These are two books that were first published in 1994 and 1995 respectively. The heroines are cousins and both of them appear in both books. There are three other books also linked to them—The Famous Heroine, The Plumed Bonnet, and Christmas Bride. They will be republished soon—see the Upcoming Books page for the publishing schedule.
Jennifer Winwood arrives in London with her cousin, Samantha Newman, for their come-out Season. Jennifer is particularly excited because finally the marriage that has been arranged between her and Lionel, Viscount Kersey, will become a reality. It seems to her that she has loved him forever, and she assumes that he loves her. Gabriel, Earl of Thornhill, has just returned to England after a long stay in Europe, where he fled after a scandalous elopement with his father's pregnant wife. He is not in high favor with the ton, but when he sees that Lionel is also back in town, he is willing to risk further trouble for himself by causing harm to his old enemy in any way that presents itself...and Lionel has a new fiancée.
Lord Carew's Bride
Samantha Newman is getting older, but though she is beautiful and courted by a large number of gentlemen, she is restless and unhappy. While she is staying in the country with Jennifer and Gabriel, she takes a walk alone and wanders onto the property of the reclusive Marquess of Carew. She meets him far from the house and mistakes him for a landscape designer. He is an ordinary-looking man and is half crippled. He is also friendly and unassuming, and Samantha soon relaxes into a warm friendship with him. It is only much later, back in London, when she is again threatened by the man who broke her heart years ago during her come-out Season, that Samantha discovers who her dear friend really is. And this time she is tempted to settle for the contentment of friendship in order to escape the pain of love.
Dell, ISBN 978-0-440-24544-5
Lord Carew's Bride is a Regency romance about a very unlikely couple. Though the hero is wealthy and titled, he is plain and hindered by a disability. The heroine is beautiful and popular, but she is avoiding love. It is magical to watch their initial friendship grow into love... .This plot somehow avoids all the clichés. Sometimes, when you expect to run across one, Mary Balogh pulls off a stunning twist that turns the cliché on its head. Also Mary Balogh demonstrates her usual mastery of point of view.
Anne Marble, All About Romance