A Simple Lady
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Winner, 2016 Maggie Award of Excellence, Historical Category
When her parents, the Earl and Countess of Ravingate, inform Elizabeth that her father has made arrangements for her to marry the embittered Marquess of Kenrick, she knows she must try to explain to the marquess that she is not the person her father has portrayed her to be. In other words, she is not simpleminded. But unforeseen events not only prevent her from enlightening the marquess but also conspire to convince him that she is, indeed, a simpleton.
Following a horrendous betrayal by his late wife, the Marquess of Kenrick has vowed never to wed again. And he would not have done so had his father not reached back from the grave to force his hand. Facing a deadline not of his choosing, he agrees to marry and provide for the Earl of Ravingate’s simpleminded daughter after being assured that she will never make any demands on his time.
To Kenrick’s disgust, his new wife turns out to be anything but a simpleton, leaving him with no alternative but to assume she’s a liar and a manipulator. Furious, he installs her in a small cottage in the country and tells her he never wants to see her again. To his chagrin, his mother has other ideas.
Forced to spend time in each other’s company, Kenrick and Elizabeth discover a growing regard for each other. However, misadventures, misunderstandings, and the machinations of Kenrick’s cousin and heir presumptive threaten the tenuous trust that has been building between them. Can their fledging love survive when each is asked to believe the very worst about the other?