An oldie but goodie from Joan Wolf. Recommend it for an entertaining read.
Joan Wolf's wonderful talents for character development are highlighted here. I really miss her writing which was spare and elegant and deviod of purple prose.
The story begins with the hero Mark Cheney marrying a beautiful young debutante then moves to the heroine Laura Dalwood marrying a handsome landowner. Both marriages are abyssmal failures until Mark and Laura are mercifully widowed. In steps Mark's aunt and Laura's godmother Lady Maria who first manages to make Laura the surrogate mother for Mark's orphaned son, then later suggests that for the boy's sake it would be best if Mark simply married Laura. Needless to say--given their pasts--neither Mark or Laura are eager for marriage, but once they agree they find themselves surprisingly well suited.
Despite their happiness, rumors abound that Mark was responsible for his first wife's death and so when soon after their marriage Laura begins having suspicious accidents, society begins to gossip that he is trying to rid himself of his second wife as well.
1983 signet regency romance by popular writer joan wolf
Very good traditional Regency, with a bit of a Gothic flavor to it.