When hardened gamester Marcus Revington wins Horngate Manor in a card game, he's delighted to finally own property, and undeterred when he learns he must marry the heiress of the estate to claim it.
The heiress, Penny Montgomery, is happy with her life raising horses at Horngate and has no desire to wed anyone. When she discovers what her guardian has done, she comes up with a scheme to convince Marcus she's unsuitable as a wife so he'll give up his plan to marry her.
Who will win in this battle of wits and wills? Or will they both discover the name of the game is love?
She halted the stallion and, before either of them could assist her, leapt down and faced them. The woman wore soiled men’s clothing, and her brown hair hung down in messy wisps around her face. “So, which one of you is the London bloke I’m supposed to wed?”
James gestured to Marcus. “This is Mr. Revington. I’m James Ludingham, his solicitor.”
The woman extended a grimy hand to Marcus. “Pleased to meet you.”
Marcus stared. “You’re Miss Montgomery?”
“Yes, but you can call me Penny, everyone does. The house is there, see.” She pointed. “Mrs. Foxworthy will offer you something if you knock. I really can’t be bothered with playing hostess. I’ve got to get back to the stables. We’re gelding the colts today, and they need me to do the cauterizing. Good meeting you though, Mr. Revington, Mr. Ludingham.” She turned and mounted the stallion, then cantered back down the lane.
“Hmmm,” James said. “What were you saying about marrying the woman sight unseen?”
Marcus swallowed. “I’ll allow she is a bit eccentric, but that hardly matters. It’s really quite simple. She’ll go her way, and I’ll go mine.” His words belied the uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach. Gads! The chit was an utter hoyden. He’d encountered Covent Garden orange girls who had more polish than Miss Montgomery. But at least she wasn’t unattractive. Despite the dirt and her disheveled hair, she had huge blue eyes and pert, pretty features, and the masculine clothing only served to emphasize her leggy but clearly feminine form.
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