On the eve of his Grand Tour of the Continent, Charles shares an unexpected kiss with his childhood friend Lily. A year later Charles returns to England due to the death of his father. The old marquess controlled his son’s life and attempts to do so even in death. Charles must have an arranged marriage to his childhood friend or lose his fortune.
Lily grew up in a happy household and knows she loves her friend. Charles’s parents couldn’t stand the sight of each other and lived separate lives. He isn’t sure what married love is.
A journal of Charles’s travels may hold the answer to whether these friends live happily ever after or whether they made the biggest mistake of their lives.
Nearly twenty-five years ago John Winge let Emma slip through his fingers. Emma is now a widow, her two sons all grown up. Now a viscount, Lord John Albany needs to know if he used his handicapped sister as an excuse to never marry or because he couldn’t imagine a life with anyone other than Emma.
Lady Emma Upton’s loveless first marriage was merely a way to secure the children she desperately wanted. Now a widow, she can’t imagine a reason she would need a husband, let alone one in the form of Lord Albany, a notorious fortune-hunter.
The more times the kindly Albany and gruff Emma are thrown together by a match-making daughter-in-law, the more the two come to realize a love that is meant to be is timeless.
Lord Geoffrey, a botanist at Kew Gardens is recently returned from a plant hunting expedition that saw him discredit himself due to his inability to overcome seasickness. He desires to retire to a small house in Yorkshire and develop his hybrid roses. Normally a shy man, he attends the house party at Kilmeade Hall merely to please his sister-in-law. He is happy to discover the lovely young Miss Hastings, a woman who also enjoys the study of plants, at Kilmeade Hall.
Miss Grace Hastings, daughter of a well-known Kew Gardens benefactor, is only recently out of mourning for her mother. Her father accepts the invitation to Kilmeade Hall although he has only a passing acquaintance with the lord of the estate in Essex. Grace enjoys the country and is glad to leave the gray of London behind her. Her pleasure is increased when Lord Geoffrey, her favorite of her father’s colleagues, is also at the house party.
Will a baron who talks entirely too much, an opinionated lady’s maid and a fortune-hunting viscount help or hinder the path to true love? A deathbed wish has brought Grace and Geoffrey to Kilmeade Hall for the holidays. Now it is up to the magic of Christmas to bring two friends to the realization that their friendship has grown into so much more.