series, the quaint village in Gloucestershire is where the wayward
sons and daughters of Great Britain’s finest families come for some
R&R—and good old-fashioned “rehab.” But sometimes they find
expected to see Sarah Marchmain enter through its doors. But after
the legendary Lady’s eleventh-hour rejection of the man she was
slated to marry, she was sent here to restore her reputation . . .
and change her mind. It amused Sadie that her father, a duke, would
use the last of his funds to lock her up in this fancy facility—she
couldn’t be happier to be away from her loathsome family and have
some time to herself. The last thing she needs is more romantic
Sykes is all too familiar with the spoiled, socialite residents of
the Puddling Rehabilitation Foundation—no matter how real their
problems may be. But all that changes when he encounters Sadie, a
brave and brazen beauty who wants nothing more than to escape the
life that’s been prescribed for her. If only Tristan could find a
way to convince the Puddling powers-that-be that Sadie is unfit for
release, he’d have a chance to explore the intense attraction that
simmers between them—and prove himself fit to make her his bride…
Sadie was used to being looked at. For one thing, she was hard to miss.
At nearly six feet, she towered over most men. Her flaming hair was
another beacon, her skin pearlescent, her ample bosom startling on such
a slender frame.
She had been chased by men mercilessly, even after she had made it
crystal clear she had no interest. These past years had tested her wits and
firmed her resolve. She was mistress of her own heart, body, and mind,
and determined to remain so.
Mr. Sykes probably knew that—apparently everyone in Puddling had
received a dossier on her. She’d come across a grease-stained one at the
bakeshop under a tray of Bakewell tarts, and had tucked it into her pocket
for quiet perusal, along with one delicious raspberry pastry. Theft was
apparently in her blood.
It had been most informative. The dossier, not the tart. Sadie had been
gleeful reading an account of her past recalcitrance. She rather admired
the clever ways she’d gone about subverting her father’s plans for her—
she’d forgotten half of them.
It had meant, however, that she had to exercise creativity in Puddling
and not repeat her previous pranks. No sheep in the dining room. No
bladder filled with beet juice tossed out the window. No punching
fiancés or fathers.
There was only the one father, but Sadie had endured several fiancés.
The latest, Lord Roderick Charlton, was getting impatient. He’d given her
father quite a lot of money to secure her hand. To be fair, he’d tried to woo
Sadie with credible effort.
There wasn’t anything really wrong with Roderick, she supposed. But
there wasn’t anything right about him either.
If Sadie could just resist the pressure to marry, she’d come into a
substantial fortune when she turned twenty-five. She wouldn’t have to
turn it over to some man, and her father wouldn’t be able to touch it. She
could live her life just as she liked. She might even buy herself a small
castle, if one could be found. One that wouldn’t fall down around her
ears. One that had working fireplaces and no rats.
However—and this was a huge however—the Duke of Islesford was
threatening to have her declared incompetent, seize her funds, and lock
her away in a most unpleasant private hospital. Sadie did not think it was
an idle threat, and to some, it might look as if she deserved to be there.
She was much too old now for the tricks she’d played, and four
years was a very, very long time to stall. Sadie was beginning to realize
she hadn’t done herself any favors with the pumpkins or the trousers
or the howling.
But she couldn’t succumb—she just couldn’t. No matter how many
times Mr. Fitzmartin, the elderly vicar, reminded her of a proper woman’s
place—as helper to her husband, silent in church, subordinate, obedient—
she felt her fingers close into a fist.
wanted to write until she woke up in the middle of the night once
really annoyed with her husband. Instead of smothering him with a
pillow, she decided to get up and write—to create the perfect
man—at least on a computer screen. Only to discover that fictional
males can be just as resistant to direction as her husband. The
upside is that she’s finally using her English degree and is still
married to her original, imperfect hero. Since she’s imperfect,
too, that makes them a perfect match. Until her midnight keyboarding,
she had been a teacher, librarian, newspaper reporter, administrative
assistant to two non-profits, community volunteer, and mother of four
in seven different states. Now Maggie can call herself a romance
writer in Maine. There’s nothing she likes better than writing
about people who make mistakes, but don’t let the mistakes make
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