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The Ashburton Reunion

Two estranged brothers find each other and two special women to love!

Orphaned as children, Joshua and Leonard Ashburton were thrown half a world apart when Josh’s guardian moved to India. Leo remained in England, being groomed to become the next Viscount Abbingdon.

Reunited after twenty-five years, both brothers are happy to be together again, until Josh starts to fall for the woman almost promised in marriage to his brother! The two brothers have found each other—now they need to find the right women to love…

Read Joshua’s story in

Flirting with His Forbidden Lady

Available now

And look for Leonard’s story

Coming soon!

Author Note

One of the things that initially drew me to writing historical romance was how different the rules of society were two hundred years ago. I loved to imagine how I would react if I were told I had to wait to be introduced formally to someone before speaking to them or that I couldn’t be left alone with a man, no matter how innocent the situation. I find it astonishing how much things have changed over the last few hundred years.

When I first started planning Flirting with His Forbidden Lady, I was thinking a lot about how our reasons for marrying have changed over the years. In Regency times a love match was a rare thing, especially among the aristocracy, and alliances were often formed without a thought for the suitability of the couple who would spend the next few decades married. I wanted to write about a woman who knows she should marry one man for all the normal, conventional reasons but is tempted into following her heart and pushing against society’s and her family’s expectations. Beth is that heroine, and I hope you enjoy watching the battle between her sense of duty and her heart.


Flirting with His Forbidden Lady

Laura Martin writes historical romances with an adventurous undercurrent. When not writing, she spends her time working as a doctor in Cambridgeshire, UK, where she lives with her husband. In her spare moments Laura loves to lose herself in a book and has been known to read from cover to cover in a single day when the story is particularly gripping. She also loves to travel—especially to visit historical sites and far-flung shores.

Books by Laura Martin

Harlequin Historical

The Pirate Hunter

Secrets Behind Locked Doors

Under a Desert Moon

A Ring for the Pregnant Debutante

An Unlikely Debutante

An Earl to Save Her Reputation

The Viscount’s Runaway Wife

The Brooding Earl’s Proposition

Her Best Friend, the Duke

One Snowy Night with Lord Hauxton

The Ashburton Reunion

Flirting with His Forbidden Lady

Scandalous Australian Bachelors

Courting the Forbidden Debutante

Reunited with His Long-Lost Cinderella

Her Rags-to-Riches Christmas

Visit the Author Profile page

at Harlequin.com for more titles.

For Nic, I miss you. I hope it isn’t another nine months until we are together again, but in the meantime here’s a book about that special bond between sisters.


Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four


Excerpt from Wagering on the Wallflower by Eva Shepherd

Chapter One

London 1815

‘Elizabeth, are you listening to me?’

Suppressing a groan, Beth moved back from the carriage window and fixed her gaze on her mother.

‘This is important. Your future is dependent on how you carry yourself tonight. All our futures.’

‘I know, Mother.’ She tried to keep the exasperation from her voice but it was difficult to summon enthusiasm for a lecture she had received at least four times today alone. Here she was, sitting in a dress they couldn’t afford, going to a ball she didn’t really want to go to.

It wasn’t that she didn’t like balls; she loved dancing and socialising and laughing as the night passed in a flurry of excitement. It was this ball in particular she was dreading. Mr Ashburton’s ball. The ball during which her mother was expecting her to captivate a man she had barely exchanged a dozen words with.

‘Make sure he dances with you at least twice. Be engaging, charming. Show him you will be a good wife.’

‘Yes, Mother.’ It was easier just to agree than try to protest, to ask how she was meant to show a man she didn’t know she would make a good wife.

‘And smile. You’re pretty enough when you smile.’

Thankfully the carriage stopped before Lady Hummingford could say any more and Elizabeth almost leapt out with relief as soon as a footman stepped forward to open the door. She paused for a moment, looking up at the imposing white façade of Millbrook House, set back from the street behind smart black railings, which framed a neat little garden.

In a few seconds her mother was by her side, hurrying Beth up the steps to the open door and into the house. Already there was a crush of people inside, the noise building as they ventured in deeper from a quiet hum to an almost deafening roar of laughter and conversation. There were guests in the grand hallway, fanning themselves in the unseasonably warm April heat, sipping from glasses of punch and lemonade. Standing at the entrance of the ballroom was a footman ready to announce all new arrivals, and Beth watched as her mother gave their names before she was pulled into the melee of the ball.

‘Lady Hummingford and Lady Elizabeth Hummingford.’

It took a moment for Beth to adjust to the heat and the light. Her mother had timed their arrival so their entrance would make the maximum impact, allowing most of the other guests to arrive first. It meant the musicians were already playing and couples already dancing in the middle of the ballroom. Beth allowed herself a moment to enjoy the swirling dresses and quick steps; she loved to dance and appreciated how happy music and dancing made people.

‘Where is he?’ her mother murmured, frantically searching the ballroom for their host.

‘Good evening, Lady Hummingford, Lady Elizabeth,’ Miss Culpepper said as she sailed over to them. This might be Mr Ashburton’s home and

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