Barbara Cartland

128. The Marquis is Deceived

The Marquis of Craigmere, who is one of the most handsome and attractive men in the Beau Monde, is pursued by an exotic and beautiful married woman called Peony Lawson
The Marquis finds this affaire-de-coeur amusing and enjoyable until Peony says that that she intends to tell her husband what they have been doing and ask him for a divorce.
The Marquis is horrified because he was determined never to get married until he is much older and needs to have an heir. He knows, however, that Peony is serious and he will have to be exceedingly clever not to be involved in a scandal that would force him to live abroad for some years.
He is at Royal Ascot and is hoping to win the Gold Cup. He is not successful, but as the race ends he sees the Duke of Hawkhurst, who was a friend of his father’s.
The Duke has always been in debt and a way suddenly occurs to the Marquis of saving himself from the horror of Peony’s intentions.
He tells the Duke that he wishes to marry his daughter, Natalie, in two days’ time. The Duke thinks it strange, but he realises that a very rich son-in-law will save him when he is on the verge of bankruptcy.
However, his daughter Natalie is in love with the charming son of a neighbour, who is far from being a rich man, and she is in despair at the prospect of being married to the Marquis.
Her cousin, Silva, who is beautiful and intelligent, urges her to elope and promises that she will somehow keep the knowledge of it from the Duke until it is too late for him to prevent it.
How Silva arranges for Lady Natalie and the man she loves to set off for Gretna Green and how to save not only her cousin, but also herself from what has been for her a life of misery at the Duke’s Castle, she takes her place at the altar.
And the Marquis only discovers the switch when they are on their way to Dover for their honeymoon on his yacht.
Find out what happens next in this intriguing and fast moving love story by BARBARA CARTLAND.
149 printed pages
Copyright owner
Barbara Cartland Ebooks Ltd.
Original publication
Publication year
Have you already read it? How did you like it?


  • fatimahj07shared an impression3 years ago

    The girl was young and, he was quite sure, pure and unspoilt. Anything was better than having to face the horror and scandal of divorce proceedings. Peony, if she bore his name, was a woman who he would always be ashamed of. - why consort with such individuals if one is ashamed to be with them in reality.

    But perhaps our duty is just to make this world a little better than it was when we came into it!” - that's a nice sentiment.

    Thank you so very much, thank you. It is, I am afraid, one hundred thousand pounds.” - this is the largest debt I've come across for a BC novel

    “I know that, when I meet people who have had to fight for their position in life, they are far more vital and interesting than those who have always been lying comfortably without any effort on your bed of roses.” - true!

    To the Marquis it was somehow a comfort as well as a delight to have her beside him and he only hoped that she felt the same. - that's sweet. He was not such an arrogant ass as they're usually made out to be.

    “When I look ahead I am sure I am right in thinking that you could and will become a Governor of one of our Colonies or perhaps the Viceroy of India.” - ah yes, who doesn't love colonizers.... ..... ..... 😒😒😒

  • Karinashared an impression6 months ago
    👍Worth reading

  • Elizabeth Amernashared an impression4 years ago
    👍Worth reading


  • Maite Sainzhas quoted3 years ago
    “It’s not a joke, it’s the truth,” the Duke replied. “Craigmere wants a wife and he wants one quickly and quietly without the fuss and palaver that would normally accompany a Wedding he took part in.”

    “But I have – never met him,” Natalie stammered.

    “What does that matter?” he answered. “You are my daughter and Ian’s father was a great friend of mine.”

    He paused a moment before he went on,

    “As you must know, he is the greatest marriageable catch in the whole country and he has asked for you!”

    He looked at his daughter as if he could still hardly believe that it was true.

    Natalie drew in her breath.

    “But I cannot marry him, Papa!”

    “What do you mean you cannot marry him?” the Duke demanded in a very different tone.

    “I don’t love him.”

    “Love! What do you know about love?” the Duke questioned scornfully. “Love comes after marriage. No debutante of this year, or of any other year, has had a better catch. And I can only go down on my knees and thank the Almighty for such an unexpected Blessing.”

    “But it is – I, Papa, who has to marry him not you!” Natalie said miserably, “and I will not – marry anyone I do not love!”

    The words were hardly coherent, but the Duke did hear them.

    “Not marry Craigmere?” he roared. “Are you mad, girl? Good Lord, what more do you want than that the most sought after buck in the Beau Monde should ask for your hand?”

    “I cannot, Papa! I cannot!” Natalie cried.

    The Duke drew himself up to his full height, which was not very tall.

    “Let me make this clear,” he said in a harsh voice. “Craigmere is coming here tomorrow and you will marry him early the following morning, if I have to drag you unconscious to the altar!”

    His voice was very stern as he continued,

    “Make no mistake! That is what I will do! I will have no more nonsense about it. Good Lord! What more could any woman want? So don’t let me hear you make any more idiotic half-witted protests.”

    He was obviously in a rage and he walked towards his daughter as if he would hit her.

    Then, as he reached her, he turned and, walking out of the room, slammed the door behind him.

    For a while both girls were paralysed into silence.

    Then Natalie burst into tears.

    “I cannot – do it! I cannot!” she sobbed. “I love Terry. Oh, Silva you know – I love Terry. How could I marry – anyone else?”

    She ran across the room and flung herself against her cousin.

    Silva put her arms around her.

    “I am sorry, my dear,” she said. “I am so so sorry!”

    “What can – I do? Oh, Silva what on earth – can I do?” Natalie sobbed.

    There was a moment’s silence and then Silva said,

    “It’s quite simple. You and Terry must run away.”

    Natalie looked up at her in sheer astonishment.

    “Run away?” she repeated.

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