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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.

Fenner Family Tree

“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

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Excerpted from Chapter 4
He took her arm and steered her into the library. The double oak doors shut behind her with a stealthy snap and it felt like another trap closing.

“I apologise if you think me high-handed.” His smile stole her breath, something that happened so rarely to her that for a moment Tess wondered if the tightness in her chest meant that she was ailing. The charm of handsome men generally left her utterly cold.

Rothbury leaned back against the library doors, arms crossed, broad shoulders resting against the panels, another barrier to her escape.

“I am at your service,” he murmured. “Whenever you are ready to acquaint me with this business proposition you have.”

Tess’s throat dried. “I wanted…”She groped for the words that had scattered like petals in the breeze. “That is, I thought…”

One dark brow rose quizzically as Rothbury surveyed her confusion.
“I came here-” Gracious, she had lost all her town bronze. This would never do.

“I came here to ask you to marry me,” she finished, with all the finesse of a tongue-tied schoolgirl. “In name only, that is. I wish for a marriage of convenience.”

Mortified, she stood pinned to the spot whilst a burning blush seemed to creep up from her toes to engulf her entire body. It was difficult to see how matters could have gone more painfully awry. She had wanted to be so cool, so composed. She had wanted to be herself, Teresa, Dowager Marchioness of Darent, poised and self-assured. Instead, this man had taken all her confidence and turned it inside out. She should have realised how he would affect her after their encounter earlier. She should have remembered the way in which he had made her nerves sing and her pulse trip. She should have had the sense not to come here with her ridiculous suggestion of marriage. She should have known not to engage in this dangerous game of using Rothbury for his name and his protection because any moment now he would call her bluff, accuse her of sedition and very like have her thrown in the Tower of London.

Rothbury was silent for a very long moment. Finally, when Tess was about to stammer an apology and climb out of the window in her desperation to escape, his shoulders came away from the door and he started to move towards her. Panic gripped her by the throat as he drew closer to her. There was something about his physical presence that was so powerful, so authoritative, that it made her supremely uncomfortable. She did not feel threatened by him in the same way that she had done by Brokeby with that terrible fear that had made her skin crawl. Rothbury, she knew instinctively, was not a man who would ever hurt a woman. Even so his physical proximity filled her with unease.

Rothbury took her chin in his hand and turned her face to the faint light that penetrated the room from the long windows. Tess tried to remain still beneath his touch although the impulse to break away from him was strong. No one touched her. Ever. She hated it. Her sisters Joanna and Merryn hugged her sometimes but she felt awkward even with them. She never allowed anyone physically close. Her skin prickled when she even thought of it. Now, with Rothbury actually touching her, she felt an urge to pull violently away.

Besides, on a more practical level, even pale late autumn light would show up the imperfections of her skin and she did not want Rothbury dwelling on her shortcomings before they were even betrothed.

“An extraordinary suggestion,” he murmured. “A marriage in name only. Why would you wish for that?” He allowed his hand to fall and Tess felt the relief swamp her, heady as wine, enough to turn her dizzy for a brief moment. Rothbury took a step away from her and then turned sharply back on his heel.

“It was not a rhetorical question,” he said.

Tess jumped. “Oh!” Her mind was a blank. Why had she not anticipated that Rothbury might ask that question – and a great many more difficult questions besides? She had hurried off to proposition him without laying the groundwork first. She should have realised that he was not the kind of man, like Darent before him, to accept such an arrangement without debate.

Rothbury was still watching her with one eyebrow raised in an odiously quizzical manner. And her mind was still blanker than a blank canvas.

“No doubt you will share your reasons with me before too long,” he said, still in the same gentle drawl.“Meanwhile, I have another question. This may seem impertinent, Lady Darent – vulgar even - but I have to ask it.” He smiled. “What exactly is in this for me?”


End of Excerpt


is available in the following formats:
Desired - US
North American Edition
UK Edition

April 2, 2013 · Harlequin · ISBN 13: 978-0373776672 · ISBN 10: 0373776675

Behind the Book


ForbiddenI 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!


Reviews for Forbidden
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.”

“fabulously seductive, wonderfully delicious”

4.25 stars

“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.”

4.5 stars

“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”

Romance and explosive lust!

“I found this story very interesting and entertaining.”

Beside myself with joy!

“Nicola's attention to detail in both historical accuracy and character development is sublime. She is a true master.”

I loved this book!

“Pretty high up on my best books this year”

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.”

4 stars!

“I really love the characters Nicola Cornick writes. Forbidden is a fun, sweet and even sexy historical romance.”

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.”