THE MARRYING SEASON – Candace Camp
Legends of St. Dwynwen , Book 3
London – 19th Century
Genevieve Stafford watches her brother, Alec, the Earl of Rawdon, dance with his new bride, Damaris, while standing next to her grandmother the Dowager Countess of Rawdon. Alec's marriage was quick, which her grandmother disapproves because people will talk. Her grandmother talks of how sensible Genevieve is because she doesn't think Genevieve would commit such nonsense as marrying for love. Her brother's good friend, Sir Myles Thorwood, draws Genevieve's attention. Elora, the recent widow of the Earl of Dursbury, flirts with Myles. Afterward he asks Genevieve to dance. She loves dancing although she and Sir Myles have always sparred verbally. Neither has changed. She then helps Damaris prepare for her wedding trip, where she learns about the statue of Saint Dwynwen in the church. Locals claim the Welch shrine leads a person to his or her true love. Genevieve scoffs, but later is before the shrine when she suddenly runs into the Earl of Dursbury.
After her engagement, however, Dursbury publicly repudiates her when he finds Genevieve in the library with another man at a ton gathering. That she was lured there and then attacked means nothing to him. Sir Myles, who in a gallant gesture insists Genevieve must marry him, helps ease the public scandal.
Misunderstanding plagues the hero and heroine in THE MARRYING SEASON. It doesn't help that someone seems determined to besmirch Genevieve's reputation. Readers will discover a man of strong character beneath Myles's flirtatious manner. Genevieve discovers love, but thinks Myles sacrificed himself to marry her for her brother's sake and doesn't believe he loves her. The cross purposes of the two are enjoyable entertainment, but the mystery behind Genevieve's slanderer and the resolution adds a sense of justice and a measure of the heroine's growth. This is fun reading. Alec and Damaris from A WINTER SCANDAL, and Gabriel and Thea from A SUMMER SEDUCTION all play important roles in this story, but THE MARRYING SEASON stands alone.