Book 6 in the Scandalous Women of the Ton series
After 20 years the Earl of Templemore has found his lost heir and the Ton is in uproar!
Margery Mallon is a lady's maid with ambitions to be a confectioner. The one thing that she does not want is to be Lady Marguerite of Templemore, the richest heiress in England. Henry, Lord Wardeaux, is the man who would have inherited Templemore had Lady Marguerite never been found. Now it is his duty to teach her all she needs to know about the estate.
Henry has too much pride and too much of a dark past to marry Margery simply to reclaim the inheritance he thought was his. But although she is forbidden to him, it seems that she is the one woman he cannot resist.
She heard Henry’s voice behind her and the echo of his boots on the floor. She did not turn. The last thing she wanted was to listen to Henry preaching her duty to her. It was no wonder that her mama had run away if she had had to bear so much interference in her life. Suddenly the idea of running off with a notorious scoundrel seemed positively appealing.
She picked up speed. So did Henry. She could hear him getting closer, his long stride eating up the distance between them. He caught her arm from behind and whirled her around. Margery caught her breath. His face was set and hard and he held her wrist tightly as though he thought she was about to run out on him.
“Your grandfather is doing this because he loves you,” Henry said. “He wants to protect you.”
“He is going about it quite the wrong way,” Margery said.
“He always does.” Henry dropped her arm. “That does not mean that he does not care for you.”
Margery rubbed her wrist where he had held her. She noticed with detached interest that she was shaking.
“I can allow that grandpapa may have honourable motives,” she said, “but what about you, Lord Wardeaux? Would you be my trustee so that you can regain control over Templemore? Is that what prompted you to agree to his plans?”
She saw Henry go very still. “I accepted Lord Templemore’s charge out of duty, Lady Marguerite,” he said very quietly. “Don’t ever insult me like that again. If you do I promise I shall not be a gentleman about it.”
Margery’s anger was acting on her like wine. She felt dizzy, out of control, drunk with frustration and fury. All the feelings she had repressed in her grandfather’s presence came bubbling up and there was no stopping them.
“I do not see that my suspicions are so misplaced,” she said. “I know that you must resent my coming here and taking Templemore from you!”
“That,” Henry said, “is not true. I never resented you.”
“You must have done,” Margery said. “It would be unnatural not to. Why do you never speak of how you feel?”
Henry made a sharp movement and she flinched. “Because it makes no difference how I feel,” he said. His voice was still level, betraying nothing. “Templemore is yours now,” Henry said. “Nothing changes that. How I feel does not matter. My role is to fulfil your grandfather’s commission and protect his heir. You.”
“It seems to me that asking you to be my guardian would be like setting a fox to protect the chickens!” Margery burst out.
She knew she had gone too far as soon as the words were out. She had seldom been able to guard her tongue, least of all when she was angry or upset. And so those rash words had slipped out, and as soon as she had spoken them she had wanted to bite them back because she did not mean them for one moment. But it was too late. The atmosphere in the hall had changed. It had cooled, hardened. They were on the edge of something dangerous and one small step would push them over. She felt frightened. She wanted to run.
“What do you mean by that?” Henry asked very softly.
“Nothing!” Margery said. She could feel her heart beating a suffocating pulse in her throat.
“You implied that you are not safe with me, that I might be a danger to you because I want Templemore back,” Henry said.
Margery could not look away from the compelling darkness in his eyes.
“I’m sorry-” She started to say, but he shook his head. He put a hand about her waist and pulled her hard against his body. His frame was taut with fury and his eyes blazed.
“That,” he said, “is not the danger that you are in from me.”
All the emotion that had burned between them since he had walked into her life seemed to blaze into vivid being. Margery could feel the elemental anger in him, all the more frightening because it was held under such absolute control. For one long, heart-stopping moment he looked down into her eyes. Then he started to lower his head.
“Don’t you dare-” Margery began. Her heart was beating so violently against her bodice that she could feel the batter if it through her entire body.
“I do,” Henry said. “I do dare.”
End of Excerpt. Like It? Order It!
I love fairy stories and there is a large element of the Cinderella story in Forbidden. Margery Mallon is a maidservant who has featured in many of the other Scandalous Women of the Ton books as a loyal friend, but this time I thought it was Margery's turn to be the heroine and to find her very own Prince Charming.
Margery is transformed into the richest heiress in the Ton when it turns out that she is the long lost granddaughter of the Earl of Templemore. But as in many fairy stories there is a price to pay for her good fortune. In becoming Cinderella, Margery takes from her Prince Charming everything that he possesses, his fortune and his future…
Of course shoes form a critical part of Cinderella's story and it was a huge pleasure to research historical shoes down the ages in order to come up with the perfect pair for Margery's come out ball. I decided that these golden slippers were so beautiful I would like to wear them myself. I also gave Margery her own fairytale castle, or the Regency version of one, the beautiful Buscot House!
top pick 4.5 stars
“A masterful conclusion to this series. If there's one book you should read to help you forget all the back to school stuff this one's it.”
— The Season of Romance • Read the full review
fabulously seductive, wonderfully delicious
— Romance Crush Junkies • Read the full review
“I have really enjoyed all the novels in this series and this last one did not disappoint. Ms Cornick once again displays a find sense of the whole as she brings many different strands together to form a complete literary tapestry. She is a very, very good writer, and those who really like historical romance fiction will, no doubt, enjoy this latest work.”
— Book Binge • Read the full review
“Not only has Nicola Cornick's Scandalous Ladies Of the Ton series earned a coveted place on my crowded to be read again book shelf, I have now an affection for more historical Romances. If you love a well told , historical sexy romance with a brooding, sexy Lord and a caring adventurous heroine, this book is for you”
— Page Flipperz • Read the full review
Romance and explosive lust!
“I found this story very interesting and entertaining.”
— Sunset Reader Reviews • Read the full review
Beside myself with joy!
“Nicola's attention to detail in both historical accuracy and character development is sublime. She is a true master.”
— Christy English • Read the full review
I loved this book!
“Pretty high up on my best books this year”
— Readaholic Blog • Read the full review
Nicola Cornick is a master at the Regency romance
“I was so excited when I realized Forbidden was part of the Scandalous Woman of the Ton series. I've read them all and loved every single one. They make up my favourite Regency romances.
Forbidden is an excellent conclusion to the Scandalous Women of the Ton series. It promises lovable characters, intrigue, and, of course, scandal. If you enjoy Regency romances, I highly recommend this series.”
— Owl Tell You About It • Read the full review
“I really love the characters Nicola Cornick writes. Forbidden is a fun, sweet and even sexy historical romance.”
— Elizabeth Brown
I hope to hear more from Nicola Cornick
“The author brought back all the 'scandalous' ladies of the ton, united they are a force to be reckoned with. I love the 'Charlie's Angel's' part, it was perfect!
I also loved all the beautiful covers, the gowns were gorgeous. Bravo to a wonderful ending to a just as wonderful series.”
— Forever Book Lover • Read the full review