Lady Sarah Milton’s spinsterhood is not because she hasn’t received proposals of marriage. Her beauty and dowry have attracted many. It’s just that the men who have proposed don’t appeal to her. One man who does, the sport-mad Alfred Wickham, doesn’t know she exists. Therefore, when his mother invites her family to spend Yuletide with her extended family at the home of the Duke and Duchess of Radcliff, Lady Sarah jumps at the chance.
Alfred Wickham is not happy. His matchmaking mother fancies an alliance between him and some well-bred young miss he’s to meet at the Radcliffs’. The last thing Alfred wants is to tie himself down in matrimony–and, besides, he’s never been attracted to well-bred ladies. He’ll show them! He enlists his best friend, Lord Pottinger, to intervene. Potts is to inform the miss of Alfred’s wicked ways: his gaming, his recklessness, and his (feigned) understanding with an actress. Once Potts has succeeded in poisoning Lady Sarah against his friend, Alfred realizes he’s made a most dreadful mistake . . .
For many, Christmas is a joyous time of year spent with friends, family, and acquaintances. It is a time to reflect on the year, to embrace the coming year, and most importantly, to take stock of the blessings in your life. Unfortunately, for Lady Sarah Milton and Alfred Wickham, not much of the above applies.
Lady Sarah is just on the cusp of becoming a spinster! She is beautiful, titled, wealthy, and above reproach. Since her debut into London society, she has had many offers for her hand in marriage, but each and every one, she has politely declined. For Sarah, there is only one man, whose attention she’s never had, who could possibly make her say “yes” to a proposal.
Alfred Wickham is perfectly satisfied with his life. Oh, he may be in debt thanks to his bad betting capabilities, but his parents have always cleared the debts and allowed him to move along with his life and continue his cycle of debauchery. For many years, this has been Alfred’s life and he is wonderfully content with the status quo. Unfortunately, Alfred’s parents are no longer feeling quite so amenable; in fact, Alfred’s parents are ready for him to curb his appetites and settle down. If Alfred’s mother has her way (and she most assuredly will!) Alfred is going to meet, fall for, and propose to Lady Sarah Milton during their shared Christmas celebration.
Within hours of their arrival at their Christmas destination, Lady Sarah and Alfred both draw their battle lines. Alfred does so in the form of his best friend and Sarah with her icy attitude. Alfred has arranged for his best friend to speak ill of him to Lady Sarah so she will want no part of him or matrimony. While the plan seems to work, at least initially, Alfred shows his true colors in his actions and kind treatment of his sister and mother. Lady Sarah, not one to be easily fooled begins to work out the problems in her head and discovers, one should never judge a book by its cover or by its best friend’s ill spoken words.
The Bottom Line: Lord, have mercy! What a wild ride His Lady Deceived turned out to be! From meddling mothers to false character testimonies to a blessed but difficult birth, this book has it all. What’s more, this book is populated with wonderfully rich characters, excellent dialogue, witty exchanges, and a well-deserved HEA. I am always going to recommend Cheryl Bolen and her historical romances. Her books are always beautifully written, populated with interesting and real characters, and based upon plots that are just perfect for the time and place. Oh, and she ALWAYS gives me a strong female lead who isn’t afraid to speak her mind, reveal her intelligence, yet still remain a proper lady 😊