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Huxtable Quintet Books In Order

Publication Order of Huxtable Quintet Books

First Comes Marriage (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Then Comes Seduction (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
At Last Comes Love (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Seducing an Angel (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Secret Affair (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The Huxtable Quintet is a series of historical romance novels written by Mary Balogh. The books follow the exploits of the Huxtable children as they find love in the most unexpected ways.

+The Story

The Huxtable Quintet is set in Regency England. This is an era during which strict societal rules govern the manner in which men and women relate.

The Huxtables are a family of four siblings whose parents are deceased. Each book focuses on the love life of a particular sibling.

Vanessa takes center stage in ‘First Comes Marriage’, the first novel in the series. The second oldest of the siblings, Vanessa is a widow when she is first introduced. However, despite the loss of her husband to consumption, Vanessa is vibrant.

She might be the plainest of the Huxtables, as everyone repeatedly reminds her, but Vanessa loves life and she lives to make others smile. She is also brazen and confident in her abilities.

As such, when Elliot Wallace comes to town and attempts to drag her older sister into a marriage of convenience, Vanessa steps in. Determined to see her sister find true love, Vanessa proposes to Elliot and happily takes her sibling’s place in the arranged marriage.

Once Vanessa’s storyline with Elliot wraps up, Katherine is brought to the fro. The youngest of the Huxtable girls, Katherine is a ravishing, passionate innocent that elicits the attention of an irresistible rakehell called Jasper Finley.

Jasper initially sets out to claim Katherine’s body to win a bet. However, Katherine turns the table and makes a bet of his own, one that dares Jasper to try and win her heart. Jasper meets Katherine’s challenge head-on and quickly regrets it when he realizes that there might be more to the virgin than meets the eye.

Margaret, the oldest of the Huxtable girls, doesn’t come into the picture until the third book. Unlike Vanessa who found love and lost it only to find it again or even Katherine who has only begun to experience the throes of passion, Margaret is on the verge of becoming a spinster.

She has watched her younger sisters fall in love, get married and start families. As such, from the first few chapters of her book, it is made clear that she is quite desperate to land a partner.

Fortunately for her, Duncan Pennerthorne is also in great need of a wife. Margaret and Duncan are quite happy to enter into marriage just so they can escape the ire of society’s expectations.

Margaret is the last of the Huxtable girls to have her story explored, after which Mary Balogh shifts gears and shines the spotlight on the men. The first of these men is Stephen, the youngest Huxtable and only boy among the siblings.

Stephen becomes a target for Cassandra Belmont, a woman of considerable beauty who needs a strong and wealthy partner to protect her after she is accused of killing her previous husband.

Stephen is drawn to Cassandra the moment he sees her. But he won’t be controlled. Stephen will only pursue a relationship with Cassandra on his own terms.

Mary Balogh eventually wraps up the Huxtable Quintet series with Constantine. A cousin to the other Huxtables, Constantine’s story is lightly touched upon in the previous Huxtable novels.

The fifth Huxtable novel finally gives him a chance to take the spotlight as he meets his match in Hannah Reid, a commoner whose marriage to the Duke of Dunbarton ends when her elderly husband dies and she decides to find a man capable of sating her.

The Huxtable novels are connected by more than just the Huxtable siblings. Each novel is primarily driven by a marriage of convenience. The hero and heroine set out to marry one another only because societal norms have put them in a situation where marriage is their only recourse.

The hero and the heroine meet because they have scrutinized each other and realized that they meet one another’s logically determined criteria. Love is neither expected nor an afterthought.

One or both of Mary Balogh’s protagonists are usually prepared to pursue a loveless marriage so long as they get what they want. Things quickly change when their marriage forces them into close proximity with one another and they are forced to confront unexpected feelings.

Even though all five novels are driven by a ‘marriage/relationship of convenience’ plot, the five stories that Mary Balogh tells vary drastically because of the distinct situations of the characters.

+The Author

Mary Balogh is an English author born in 1944 in Swansea, Wales. Mary was a teacher. She moved to Canada to pursue her profession at a high school level. She taught English at the time. She even got married while she was living in Canada.

Writing came into the picture as a simple hobby that Mary pursued in the evenings. The success of her first book, which was published in 1985, showed her that she had real talent. So she stopped teaching and decided to devote her life to writing. The author has since written several bestsellers.

+First Comes Marriage

The second Huxtable daughter, Vanessa has always been proud and daring. This is despite the fact that everyone keeps telling her how plain and unremarkable she is.

Vanessa lost her husband to consumption but the tragedy never got her down. Even as a young widow, she continued to enjoy life to the fullest. When Vanessa encounters Elliot Wallace, the idea of marrying a man she doesn’t know doesn’t scare her.

Elliot is the eligible Viscount Lyngate and he intends to propose marriage to the eldest Huxtable daughter, not because he wants to but because that is what is expected of him.

Vanessa and Elliot become acquainted because Vanessa does not want to see her sister get trapped in a loveless union. She proposes marriage to Elliot in the hopes of saving her from that fate. Elliot agrees because he doesn’t really care who he marries.

The eligible bachelor’s attitude changes when he struggles and fails to get Vanessa off his mind.

+Then Comes Seduction

Jasper Finley is an irresistible rakehell who is challenged to seduce and bed Katherine, the youngest and most passionate Huxtable.

Jasper eagerly accepts the challenge. However, his attempts at claiming the virginity of Katherine go awry and he is forced to accept a new wager.

Katherine already knows that she finds Jasper attractive. But now she is ready to make the womanizer fall in love with him.

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Book Series In Order » Characters » Huxtable Quintet