Anne Stenhouse is an accomplished playwright and article writer and her fans will be delighted to know that her keyboard has now turned towards romantic fiction.
Mariah’s Marriage Â is set in 19th centuryÂ London. Our heroine, Mariah Fox, is a young woman who has little in the way of expectations for herself other than a desire to bring education to working class poor children. Â Her mother is dead and she lives with her academic father Jerome who may just be ever so slightly out of touch with reality. Mariah is accompanied to the classes she teaches by Peter Sharp a family friend who expects to marry her in due course.
But it is a stranger who catches her when she stumbles over a stampeding pig in the street one afternoon. And the stranger, whomÂ we later find to be Tobias Longreach, seventh Earl of Mellon, takes a fancy to the free-thinking young woman. Their relationship is of course beset by difficulties â€“ Peter Sharp for one â€“ but also the rigid class barriers of the time, which mean that Tobias’s ambitions have to take a devious route.Â Tobias’s sister, Daisy, provides Mariah with a likeable ally as she learns the ways of the aristocracy and her maid Tilly is also able to turn a trick or two with needle and thread.
Mariah alternates between falling in love with and hating the man who plays tricks on her and at times it’s hard to tell who is pursuing who, but she is clever enough and brave enough to understand the danger presented by the debt ridden bully Sir Lucas Wellwood,Â who first attempts to steal the family wedding Â tiara and when that fails, to abduct and ransom Daisy.
Mills and Boon couldn’t have done it better!