The Suitor by Mary Balogh, e-book novella
The Suitor
E-Book Novella

This e-novella was written at the request of my editor at Dell as a little something to precede the publication of The Arrangement, Book 2 of the Survivors' Club septet. There is a scene at the beginning of The Arrangement in which the hero, the young and blind Vincent, Viscount Darleigh, is confronted with a bride chosen by his family without his consent and invited to his home. He has nothing against Miss Dean, but he really does not want to marry her, and he tries to make her dislike him before fleeing ignominiously with his valet and proceeding onward to the rest of his story. I did try to make all well for the poor abandoned Miss Dean by making reference late in the book to the fact that she was about to make a love match with the nephew and heir of the Duke of Stanbrook, one of the Survivors. Their story was not told, however, because it had no relevance to that particular book. I was delighted to be able to fill in the blanks of their story by writing this novella.

Philippa Dean, daughter of a not-very-wealthy gentleman with other children to provide for, is making her come-out in London and has a number of admirers. However, all she can dream about is the rakish young man with whom she fell in love a couple of years ago just before he was banished by her father, who discovered them together in what appeared to be compromising circumstances. Since then, Julian Crabbe has turned his life around and become both respectable and eligible. And he is on his way to London to court her. All that stands between them and their happily-ever-after is the need to prove to her father that Julian is now a worthy candidate for her hand. However, Mr. Dean has just been presented with a dazzlingly eligible marital prospect for his daughter. The immensely wealthy—but blind—young Viscount Darleigh is in search of a bride, and Philippa and her family have been invited to visit his stately country home with a view toward a possible engagement.