When suitors are baffled by Miss Fiona’s scientific turn of mind, her mother tearfully predicts that her daughter will be doomed to spinsterhood—until Lord Henry comes along. Nicknamed “the Mad Scientist,” Henry appreciates Fiona’s mind as well as her face. Fiona thinks she’s found the perfect husband in Henry until notorious Lord Beaumont crashes through her neatly laid plans.
Lord Albert Beaumont (Beau) is the George Clooney of his era in that his charisma and disinclination to marry make him prime gossip material. At the beginning of the story, he breaks with his latest mistress, Daphne Tarkington, whose beauty is far outweighed by her nasty personality. Beau’s weary cynicism about the breakup makes his valet think that hes ready to turn away from courtesans and settle down, but Beau disagrees. Even though his dying father wishes him to be married, he cant stomach the idea of wooing a naive and awestruck debutante. But he promises his father that hell try to find a suitable bride, agreeing to attend an insipid garden party for the express purpose of looking for one.
Fiona Fairmont, a reluctant debutante if ever there was one, is more interested in herbal remedies and reading than she is in finding a husband. Eccentricities notwithstanding, her beauty has won her two marriage proposals, both of which she has turned down. After the second refusal, Fionas mother whisks her off to the country to meet a rich and science-minded recluse, Lord Henry Featherstone. She hopes that his love of academia will intrigue her unusual daughter, and the plan appears to be working … until Beau meets Fiona at the garden party.
But is he too late? Fiona is already fully enmeshed in Henrys world of homeopathy, assisting him in his laboratory, her respect for him growing every day. The attraction she feels for Beau isn’t worthy of notice, especially since, according to the gossip papers, he can have his pick of any woman in England. Besides, she’s certain that Beau’s marked attention toward her is his way of alleviating the tedium of country life. Flirting is his passion as much as homeopathy is Henry’s passion. Once he returns to London, he’ll forget her completely.
With a heart that isn’t in full agreement with her decision, she accepts a proposal from Henry, certain that she’s taking the only sensible path.
Beau almost gives up, but when Daphne Tarkington’s vengeful mind causes him to be badly injured, Fiona finally realizes that love trumps logic.
Their story doesn’t stop there. Daphne Tarkington’s evil interference almost ruins their newfound bliss. Read their story in Love Trumps Logic to find out how they triumph in the end.
Fiona visibly started, and put a hand up to calm her racing heart. She recognized the voice immediately, of course. Beau’s rich baritone could not easily be mistaken for another’s, and besides, she had heard it so recently in her dream, saying words of love that had pulled her away from Henry forever. Silliness! she scolded herself, taking a steadying breath.
“You startled me,” she said, turning toward the stable door. “Are you an early riser by habit?”
“No,” he answered, leaning a shoulder against the stable doorway. Merlin peeked over his shoulder, saddled and snorting impatiently at the delay. “But when I’ve had trouble sleeping, a ride usually helps to clear the cobwebs.”
He looks tired, Fiona thought, squelching an impulse to go to him and stroke his unshaven face. “I find a walk refreshing in such circumstances. I was on my way to the sunflower garden. I told Lord Hasselton I’d see it so that I could tell him how it compares to the Aldwinkles’. He’s fully expecting me to rave about it.”
Why am I chattering on like an idiot? Fiona wondered, forcing herself to stop.
Beau reached up to stroke Merlin’s nose, never taking his eyes off her. “What about you? Do you always rise this early … or did you have trouble sleeping too?”
“I’m a bit of an early bird. This hour might be a tad early, even for me,” Fiona lied, wishing she had a horse’s nose to busy her hands with. Since she didn’t, she folded them in front of her.
“Your thoughts are busy with wedding preparations, perhaps?”
“I don’t know,” Fiona hedged, shrugging. She’d best be on her way, before he caused her to say something she regretted. “I’d best—” she began, gesturing toward the garden, but Beau interrupted her.
“Last night’s news caused my sleep loss, especially since—just one night before—” he broke off and gave a shrug and a small shake of his head. “That was truly an experiment, wasn’t it? You wished to see if flirtation would stop my pursuit of you. You really don’t think very highly of me.”
Fiona bit her lip. “No! It wasn’t like that.”
“Perhaps you think I have a heart that can’t be hurt. That I’ve loved so freely that my heart is immune to pain. Is that what you think?”
Fiona shook her head, her heart breaking at the pain she saw in Beau’s eyes. Pain that she had caused.
“What, then?” he asked softly, closing the gap between them, Merlin following close behind.
“I don’t know. It—my heart—was stronger than my will. I enjoy your company very much—too much! And for once I allowed myself to indulge my heart. There, that’s the truth.”
“Follow your heart, Fiona! A marriage without love, without passion, will be like a slow death,” Beau insisted, stopping in front of her.
“The type of love you speak of isn’t enough to sustain a marriage. If you believe it is, then you live in the world of romance novels. You’re not alone; many people do!”
“So you want a marriage in which passion is absent?” Beau asked, doubt etched on his face.
There it was: the question that had tortured her all night. “Passion fades. In the end, compatibility and friendship are what lasts.”
“Aren’t you over-generalizing? Who has put so firmly into your head that passion has to fade?” Beau asked gently.
“It depends on the couple, of course. I don’t trust that any passion felt between us would last.” Fiona was sorry for the blunt words the second they left her mouth.
Lucy Balch grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. As a young woman she moved to New York City to pursue a career in acting, but instead discovered a love for writing, met her husband, and earned a master’s degree. Love Trumps Logic is her second novel but the first to be published. It was inspired by favorite romance writers Jane Austen, Connie Brockway, Eloisa James and Georgette Heyer, as well as Lucy’s passion for homeopathy and other forms of alternative medicine. Lucy currently resides in Richmond, Virginia and is working on her third book.