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One of M. C. Beaton's best Regencies features a young woman betrothed at the tender age of ten to the gentleman that had kidnapped her.
Lady Lucinda Esmond's swine of a father, the Earl of Sotheran, was forever fleecing young bucks in London's gaming halls with impunity—until he cheats Captain Mark Chamfrey, who kidnaps ten-year-old Lucinda for ransom.
But when Chamfrey has a change of heart and returns the girl, Earl Esmond nonetheless exacts his own price: Chamfrey can only redeem himself and save his skin by marrying his little victim nine years hence.
Lucinda's father could not have foreseen what a beauty Lucinda would become, nor that Chamfrey, a newly made Marquess, would find that what was supposed to be his punishment turns out be exactly what he desires!