Flavian was devastated by his fianc#65533;e's desertion after his return home from the Napoleonic Wars. Now the woman who broke his heart is back--and everyone is eager to revive their engagement. Except Flavian, who, in a panic, runs straight into the arms of a most sensible yet enchanting young woman.
Agnes Keeping has never been in love--and never wishes to be. But then she meets the charismatic Flavian, and suddenly Agnes falls so foolishly and so deeply that she agrees to his impetuous proposal of marriage.
When Agnes discovers that the proposal is only to avenge his former love, she's determined to flee. But Flavian has no intention of letting his new bride go, especially now that he too has fallen so passionately and so unexpectedly in love.
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"He hated them more than the headaches -- that feeling of dragging self-pity and the fear that nothing was worth anything. It was the one shared mood the Survivors' Club had all fought against most fiercely during those years they had spent together at Penderris. Bodies could be mended and made to work again, at least well enough to enable the person inside them to live on. Minds could be mended to the degree that they worked efficiently again for the one who inhabited them. And souls could be soothed and fed from an inner well of inspiration and from an outer sharing of experience and friendship and love. / But one never quite reached the point at which one could relax and know that one had made it through to the other side of suffering and could now be simply content, even happy, inside a balanced mix of body, mind, and spirit. / Well, of course one did not." (p. 66)
"...Flavian discovered that Penderris was not the lunatic asylum he was expecting but a hospital with other patients -- other veterans of the war -- as badly messed up as he. / And he had loved George with a passionate attachment ever since. A funny thing, love. It was not always, or even mostly, a sexual thing." (p. 97)
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