Tech wizard Daniel Fabian is wealthy and successful. In fact, he has almost everything—except a title to make him worthy in the eyes of the old-money snobs he went to prep school with. His high school reunion is looming, and he’s determined to attend it as a member of the aristocracy.
That’s where Robert comes in.
Daniel has the money, Robert has the name, and both of them know they can help each other out. But their marriage of convenience has the potential to become a real love match—unless a threat to Daniel’s business ruins everything.
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Robert slowly pulled away. As he drove through the gate, the weight on his chest lifted slightly, but not very much. “What do I do with it?” Robert asked.
“The rooms are still furnished. Almost all of it is still there,” she said with a sense of awe.
“All of what?”
“That manor has been in our family for ten generations. You are the eleventh, and the things they collected over the years were all added to the manor. I was afraid Harrison would have sold them, but that probably took more energy than he was willing to spend. So it’s all there.”
“Okay.” Robert turned onto the road back to his office. “So I could sell the furnishings, and break up the land and sell that as well. That would pay the taxes and leave an empty building that could be sold or added to National Trust if I could get them to take it.” He glanced at his mother, who looked about to cry.
“That’s your history, my history, and you’d do that without a second thought?” She wiped her eyes, and Robert tried to remember the last time he’d seen his mother cry. He had a hard time doing it. She never cried—stiff upper lip and all that. “You can’t just throw it away offhand.”
“Then what do I do? I can mortgage the place to the hilt and try to do the repairs that need to be made, but how in the hell do I pay the money back? The estate doesn’t have much income, and I can’t just open it to tourists and have them flock to the place like it was Downton Abbey. A few people might come, but not enough to make it worthwhile. I could just donate the whole thing to National Trust and make it their headache, but then everything would be gone.” And that was going to break his mother’s heart. He could see that.
Robert pulled to a stop at an intersection and waited for a truck loaded with hay to pass before making the turn and continuing on.
“There has to be a way to do something.” She was thinking already, he could tell.
“I’m going to have to see what else I’ve inherited and then try to figure out what can be done.” Thankfully the estate wasn’t too far away from where he and his mother lived. He could at least continue to live without having to make commutes halfway across the country. “I’m not going to make any decisions today or tomorrow.” Robert grew quiet as he drove the rest of the way back to his office.
“I’ve been thinking,” his mother said with a weird smile that Robert was having trouble reading. “You need money to fix up the estate, and you also have a title.”
“Okay. I have a title that doesn’t help me, other than make me sound like a toff.”
His mother leaned closer. “That title comes with a peerage and it has power. People respect the titles. Good or bad, they do, and the title has value.”
“Okay. So do I sell it?” Robert asked, knowing he was being ridiculous.
“Of course not. Well, maybe in a way. You do what the aristocracy has always done when they needed money. You marry it.”
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