During the Regency era, it was imperative for a young woman of good family to marry well. Not only did her choice of husband dictate her station in life, it provided the lady’s family with access to her spouse’s circle of friends and political influence. Giving away a daughter was less about her happiness and more about increasing the family’s sphere of wealth and power. To ensure the best suitor stepped forward, the girl’s father offered a dowry to her future husband.
A dowry was supposed to provide for the young lady’s future. In practice, a married woman was a legal non-entity and unable to control her own wealth. The dowry could be used by her husband to shore up his own estate, so long as he granted her “pin money.”
It was easy to see what a man’s worth might be. His titles, lands, and fine horses were all plainly evident. A debutante could handily identify which eligible bachelor she ought to “set her cap for.”
It was less easy for a gentleman to know which debutante might bring the most into the familial coffers. Even if she had sisters who had already married, her father was under no obligation to provide the same amount for each daughter.
Perhaps that’s why, for a brief season, there was a dog-eared pamphlet being circulated at White’s. It listed all the available ladies of quality, their place of residence, and the size of their dowries down to the last pound. When I discovered that such a scandalous little tome had actually existed, I had to use it as the basis for Lord Bredon and the Bachelor’s Bible.
As the story begins, Edward Lovell is no longer Lord Bredon. His father died, and Edward is now Lord Chatham. The weight of the estate is a heavy load, and the family fortune is listing toward ruin. Marrying well is his best chance at righting the Chatham ship.
Thanks to the Bachelor’s Bible, Edward has identified the well-dowered debutante he needs to make his countess. But will it be enough to make him give up the woman he wants?
With the dowries of all the season’s debutantes exposed in its scandalous pages, the Bachelor’s Bible is a handy tool for an earl in need of an heiress …
Edward Lovell, newly minted earl, bears a weighty responsibility: to restore his family’s estate to its former grandeur. The task requires not simply a wife but a wealthy one. Thanks to the Bachelor’s Bible, he already has a particular lady in mind. He has only to convince her sponsor that he will make a suitable husband. There’s just one complication: The sponsor is none other than the only woman he’s ever loved—and inexplicably lost. Now a young widow, Lady Anne Howard is more beautiful than ever.
Anne is not about to be taken for a fool a second time. When they last met, Edward was Lord Bredon, the man she adored—the man who destroyed her dreams of a happy future. Now he is pursuing the hand of the young lady Anne must keep safe from unscrupulous suitors. But who will protect Anne from the earl who still possesses her heart?
About the Author
Mia Marlowe learned much of what she knows about storytelling from singing. A classically trained soprano, Mia won the District Metropolitan Opera Auditions after graduating summa cum laude from the University of Northern Iowa. She adores history, art, travel, and new experiences. She and her family have lived in nine different states and four time zones, but she now calls New England home. Learn more about Mia at MiaMarlowe.com or on the social media platforms below.