How to Woo a Wife chronicles a rakish hero’s exploits in wooing his neglected wife amid a villainous scheme to divide them forever. Despite its historical setting, the novel explores important themes around the power of love, family, friendship, and choice—specifically, the deliberate and courageous choices women and men must make to live the life they want to live and to face and recover from heartache, grief, and tragedy.
Set in 1815 regency era England and Scotland, when men ran the world and women were little more than chattels, Susan Gray stands apart as a forward-thinking lady with a gift for managing estates and difficult men. Married by proxy four years earlier to Luke Gray, a soldier fighting against Napoleon’s army, the two have never met. When the war ends, a grieving Luke rejects returning home in favor of carousing with women as he waits for death to reunite him with his friends, whom he lost in the war. A neglected and bitter Susan, desperately ready for a child, searches for and finds him in the arms of three women. Furious—and convinced she’s married a rake—Susan takes Luke hostage. Luke, now wildly interested in his bold and beautiful wife, is only too willing to go with her and sets out on wooing her for life.
Throughout Susan’s distant cousin Bertram, a rotter if ever there was one, strives to kill Luke so he can marry Susan for himself and regain an inheritance that her father took from him, and when that fails, he has Luke imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. When Bertram’s past sins catch up with him, he ultimately blames Luke and Susan for his ruination. With nothing else to lose, he forces Susan to make a decision no woman should have to make in order to save Luke. Only a woman as strong as Susan and a man who can love as completely as Luke can overcome the tragedy and move forward into a future they have created together with love and laughter.