Never Fall for Your Fiancée by Virginia Heath
There is nothing the Dowager Countess of Fareham would like more than to see her son, the current earl, happily married.
Hugh hates to disappoint her, but he knows he would make any woman a terrible husband. It’s far better for everyone that he stay single. Fortunately, his mother lives thousands of miles away in America, so Hugh can placate her by writing many letters about Minerva, the beautiful and accomplished woman he has fallen in love with and intends to marry – someday.
Minerva is completely fictional, of course, but Hugh manages to keep up the act for two years – right until his mother announces that she has booked passage home so she can finally meet his lovely fiancée and arrange their wedding.
When Hugh bumps into Miss Minerva Merriwell, he figures she may be the solution to his problem. He offers her an astronomical amount of money in exchange for a few short weeks of pretending to be his fiancée. Minerva has been the breadwinner for her sisters ever since their wastrel of a father abandoned them years ago. Hugh’s money is hard to say no to. So, she swallows her pride and goes along with the charade. Complications ensue, but it doesn’t take long for Hugh and Minerva to realize that their fake engagement could lead to real love.
This lighthearted historical romance is perfect for fans of Julia Quinn waiting on the next season of Bridgerton.
Reviewed by Lynn Heitkamp