cover image Gentleman Seeks Bride

Gentleman Seeks Bride

Megan Frampton. Avon, $8.99 mass market (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-302310-9

Frampton puts a fresh twist on the hunt for a wealthy spouse set-up in her fourth Hazards of Dukes Victorian romance (after A Wicked Bargain for the Duke). Thomas Sharpe’s family’s income is dwindling due to his father’s bad investments, and so the handsome, charming Thomas accepts his mother’s plea to restore the family fortunes by marrying well. Two years later, Thomas has failed to find a suitable match and makes a deal with Lady Jane Capel, the half sister of his best friend, Percy Waters. Once an heiress, Jane was disowned by her parents when she moved in with Percy after being jilted by her former fiancé. Now she wants Thomas to take her to the places in London he goes with Percy—from brothels to alehouses—so that she might experience more of life. In exchange, she’ll help Thomas find a suitable wife. But neither bargained on the chemistry between them. As their friendship grows into a deeper attraction, Thomas must decide whether marrying for love is worth risking his family’s financial stability. Frampton’s progressive historical highlights the inequities regarding the expected behaviors of men and women in Victorian society while capturing the sizzling spark between the affable protagonists, and the sensual love scenes and enlightening adventures keep the pages turning. This is a charmer. Agent: Louise Fury, the Bent Agency. (Dec.)