This was book 13 in her Malloren Series.
Peregrine Perriam has been named heir to Perriam Manor, but he must marry a stranger or lose the property forever. That stranger is Claris Mallow, who after living with her parents, would prefer living a life of poverty over being married to anyone.
Peregrine (Perry) has a month to convince Claris that marrying him would make her life better. He has been told that this is the only way to end the family curse that Claris's aunt has put on the Perriam family.
He soon learns that it will not be an easy task when Claris pulls a gun upon him at their first meeting. Peregrine uses the advantages that he can give her twin brothers to persuade her to accept his marriage proposal. Claris agrees to the marriage on the condition that she is the one in charge of the property and that their marriage will be in name only. Perry agrees knowing that he will spend most of his time in London.
Claris soon learns that Perry must spend a month each year on the estate as a condition of the will. She wonders what other things he is not telling her and how he might try to control her life.
After spending time away from Peregrine and mingling with her new neighbors, Claris decides she wants a child. Perry isn't about to say no to his wife and quickly consummates the marriage. Of course he goes back to London and Claris starts to miss him and wonders if they can have a real marriage.
She decides to take her brothers to visit London as they need to broaden their horizons before heading off to school soon. It's also the perfect time to learn more about her family and how her aunt came to put a curse on the Perriam family.
As Perry and Claris seek out the truth, they become closer. Will Claris get the real marriage that she is hoping for? Can Perry live a life outside of London?
I've been a huge fan of Jo Beverley for years. I've read all the Malloren books and count them amongst some of my favorite. I think this book fell a little short. Claris is so against marriage for the first half of the book and then as soon as she and Perry consummate their marriage, she becomes a winey girl pining for her lover. I just don't buy the complete change in character.
It was nice to re-visit some of the previous characters. Unfortunately, it's been so long since I read any of the other Malloren books that it was hard to recall their stories when they were mentioned. Something would be said and I would get a smidgen of a recollection of their story. That is one reason I like to read series book all together. That is one draw back to reading an author that has a huge series like the Mallorens. I hope the next book Jo Beverley puts out is back up to her normal standard of writing!