Behind a hideous cover, is a jewel of a story. And just when I paid way to much money for this out of print book on Ebay, I found out it is being re-issued! So if you see this book for sale, go for it!
A Frosty Maiden
Jack Faraday, the Marquis of Dansbury, is rich, titled, and handsome as sin. A scandalous rake who’s charmed a long string of ladies, he finally meets his match in Miss Lilith Benton. When the emerald-eyed, raven-haired beauty publicly snubs him, and Jack is furious and vows to exact revenge by melting the Ice Queen.
Intent on restoring her family’s good name, Lilith wants only to make a respectable marriage. So when the tempting but notorious Jack begins to woo her, she is determined to ignore him. Then their accidental involvement in a duke’s mysterious death forces Jack and Lilith to become conspirators to clear their names – and suddenly cold disdain gives way to hot desire. Now, just as Jack discovers an unexpected urge for respectability, London’s most proper miss is trying to remember just what’s wrong with stolen kisses and midnight escapades.
Six years ago, Lilith’s mother ran off with her lover, heaping scandal on her family. And Lilith’s father and aunt have haunted her every minute of her life to be respectable, not to show her bad blood, and that she has to make a respectable marriage to bring back the honor to her family. And she has tried very hart to please them, but nothing seems to work. She has agreed to let her father choose her husband out of the half dozen dull but respectable suitors she has. But his choice makes her reeling: he can’t be serious to marry her off to the old Duke of Wenford? The man gives her the creeps!
And why can’t the Marquis of Dansbury leave her alone? She doesn’t need a temptation. Her father will be furious with her when he finds out that Jack is pursuing her! And her brother William doesn’t help things when he falls in with Dansbury and his friends, and is taking gaming and drinking every night. He will sure fall into ruin when he keeps doing that. But Jack is determined to get her to acknowledge him, if only to keep her brother safe.
But when one morning he is planning to visit Lilith at home, when her family is of somewhere without her, the Duke of Wenford beats him to it, and tries to rape Lilith. But when she is desperately fighting for her virtue, the Duke falls down, dead as a doornail, on top of her. And at that moment Jack enters the room. After some misunderstandings, he agrees to help her get rid of the body, so she won’t be involved in a scandal. But as they say, no good deed goes unpunished. The new Duke is blaming Jack for murdering his uncle, and as he has a bad reputation already, everyone in the ton is believing that. And Lilith is blackmailed into marrying the new Duke, a man she is very afraid of, who repulses her, and who has the habit of striking his woman servants, and worse.
How can her father want her to marry a man like that? Of course he is a Duke now, and outward respectable, and she promised to obey her father. But she just can’t do it. And she won’t see Jack hanged for a crime he didn’t commit. She has to help him.
In the end, it all falls nicely together. Ofcourse there is a happy ending, but the way to get there is what makes a book a good one or not. And I loved this one. Lilith is a great personality. She tries to please both her father and her aunt after her mother has tarnished the family name, but then she realises, if her mother were happy, she wouldn’t have run of with an other man. And can she please her family while she herself will be miserable the rest of her life? When she no longer has to behave a proper young miss, her vibrant nature shines out of her. And Jack is hiding his true nature behind a wicked façade. Cause when he gets the chance to ruin her, or take advantage, he just can’t do it. The notorious rake just fell in love with the most proper miss in London. And together they are great. I love the witty bantering, and the passion between them.
As a secondary storyline, her brother and her best friend Penelope are very nice characters too. I am curious if I will meet them again in a book someday.