The Runaway Betrothal: A Regency Romance
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Elinore Hasting and her father have collided over the issue of marriage before, and now that he is ready to retire from his pursuits with The East India Trading, Ichabod Hasting longs to enjoy his dotage surrounded by his grandchildren. However, with Ellie so determined to reject all the men he suggests, he is forced to use his manipulating skills as a last ditch effort to get the girl wed. Putting his genius to good use, he sends out a series of letters meant to orchestrate the lives of those involved to his advantage, and he will do whatever it takes to make his plans bear fruit. Having only just returned from Calcutta and having received a letter to get himself to Brighton, Liles Engle, a gentleman employee in Hasting’s division in the Trading Company, reluctantly obeys. Seeing, however, a lovely lady in the press of carriages and finding she is housed in rooms across the hall from him in Brighton, Engle makes his peace with Hasting’s demands. Moreover, once he learns the girl is in danger, he finds himself ready to champion her cause. Fleeing from her father’s attempts at betrothing her to Robert Conley, a libertine all England loathes, Elinore flees her home in search of support from her aunt, Lady O’Duncy. Reaching up with her in Brighton during the height of the summer season, the two ladies conspire to deflect her father’s scheme, clear her name from scandal, and protect her from a desperate man bent on making his fortune by ruining her. When her father’s well-laid plans get set into motion, Elinore’s matrimonial adventure takes flight.
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