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A Civil Contract

by Georgette Heyer
Goodreads rating:  3.84

Adam Deveril is one of the Duke of Wellington's captains, and a hero at Salamanca. When his father, a crony of Prince Regent, is killed in the hunting field, Adam becomes the 6th Viscount Lynton of Fontley Priory, Lincolnshire. But he returns from the Peninsular War to find his magnificent home in disrepair and his family on the brink of ruin, with the broad acres of his ancestral home mortgaged to the hilt. He is madly in love with the beautiful Julia Oversley but soon realises that the drastic measure of a marriage of convenience is the only answer. Enter Mr Jonathan Chawleigh, a City man of apparently unlimited wealth with no social ambitions for himself, but with his eyes firmly fixed on a suitable match for his one and only daughter, the quiet and decidedly plain Jenny Chawleigh. A marriage is arranged.

Adam chafes under Mr. Chawleigh's generosity, and Julia's jealous behavior upon hearing of the betrothal nearly brings them all into a scandal. But Adam didn't reckon with the Jenny nobody knew, or the unknown quality that lay hidden behind her demure and plain facade, who bring him comfort and eventually more....  

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