Christopher “Kit” Ellingsworth was given an Earldom for his bravery during the Napoleonic wars. It doesn’t really bring in any money, though, so Kit is pretty much penniless and mounting up debts living the life of a libertine upon his return to London, everything to forget his time in battle. Hence he is surprised when he is told his mentor wishes to leave him a substantial fortune…as long as he finds a wife within the next month. It doesn’t leave him very much time to find someone willing to marry him.
Tamsyn Pearce has been an orphan since she was in her early teens and while her aunt and uncle seem to care very little about the lives and fates of the residents of the little Cornish village of Newcombe, Tamsyn feels differently. For the last eight years, she and the villagers have run a successful smuggling operation, making sure the taxes could get paid and everyone would be able to feed themselves and their children. She’s in London to find a buyer for her latest shipment of illicit goods, and if she could find a wealthy husband who won’t ask too many questions as well, that would solve a lot of her problems. Her uncle wants to sell the family manor, Tamsyn’s childhood home, and she needs enough funds to purchase it herself.
Kit and Tamsyn meet at a ball when he has a week left before the stated deadline. There’s an instant spark between them and both need to find a spouse in a hurry, so they agree to marry. It’s only after she is wed that Tamsyn discovers that her ex-soldier husband doesn’t look kindly on law-breakers. Can she keep her handsome new husband from discovering what she and the villagers have been doing for the last eight years? Kit, on the other hand, discovers after signing all the legal paperwork, that he does have access to a substantial fortune, but his lovely new wife is the one who will be holding the purse strings. Kit wants to use the money to build a pleasure garden to help him forget about the horrors of war. Can he persuade his wife to surrender the funds?
Full review on my blog.