Read as part of an ebook set: [b:The Famous Heroine / The Plumed Bonnet|9349851|The Famous Heroine / The Plumed Bonnet (Dark Angel #3-4)|Mary Balogh|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320418404s/9349851.jpg|14233230].
Early Balogh is not as good as later, but even so these are sweet, enjoyable stories. As I understand it, the Dark Angel series (no idea what that name is supposed to imply) is about four friends who embark upon forced, or nearly forced, marriages to women they don't love, or who don't love them. Naturally, they all end up happy.
The Plumed Bonnet is about the Duke of Bridgwater (Lord Francis's friend from the previous story) and his marriage to a governess turned heiress, Stephanie Gray. He literally picks up Stephanie on a country road, when she is wearing a fuchsia cape and a pink bonnet with three feathers. He thinks she's an actress or a ladybird and invites her into his carriage, mostly because he's bored and she has concocted a far-fetched story about being robbed on the way to claim her vast inheritance at her grandfather's estate in Hampshire. After they have traveled three days together and arrived at the estate, he is shocked to learn that her story is true. He insists that she marry him, partly to assuage his honor and partly because she will otherwise be forced to marry a creepy relative in order to keep her inheritance. (The will is one of those where she has to marry within six months to get the money. Did people really do that back then?) She accepts and they go to London, where the dowager duchess (the grateful grandmother from the previous story) trains her to be a proper duchess. Indeed, she becomes so proper that her own personality disappears, but she is so grateful to the duke for rescuing her and treating her with respect that she is determined to be the wife he should have. After they're married, he confesses what he first thought about her, and offers her her freedom. I think we all know what happens next.