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The Ideal Wife
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About the Author

Mary Balogh is the New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Slightly novels: Slightly Married, Slightly Wicked, Slightly Scandalous, Slightly Tempted, Slightly Sinful, and Slightly Dangerous, as well as the romances No Man's Mistress, More than a Mistress, and One Night for Love. She is also the author of Simply Magic, Simply Love, and Simply Unforgettable, the first three books in her dazzling quartet of novels set at Miss Martin's School for Girls. A former teacher herself, she grew up in Wales and now lives in Canada.

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Miles Ripley, the young, dashing and wealthy earl of Severn, is tired of scheming women (namely his mother and sister) trying to marry him off. Just as he vows to marry a quiet, undemanding woman, the plucky, irrepressible Abigail Gardiner--a destitute, distant relative--comes seeking a recommendation from him; having been abruptly dismissed for impertinence from her position as a lady's companion, she presents herself as thoroughly subservient. The earl, seeing the answer to his problems, offers marriage instead of a reference. The couple spends an idyllic three days as newlyweds, although Miles is bemused to realize he knows very little about his wife. Trouble comes with the arrival of relatives, and Abigail's mysterious past threatens to shatter their promising beginning. Although she employs all the cliches of the genre, veteran romance writer Balogh ( A Masked Deception ) tells a good story, filled with likable characters. (Nov.)

When desperate financial conditions force Abigail Gardiner to ask the assistance of her distant cousin, the wealthy and influential Earl of Severn, she receives much more than the letter of reference she seeks. For the earl is anxious to escape an imminent marriage to a spoiled society miss that his mother is planning for him. He sees in the seemingly meek and mild Abigail ``the ideal wife''--quiet, obedient, someone who will allow him to continue his bachelor ways, yet produce an heir. But underneath the mousy facade, the true Abigail is a far cry from the earl's ideals. Balogh's 25th Regency holds no surprises but is entertaining for those who like the genre.-- Leslie A. Bleil, Western Michigan Univ. Lib., Kalamazoo

"Charming, funny."--Library Journal

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