Laura Kinsale's first. A tremendous story.
Lady Tess Collier, had led a most uncommon life living in some of the world's most unique and wild places as she accompanied her explorer father, the Earl of Morrow, on his many expeditions. When her father, the Earl, lay dying, he made her promise to return to England and marry well. He appointed a good friend as trustee over her substantial inheritance and instructed him to enlist the aid of a young sea captain to both sail her home and once there to act as a friendly advisor to investigate and try to guide her in selecting an honorable husband.
Gryphon Meridon, was a man with a mysterious past who had lost much in his life when as young boy of 12 his loving family had been massacred in a brutal raid by pirates. The act of piracy had been engineered by a distant cousin who stood to inherit the title and wealth of the Marquess of Ashland - a title that rightfully belonged to Gryphon. Carrying an enormous amount of baggage Gryph had not allowed himself to feel love as he'd done some things as a blockade runner and privateer that he'd not been proud of but had served as a necessary means of survival. When he met Tess his heart was immediately engaged from the moment he saw her. Though placed in the position of keeping unworthy suitors from her door and knowing that no matter what he felt, he was the most unworthiest of all, Tess managed to wring a proposal from him. Treacherously betrayed by a vain and selfish woman who told her lies, Tess, somewhat insecure herself, accused Gryph who in shock over the death of a dear friend, could not defend himself. Tess, hurt and disillusioned, married the one man who Gryph had been trying to protect her from. Two souls, who truly were meant for one another would then be torn and tossed into a cruel world that only faith and a deep healing love would be able to save.
Magic and beauty flow from the pen of Laura Kinsale. She brings tears to your eyes, a smile to your lips, and lifts your heart with joy.
My bk is an older edition and has a different cover.