He’ll do anything to be her heart’s delight—except tell the truth.
Gabriella d’Adventure is on a mission. She has come to England as a lady’s maid in pursuit of the Duke of Rother. When she meets Horace Carpenter, valet to a marquess, she is delighted to enlist his aid in gaining her heart’s desire: a meeting with the duke. But will her growing feelings for the handsome valet interfere with her plans for the duke?
The eccentric Marquess of Halford, Hal to his friends, is tired of the demands of Society, especially his father’s decree that he marry this Season. When a breathtaking young woman intrudes on his solitude, he is captivated and introduces himself as his valet in hopes of learning more about her. Despite his fear about the true motive behind Gabriella’s quest to meet the Duke of Rother, Hal agrees to help her gain an audience with him, all the while praying his deception won’t ruin his chances of winning her love.
- What is your name? Jonathan George Horatio Arturus, the Marquess of Halford Do you have a nickname? My friends call me Hal, which I much prefer.
- Who is your best friend? At the moment my best friend is my distant cousin, Lady Celinda Graham What kinds of things do you do when you’re together? We dance, we talk, and we plot how to get me what I want: a wife
- If you have a family, how do you get along with them? I have a father who I rub along with tolerably well. I’d be getting along better with him if he hadn’t decreed that I marry this Season. Twenty-eight is a trifle young for a leg-shackle, but Father is adamant. If you don’t, are there people in your life that you consider family? How do you get along with them?
- Do you have a birthmark? Scars? Where is it/are they? How did you get it/them? What an odd thing to ask. But no, I have neither. Should I acquire some, do you think?
- When you’re angry, what do you do? Where do you go? How do you deal with your anger? I don’t get angry very often. When I do, I have a nasty temper and people tend to remove themselves from my presence post haste. I have been known to throw people out doors when they annoy me severely.
- If you had to make me a meal right now, without going to the store, what would you find in your refrigerator to feed us? I would not make you a meal. I have servants for that. They can be very resourceful if there’s a last minute request. What would you like?
- What’s the one thing you’re afraid of losing? My independence, which is why I’m currently looking for a wife. My father has decreed that I marry, or he’ll cut me off without a penny until I come in to my inheritance. As he’s hale and hearty as a horse, I’m searching for a woman who I think I can get along with.
- What makes you laugh out loud? The shallow constraints that Society puts on the men and women in it. Why they think one set of rules—very narrow rules at that—fit everyone, I simply cannot fathom. I try to thwart them whenever I can.
- Has anyone broken your heart? Who was s/he? No one has managed to touch my heart yet, so I think there’s no chance of that at the moment.
- What’s the one thing you want out of life that you don’t think you can have? Why can’t you have it? I’m sorry to say that I don’t think I can have true happiness in marriage because I’ve got to hurry up the process to placate my father. How one is to find the perfect woman in three months, when one hates to move about in Society, makes me think that I will need to marry from necessity rather than love. A pity, as I see many of my friends doing just that—marrying for love.
Jenna Jaxon is a best-selling, multi-published author of historical romance in periods ranging from medieval to Victorian. She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and two rambunctious cats, Marmalade and Suger. When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director. She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.
Jenna is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and is very active in Chesapeake Romance Writers, her local chapter of RWA.
She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.