around her. For a minute their tongues fenced, and then he moved his hands to grasp her head, holding it strongly as he drove deep within her mouth on a voyage of assertion that in some faint part of his brain seemed long overdue.
Gabrielle had believed she could fake sufficient response to satisfy him. She had not expected to find herself responding from some deep passionate well within herself.
It wasn't supposed to happen. But it was happening. And Nathaniel Praed was matching her every step of the way. And it was going to play merry hell with her schemes of revenge…
The last thing Lord Nicholas Kincaid expected to see in the gloom of a London tavern was a vision of loveliness. And when she led him to a bedchamber with a come-hither smile, there was no question of resisting—until he realized the lying wench meant to render him senseless so the landlord could rob him blind! That's how the handsome lord made the acquaintance of Miss Polly Wyat, a ravishing beauty he soon decided would make the perfect spy. Unwittingly, she would infiltrate the inner circle at the king's court. But when Nicholas sets out to bind Polly with chains of passion, he'll find himself hard-pressed not to be bewitched…or to fall in love.
Juliana drew the line at becoming a harlot. She had already begun the week as a bride...and ended it as a murderess. She was sure no one would believe that she'd hit her elderly groom with a bed warmer and knocked him dead quite by accident. So she did the only thing she could-she ran. Yet now she was in no position to turn down a shocking proposition from the dangerously handsome Duke of Redmayne: that she become one man's wife and another man's mistress-his mistress.
Could she play such a role? Could she live up to such a bargain? And once she had tasted the pleasures of Redmayne's bed, would she ever want anything else?
"You are an incorrigible, unscrupulous, card-sharping, horse-thieving baggage!"
Marcus declared. "By God, someone had better take you in hand, before you do some serious damage and find yourself at the end of the hangman's rope."
He jerked the reins from her grasp and guided the horse over to the side of the road, in the shadow of a bramble hedge.
"What are you doing?" Judith demanded.
"I don't know yet." He turned on the bench, catching her shoulders, and the minute he touched her that jolting current surged between them. Judith looked into his eyes, glittering with purpose, and she shivered, feeling the heat in her belly slowly turning bone and sinew to molten lava.
"You weave the strangest magic, Judith," he said, his voice a husky murmur, his eyes holding hers. "You confuse me so much I don't know whether I want to beat you or make love to you… but I have to possess you one way or the other."
Marcus pulled her against him, his mouth coming down on hers with a crushing violence akin to punishment. Judith responded unhesitatingly to the bruising pressure, her lips parting for the determined thrust of his tongue. Her hands found their way around his neck, her fingers raking through his thick, dark hair…