SEDUCTION IN SILK – Jo Beverley
A Novel of the Malloren World
England – 1765
Peregrine (Perry) Perriam has been placed in an untenable position. As the youngest son of an earl, he has few chances of inheriting anything, but now Cousin Giles Perriam has made him his heir. It may sound incredible, but it is far from an easy decision for Perry. In order to take over Perriam Manor, Perry must marry Claris Mallow within the month. Giles believes his lack of surviving children is due to a curse that Claris's aunt put on the Perriam family, and if Perry doesn't follow the demands, his family will lose the property and be cursed forever. Perry, knowing how important Perriam Manor is to his father, reluctantly agrees just as Giles dies. He puts his work for the Crown on hold for a while as he travels to Surrey to meet his future bride.
Claris is perfectly happy living in little Lavender Cottage with her younger twin brothers; her father's mother, an eccentric woman Claris only met after the death of her father; and her grandmother's friend, Ellie. After living through her unhappy parents' icy marriage, the last thing Claris wants to do is to marry. She will survive on the pittance she lives on. So when Perry shows up with his outlandish story, Claris bluntly turns him down. But Perry is built of sturdier stuff and realizes quickly how to get through to her. He uses guilt. How will Claris's brothers get ahead in the world being educated in the tiny village? What chances did they have? Perry is offering a manor house, a dedicated income, and education. When Claris finally agrees, though, they both establish that it is a marriage in name only because she doesn't want it, and Perry abhors living in the country.
Unable to comprehend how her beloved Aunt Clarrie could have cursed the Perriams as she did, Claris, while not necessarily believing in curses, is determined to make a go of it as the head of the manor. With Perry in Town most of the time, and putting no demands on her, she sets out to restore the shabby estate and to find out more about her aunt's curse.
SEDUCTION IN SILK is part of the Malloren series, but it easily stands alone. Claris is a strong young woman, but despite her reluctance to marry, she rather admires her new husband. Perry is honorable, thoughtful, and dedicated to his work. He seems to enjoy being around the twins, and his kindness towards Claris is beginning to soften her.
SEDUCTION IN SILK is a very enjoyable tale with a unique premise and two delightful lead characters. Beautifully written, and with a wonderful, fulfilling ending, I highly recommend this excellent book.