HaBO: Helen vs. Cynthia

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This HaBO is from Elizabeth, who wants to find this historical romance:

Trying to find a Regency that I believe was published in the 1980s.

Plot: Heroine, definitely upper class (don’t know if she’s a titled lady or just well-born), whose name is Helen, I think, or something with an H (not positive, though) falls in love with a titled lord and he with her. Trouble is, he’s already engaged to another woman, named Cynthia, who’s drop-dead gorgeous and a real bitch who’s only marrying him for his status/money. Things get complicated because she’s also fooling around with Duncan, a groundskeeper or someone low-class like that who she’s enormously attracted to/has illicit sex with. Book ends with Cynthia becoming pregnant, running away with Duncan, and the hero being freed from his engagement. I’m sure a great deal more happens, but that’s really all I remember.

Sex scenes are either just alluded to or, if described, are short and not steamy. This book (for the most part) respects the Regency romance conventions.

I think it was a slightly longer book than, say, the Harlequins of the day, but nothing like the bodice-ripper length.

Can we HaBO?

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