The eighth book in M.C. Beaton's charming Regency Flame series.
Lady Lucinda Esmond's swine of a father was forever fleecing young bucks in London's gaming halls - until he met Captain Mark Chamfrey who, having been once cheated, would not be made a fool of again and promptly kidnapped ten-year-old Lucinda for ransom!
But, when Chamfrey thought better of it and returned the girl, Esmond nonetheless exacted his own price: Chamfrey could redeem himself and save his skin by marrying his little victim nine years hence, just time enough for Chamfrey to inherit a title and fortune.
Lucinda's father could not have foreseen what a beauty Lucinda would become, nor that Chamfrey, a newly made Marquess, would actually welcome the fulfillment of what was supposed to be his punishment!
Searching for lighter romances set in the English countryside? Look no farther than the Regency Flame Series, which features mistaken identities, botched marriages, witty heroines, and the courtship of prime Corinthians.
M.C. Beaton (1936-2019) was the author of both the Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth series, as well as numerous Regency romances. Her books have been translated into seventeen languages and have sold more than twenty-one million copies worldwide. She is consistently the most borrowed UK adult author in British libraries, and her Agatha Raisin books have been turned into a TV series on Sky.