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Friday, May 15, 2020

BOOK CLUB FRIDAY--ROMANCE AUTHOR CATHLEEN ROSS ON ARRANGED MARRIAGES OF YESTERDAY AND TODAY

Multi-award-winning romance author, English teacher, and editor Cathleen Ross describes herself as a quirky writer living on Sydney Harbor who often gives psychic predictions to family and friends. Learn more about her and her books at her website

When I started my research for An Unsuitable Lady for a Lord, I read an excellent biography on Mary Wollstonecraft by Claire Tomalin and Mary’s own book, The Vindication of the Rights of Women. Although Mary Wollstonecraft passed away in 1797, both books helped me prepare for the mindset of being a woman in Regency times in 1811 in Scotland. Women had to toe the line in Regency times to be marriageable or risk being shunned socially. Arranged marriage was still the norm for wealthy aristocrats in order to keep property in the family.

Against this backdrop, I developed a heroine from an ancient Scottish line, whose father had passed away and who had enough money and independence to do what she wanted—an usual lady for the times. 

Lady Crystal Wilding is appalled by the lack of education for women in Scotland. Read between the lines here—I was appalled—most working class and lower middle class women couldn’t sign their own names on their marriage certificates, one of the most important days of their lives.

Lady Crystal sets about to change this, but she needs allies, which she finds in Lord Aaron Lyle, Marquis of Lomond. Aaron is in a difficult position, too. His father, the duke, is building the family seat and including every new innovation possible—something that will eventually bankrupt the family unless Aaron marries well.

I worked for an organization when I was younger and most of the adult students I interviewed were in arranged marriages. It’s hard to believe that this is still going on in modern times. Most of the women I interviewed said that they didn’t like their husbands, though it isn’t something that they would say publicly. Imagine that! Their comments have stayed with me, so it was easy to imagine the loathing that men and women must have felt when forced into marriage with someone they didn’t like in order to keep property in the family.

Something that is almost unimaginable today is that in Regency times, when a woman married, everything she had became the property of her husband. It seems to me that women had everything to lose and nothing to gain by marrying. This certainly is the attitude of Lady Crystal and it makes for an explosive, passionate book.

I hope you will enjoy reading An Unsuitable Lady for a Lord

An Unsuitable Lady for a Lord 
A Scottish Lords and Ladies Book

Lord Aaron Lyle has one hell of a choice: a bankrupt dukedom, or marriage to some simpering society miss so his spendthrift father can get his hands on her huge dowry. He won’t do it. He has a reputation to maintain, and besides, he’d rather run naked through the streets of London than marry anyone at all. Surely, there must be a third option.

Then Lady Crystal Wilding walks into his life, a bluestocking, full of subversive thoughts, who hates the notion of marriage even more than he does. He is intrigued...and suddenly he has an idea. He invites the totally unsuitable lady home on the pretext of presenting her as a possible match...but in truth, Aaron has something far more pleasurable in mind. For her part, Lady Crystal has her own reasons for going along with his harebrained scheme. 

Imagine their shock when his highly proper family loves her and starts planning the wedding. Good lord. Now what?

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