The Widow's Wager by Claire Delacroix

She wed once for duty but will only wed again for love…

The widow's wager

For as long as she can remember, Eliza North’s heart has been in the possession of her older brother’s friend, Nicholas Emerson. But Nicholas has always been oblivious to Eliza, and when he bought a commission and sailed to war, she wed sensibly instead. Returned to her brother’s house a widow, she meets Lieutenant Emerson again and realizes neither of their feelings have changed. She accepts his request to chaperone his younger sister, Helena, hoping she might win his attention yet, with the assistance of the mysterious Mrs. Oliver and her guide for seduction.

Nicholas Emerson could never aspire to wed the daughter of a duke, especially one so pragmatic as Eliza has always been. That she married for the whimsy love makes him wonder how well he knew Eliza after all. She is still the only woman who captures his attention, but he knows his injuries mean he can never marry. Still, he cannot resist the chance to request Eliza’s assistance with Helena’s second season, and the chance to share her company.

Neither of them anticipate Helena’s wild behavior or their necessary alliance to defend her reputation. Entrusted with the manuscript of Mrs. Oliver’s advice on the seductive arts, Eliza puts its counsel to use, much to Nicholas’ delighted astonishment. How can he refuse the woman he loves, even knowing that he can never ensure her happiness? Caught between honor and love, Nicholas must accept his legacy from the war for this pair to have a future—is Eliza the woman who can heal his wounds forever?

Genre: FICTION / Romance / Regency

Secondary Genre: FICTION / Romance / Historical / Victorian

Language: English

Keywords: brother's best friend, scars, wounded hero, second chance romance, reunion, reluctant allies, friends to lovers

Word Count: 79.000

Sales info:

This is the third book in my current Regency romance series, and the books have to be read in order. Please do not offer for this book until the first two in the series have been translated.

Sample text:

Mrs. Eliza North was vexed.

She had told one lie in all her life and that single falsehood had returned to haunt her with vigor, precisely as she had been warned by her childhood governess. In fact, the untruth plagued Eliza in such inconvenient fashion that Mrs. Whittemore might well have ensured as much from beyond the grave, simply to prove herself right.

It was most annoying.

It had been precisely ten years since Nicholas Emerson—the love of Eliza’s life and closest friend of her older brother Damien—had bought a commission and left for Europe without a single word of farewell. It had been almost ten years—one day less, in fact—since she had accepted the persistent suit of Reverend Frederick North, a decision wrought of despair. It had also been ten-years-less-a-day since Eliza had lied to her father and insisted that she loved Frederick beyond all men, in order that her father would permit her to wed a country parson some twenty years older than herself.

It had seemed to be a solid choice at the time, when she had wanted nothing other than to be far beyond any place Captain Nicholas Emerson might ever show his handsome visage.

But now the war was over and Frederick was dead. Eliza had heard from Damien that Nicholas had returned finally to London, but it would have been vulgar to admit her comparative lack of feelings for Frederick at this point. She had been fond of him, to be sure, and his had been a comforting presence, but love? No. It was Nicholas who had always held Eliza’s heart captive, Nicholas who was utterly unaware of its burden and apparently oblivious to Eliza herself.

And now that Frederick was gone, Eliza’s lie stood barrier between herself and her desire.

Eliza did not doubt that Mrs. Whittemore was laughing at her, wherever that good lady had discovered her place in the hereafter to be.

Book translation status:

The book is available for translation into any language except those listed below:

Already translated. Translated by Letizia PIPERO and Alessandra Elisa Paganin
Already translated. Translated by Evelyn T M Martins
Already translated. Translated by Nieves Llorente

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