The Rules of Engagement by Jillian Leigh - Romance>Historical RegencyLong ago, Hugh Trevalyn invented a fiancée to fend off marriage-minded females. Now he must procure the perfect girl to play the part.
Who better than Amelia Grant, his oldest and dearest friend? She alone might understand—and forgive—his moment of madness upon beholding the beautiful Lucy Meriwether, a moment that resulted in Hugh’s first real proposal of marriage and Lucy’s vow to meet his ex-fiancée in the flesh. However, as one proposed conversation snowballs into an elaborate charade involving Hugh’s rakish cousin, scandal, and inappropriate kisses, as Hugh risks Amelia’s friendship to win Lucy’s hand, a wise reader has to wonder: What exactly are the rules of engagement? And, after the battle, whose heart will be won?
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Excerpt:Hugh Trevalyn liked to think that he was a scoundrel, not by nature or inclination, but through circumstance alone. If he had become the villain of his own play, it was not by choice. He had never made the decision to deliberately become a breaker of hearts. A liar. A deceiver of women. It had simply…come to pass.
The whole affair began innocently enough. As the youngest son of a wealthy and indulgent man, Hugh was let loose for the first time in London with deep pockets, few demands on his time, and appallingly limited parental expectations. In a town noted for its abundance of beautiful young women, it took no time at all to make the acquaintance of beauties prepared to allow him the sort of liberties that a male was particularly happy to take.
He learned after a very short time, though, that beauties did not allow liberty-taking without demanding recompense. And what they wanted, as it turned out, was his liberty—for the rest of his natural life.