Barbara Cartland

Love is the Enemy

Beautiful young orphan Nerina is appalled to find that her uncle and resentful Guardian is forcing her much-loved cousin, Elizabeth, into a marriage of convenience with the disdainful, if handsome and rich, Sir Rupert Wroth.

As if that was not bad enough, Elizabeth is already secretly betrothed to the man she truly loves, an Captain in the Army.

So loyal Nerina exploits her startling similarity to her cousin and takes her place, marrying Lord Wroth and giving Elizabeth time to elope with Adrian Butler, who is about to sail to India with his Regiment.

Having suffered terribly at the hands of her hateful Uncle Herbert and the lecherous Lord Droxburgh, Nerina has come to the conclusian that she hates all men.

And, having discovered that Sir Rupert Wroth’s plans to marry Elizabeth were nothing more than a means to carry on his illicit affairs, while keeping up appearances for the sake of Queen Victoria and his ambitious political career, she makes no exception for him.

But what if, in spite of herself, the irrepressible turmoil that Nerina feels in her heart is not hate after all, but the first stirrings of love?
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2016

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    had had no time to tidy up before being required to help in other parts of the house.
    It was unlike Elizabeth to be untidy or unpunctual, Nerina thought with a little frown and, picking up one of her ribbons from the floor, she wound it over her fingers, smoothing away its creases. As she did so she caught sight of herself in the mirror on the dressing table and made a grimace in dismay. She had no idea that she could look so dirty.
    She had only been able to afford the cheapest seat in the train in an unclosed carriage. The smoke from the engine had been terrible and the wind had blown her hair about until she looked very unlike a prim and respectable Governess.
    Nerina pulled her bonnet from her head. Her hair fell in heavy curls on either side of her face, framing it with a vivid fire that seemed to catch the sunlight and reflect it back again. The lashes that framed her green eyes were naturally dark and curly, but Nerina, looking at her own reflection, did not see any beauty in them or in the aristocratic perfection of her tiny tip-tilted nose. She saw only the superficial dirt that defaced her white skin and the fear that made her lips quiver however hard she pressed them together.

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