She would not marry that penniless mushroom of a cousin -- or any other man, for that matter!
Lady Elizabeth Keaton intends to avoid a horrible match by convincing her odious cousin, Julian, that she is a poor choice. She simply has to behave like a typical Keaton -- outrageously.
But Betsy's mischievous antics and the spark in her violet eyes convinces the Duke of Braxton, Charles Earnshaw, that she has her mind set on his own dear brother Teddy.
For his part, clever Teddy realizes immediately that Betsy, with her keen wit and resolve, is equal to Charles at his most formidable.
That is, if they can stop bickering long enough to fall in love.
A SEQUEL TO CAPTAIN RAKEHELL
"A merry Regency romp. -- Affaire de Coeur
"Five-Star humor." -- All About Romance
"Don't you dare move!"
The thunder in Charles' voice -- and the groan of agony that followed -- turned Betsy in her tracks as she wheeled away to find and fetch Teddy. Charles was gritting his teeth and clutching his head again. What little Betsy could see of his face between his fingers was a frightening chalky gray. Her tender heart overcame her sense and she ran to him, falling on her knees at his side.
"You should not shout," Betsy said, pushing her hands on Charles' shoulders and trying to make him lie down on the colorful autumn leaves that had somewhat cushioned his fall. "It will only make the blood pound in your head."
"No, lady. You make my blood pound." Charles let go of his head and caught her arms, his gaze and his grip over warm.
With fever rather than ardor, Betsy was certain. His eyes were glassy with it, his throat flushed.
"'Not fire nor stars'," he said to her, "'have stronger bolts than those of Aphrodite'."
"I am not Aphrodite! Anymore than you are Euripides!"
"Well, of course I'm not." Charles struggled indignantly up on his hands. "I was merely trying to be romantic."
"I think it more likely, Your Grace, that your brain is so scrambled from you fall you don't even know who I am."
"My brain is not scrambled!" He shouted, winced, and sucked a breath through clenched teeth. "Pray tell me why you keep insisting otherwise. Softly, I beg you, lest I disgrace myself on your slippers."
"It was so with my father," Betsy said, sotto voce, as she settled beside Charles on the leaf-strewn grass. "He, too, suffered a blow on the head and breathed his last believing I was my mother."
"God in heaven." Charles swept a hand over his eyes, then fixed the soberest gaze he could muster on Betsy. It was difficult, for her features kept blurring. "I've had a nasty crack on the noggin, I'll grant you, but even so I can assure you -- most fervently, my lady -- that it would be impossible to mistake you for anyone else."
"Prove it, then. Who am I?"
"Clearly," Charles replied, leaning wearily back on his hands, "you are my downfall."