An Unwilling Bride
An Unwilling Bride tells the story of Beth Armitage and Lucien de Vaux.
It opens in Feb 1815.
Lucien Philippe Louis de Vaux, Marquess of Arden, b 1789, 25
The marquess had his father's height - over six feet but with more muscle than the duke. Not a heavy man but broad in the shoulders and with the strong legs of a bruising rider. And of course he had his mother's looks in a masculine way - the fine lines of the bones and a curve on his mouth a girl would envy. He had the duchess's golden curls, too.
Parents, William, Duke of Belcraven, 50s
"His hair was dark brown and straight, a little thin now and dusted with gray; his features and build were even and without any remarkable point; his eyes were blue-gray."
Yolande de Ferrand, D of Belcraven, 52
Guy de St. Briac
Belcraven Park, seat for 300 years. Grounds by Repton.
"The carriage rolled along the smooth drive between ranks of perfect lime trees. In the meadows to either side, speckled deer raised their heads to watch them pass. She saw a lake with what appeared to be a Grecian temple in the middle. She heard the shriek of peacocks - those useless living ornaments of the rich.
Then the curve of the driveway presented Belcraven. Beth gaped. In the setting sun it was a mountain of golden stone decorated with carvings and crenelations and set with the glimmering jewels of hundreds of windows." 30 steps up.
Hall "Spiral marble pillars banded with gold marched ahead over a tiled floor which seemed to stretch to infinity. Marble busts and statues of classical type were set about the chamber, and the walls were hung with ancient banners and weapons. Forcing herself not to gape, Beth looked up over three tiers of ornate balustrades and realized the room went all the way to the roof where there was an octagonal skylight which let in the afternoon sun."
Gorsham, our Groom of the Chambers.
Belcraven House, London. Marlborough Square.
"about 20 fine mansions" UB
"large double-fronted house with the arms above the door"
Steps up to entrance.
ballroom "large room with gilded pillars and arched ceiling"
Beth Armitage 24 just, chestnut hair
mother, Mary Armitage
At Belcraven Park, maid Redcliffe
Son, Darius George, Lord Longridge, b 12th Jul 1816
Estate, Hartwell in Surrey. Cottage ornee.
Sister Joanne, b 1782, m Cuthbert Harby.
Maria, Lady Gravisten.
Blanche Hardcastle, silver hair, petite. Manchester native 29
An Unwilling Bride was first published in Feb 1992 by Zebra .
It won the RITA for Best Regency Romance at the 1993 RWA conference.
It may have been reprinted in Feb 1994  -- if you have a copy, please tell me.
It was reissued in Dec 2000  and Sep 2011 .
It is also available as an eBook from all the usual places... [The four covers I have are shown below]
More info on the book is available here: An Unwilling Bride