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The Truth about Lord Stoneville: Hellions of Halstead Hall    by Sabrina Jeffries order for
Truth about Lord Stoneville
by Sabrina Jeffries
Order:  USA  Can
Pocket, 2010 (2010)
Paperback, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Kim Atchue-Cusella

Oliver Sharpe, Marquess of Stoneville, is not happy when his grandmother, Hetty Plumtree, calls a family meeting to inform him and his four siblings that they will be disinherited unless they marry. He can't believe his luck when he encounters a woman in a brothel who needs assistance. Oliver offers to help her if she agrees to masquerade as his fiancée. He knows his grandmother will never agree to his marrying an American.

Maria Butterfield has come to London with her cousin Freddy in search of her missing fiancé, Nathan. Her father passed away. Since Nathan owns half her father's company, she has no access to funds until he returns and meets with the lawyer. She and Freddy follow a man (who carries the briefcase Maria bought her fiancé) into a brothel. She sends Freddy to find out if the briefcase has Nathan's initials on it. When she hears a screamed Stop Thief, Maria pulls her sword to try to save Freddy. After Oliver steps in to calm everyone down, Maria is not happy with his proposal but it seems to be the only way to keep Freddy out of trouble.

Hetty is suspicious of Oliver's story of how he and Maria met. Oliver's siblings know that Maria is playing a role. They decide they would love to have her as a sister-in-law, so they devise their own plan. And Oliver and Maria can't seem to keep their hands off each other. Oliver had not spoken to anyone of the way his parents died until he met Maria and is puzzled at how easily he can open up to her. Maria is horrified when she hears the rumors about Oliver's parents and tries to comfort him. Hetty sees romance blooming and secretly hopes that it is real.

The Truth about Lord Stoneville is the first in a series of five books about the scandalous Sharpe siblings. I can't wait for all their stories to come out. Supporting characters such as Hetty, the private investigator, and Freddy bring humor that will have you laughing throughout this book. The story is fast paced and will keep your attention for a relaxing read.

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