Review of CANCELED COURTSHIP by Gloria Gay
Infinity Publishing, January 2003
When she arrives in London for her season, one of the first things Cecilia Sentenell sees is Justin, Earl of Arandale flaunting his mistress in public. Regency England is a hotbed of debauchery and men behaving badly, but Cecilia wants better for herself. She would rather have no husband than a husband who would keep mistresses, gamble, and party with the depraved Lords of the ton. When Arandale inexplicably decides to make Cecilia as his wife, it doesn't take her a minute to let him know that she'll decline that honor. Only, once she's done that, and Arandale turns on his famous charm, she wonders whether she's acted too quickly in cancelling his courtship.
Alex Shackel, her father's heir, has plans of his own for Cecilia--plans that have no place for Arandale and that result in his acquiring all of Cecilia's estate. With the help of his ally, Lady Rolande, Shackel intends to ensure that the courtship stays canceled, and that Cecilia is ruined and forced to turn to--himself. With Cecilia's father gravely ill, Cecilia finds herself wishing that she had Arandale as an friend rather than a jilted swain.
Author Gloria Gay delivers a charming tale of growing love in the romantic but dangerous era of regency England. Cecilia, in particular, is a sympathetic character, humanized by the love she has for her father despite her quick judgements of others. Shackel is an appropriately slimy villain, mistreating both Cecilia and his mistress.
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