This is a republication of the 1991 Signet Regency, with no changes made to the original text.
When Miles Ripley, Earl of Severn, learns that his mother and sisters are about to descend upon him in London, he is in despair. For they have a bride picked out for him and are busy with wedding plans-and he does not know how to say no. They love him, and the trouble is that he loves them too. He vows to his best friend that if only someone would set before him the plainest, dullest, most ordinary female, he would marry her without delay.
He is not really serious, of course, but the very next day a woman who resembles the one he described to an uncanny degree appears in the visitors' salon of his home, claiming a distant kinship and begging for a reference so that she can seek employment. Suddenly Miles becomes very serious indeed and offers her something quite different from what she expects.
The only problem is that Abigail Gardiner is not at all the woman Miles judges her to be during that first encounter. Because she has just been dismissed from her employment for insubordination and is feeling rather desperate, she has come to the earl-a very distant relation indeed-with a deliberately plain, demure mien.
The drastic mistake Miles has made does not bode well for the future!
Dell Historical, ISBN 978-0-440-24462-2
The Ideal Wife is a fascinating story of a woman who is always trying to help others, a woman with a lot of love and goodness in her heart. Miles is a sweet man who has been dominated by his mother and sisters and is content with his new wife, even though she is not what he thought he wanted. Mary Balogh draws wonderful pictures with words, and the dialogue is realistic. It is a story that will make you feel the emotions of the characters -- readers will smile throughout most of the book.
Marilyn Heyman, Romance Reviews Today