"A Perfect Scoundrel" by Heather Cullman Published January 2002.
This is Jane Wentworth and Lord Quentin's story.
Lord Quentin was in love with Clarissa Edwardes.
Shy Jane Wentworth, Clarissa's step sister, was in love with Lord Quintin so when her step sister was ill and couldn't attend the masquerade ball, Jane was talked into attending dressed in Clarissa's costume.
Quentin felt he had no chance in winning Clarissa's hand in marriage and complained to his friend Oxley. Oxley came up with an idea of Quentin compromising Clarissa at the masquerade ball before any of the other suitors had an opportunity to ask for her hand. Quentin acknowledged 'The idea has merit' Quentin is the second son, jealous of his brother and a spoiled aristocrat. He felt he was above everyone and everyone should do as he demanded so he of course thought Clarissa would be thrilled with this plan in the end with him being such a handsome fellow.
At the ball Quentin encouraged Jane out to the gardens and Jane feeling so overwhelmed with joy at his attentions went along with him. Their kiss was unexpectedly wonderful until Oxley showed up with the fellows he had brought to witness the compromise. After removing her mask Quentin realized that this was plan old shy on the shelf Jane and not his beautiful Clarissa at all!! Quentin was horrified and shouted he would never marry her.
The story really begins here. I thought the story was surprisingly quite good. I had never read anything from Heather Cullman before and I was interested in seeing what else she has written and I fully intend to explore her other books. Her last book was in 2004. Her books have been published again in 2015. Her books are still sold but I can find no details other then she lived in California with her husband.
I enthusiastically recommend "A Perfect Scoundrel" as one of your next reads. Happy Reading!
[from the back cover] Once there was a shy young woman with no offers for her hand...
Once there was a handsome rake who never gave her a second glance...
In the costume of her lovely cousin, the shy young woman attended a masked ball.
The handsome rake thought she was someone else. The shy young woman let him....