Coincidence or fate? Only destiny can bring lovers together...
When Maggies arrives at her husband's rooms, the birth of her baby is imminent. Fortunately a dark haired, unshaved man is able to assist her with the delivery of her son. The man reeks of alcohol and is quite disturbing, but she has no one else to turn to. She asks where her husband, Captain John Grayson has gone to, and is shocked when he replies that he is John Grayson. Maggie is devastated when she gradually comes to understand that she has been duped; she has no true husband and therefore no home for her baby. Maggie and her baby are sent home with Gray's cousin, Harry and his wife, Tess, to avoid a scandal. Gray gives Harry money to assist the woman and washes his hands of her. A military posting keeps him occupied for the next two years.
Harry and Tess had wrongly assumed that Maggie was Gray's wife and took her to the family home, Summerton Hall. Maggie knew what she dared to do was wrong. She had always intended to end the charade and find work as soon as the babe was older, but came to love Gray's family. Maggie felt needed and appreciated; her warmth and understanding ways lifted the spirits of Gray's father, the Earl, his widowed sister-in-law, Olivia and her son, Rodney. Suddenly, it appears that her future is again bleak. Gray has returned and he is furious, if only she can explain, maybe he will understand.
The Earl disowned Gray when he joined the military, yet this woman, who pretends to be his wife, is loved and accepted where Gray is not. She is still undeniably attractive and genteel, but he knows her to be false. Gray is not a fool; Maggie's positive affect on the smooth running of the household is obvious. He can see the benefits of making her his wife in all ways, but he intends that Maggie reveal her secrets before he will accept her.
The cruel trick played on Maggie years ago resurfaces to tear apart her new life, taking her away from the man and extended family that she has come to love. Maggie knows that Gray will never love her if she reveals all, but he is determined to drag it out of her.
The Improper Wife is a must-buy for Historical fans. The unique character introduction, in which the heroine gives birth, is only a small sample of Diane Perkins' very intricate plot. Readers will find that they are turning pages deep into the night, as they are made aware of a secret. This knowledge keeps a very strong undercurrent of tension running right until the final chapters. Maggie is a woman that this reader came to admire. She stuck to her principles and held her head high, not revealing her insecurities and deep devotion for Gray. She knows that she has wronged him and should not stay; yet it would break her heart to leave. In hindsight, Gray was attracted to Maggie from their first undignified meeting. He behaves as best as he can under their circumstances and is careful not to cause Maggie any more pain or embarrassment. His desire for her is acute, but he will never take advantage of her. Gray is aware that she wants to be with him. The sweet and sensual resolution is very natural, not forced and introduces a heart wrenching element of angst into the final chapters. This is a traditional love story that readers are sure to put with their favourites!
Diane Perkins has forthcoming regencies released under the author name of Diane Gaston. I am certain that once you have read The Improper Wife, you will also want to keep a watch for these.