In bestselling author Ella Quinn’s intriguing new Regency trilogy, a dashing suitor must decide if love and marriage are mutually exclusive.
Viscount Gavin Turley is convinced that love matches cause nothing but trouble. Still, after months of courting, he’s fallen for Miss Georgie Featherton. He’s passionate about her, in fact. But words of love are not an indulgence he will allow himself. When he presents Georgie with his marriage proposal, he will lead with his head—not his heart. His qualifications as a husband are excellent, after all. What could go wrong?
No sooner does Gavin kneel on one knee than Georgie’s heart goes aflutter with joy. Finally, the proposal she longed for had arrived. Yet Gavin seemed to be listing his credentials for a business partnership, not a romantic union. Without a declaration of love, Georgie can only reject his offer—unless the ladies of the ton, and Georgie’s grandmamma, have anything to do with it. For sometimes it takes a wiser eye to see the love behind a guarded heart—and a clever scheme to bring it out of hiding . . .
He climbed the steps to Brooks’s and the door opened.
“Good day, my lord.” One of the footmen bowed.
“Good day, Johns. Have you seen Lord Exeter?”
“Aye, my lord. He’s in the reading room. Just got back from Paris from what I heard and wanted to find out what has been going on here during his absence.” The servant took Gavin’s hat and cane. “Told he me had an excellent time.”
Well he would, wouldn’t he? He’d been on his honeymoon. “Thank you.”
“Pleasure, my lord.”
Gavin walked through the hall and down to the reading room where he found Exeter with a stack of newspapers next to him. “Finally back, I see.”
“Turley!” The man stood, knocking over some of the newssheets. “Well met.” Exeter looked happier than Gavin had ever seen him. His friend grabbed his hand and shook it.
Eying the newssheets, Gavin said, “I see you are making sure you didn’t miss anything that happened when you were gone.”
“Dorie”—his friend’s face took on a happily distracted look at the mention of his wife—“and I ventured away from Paris where there was no news from England to be found. When it was time to depart, rather than returning to Paris we headed straight to Calais and back home.” Exeter grinned. “She had ordered all the newspapers to be delivered to the house and is no doubt going through them as we speak. But I thought I might discover additional information here.” He stared at Gavin for a moment, and his brows drew down. “Is everything all right?”
“I need a brandy.” Or the whole bottle.
“That bad.” Exeter put down the paper he’d been holding. “Let’s go to the dining room. It must be almost time for luncheon.” They went to the corner table their little group had claimed as their own last Season. “What has occurred? Your sister and her family are still well? Nothing has ensued since we saw them last month, has it?”
“There is no need for concern on that front. Elizabeth, Harrington, and their daughter thrive. I received a letter from her that she is expecting their next addition in the spring.” Gavin debated telling his friend what was troubling him and decided he needed advice as well as someone with whom to share a drink. He took a breath. “I offered for Miss Featherton, and she refused me.”
“Really?” Exeter’s eyes widened as if in shock, and his jaw dropped for a second before he recovered himself. “I mean that is unexpected.”
Why was he so astonished? Or perhaps the question should be what had Gavin missed? “I feel as if you know something I do not.”
The man glanced to the side and seemed to focus on something on the far wall. “Yes, er, well. You see. Dorie was certain.” Exeter frowned as if unsure how to continue. “And I too was under the impression Miss Featherton was expecting an offer from you and would be, er, happy to receive it.”
Blast it all. Gavin wanted to kick himself. If only he could have brought himself to lie. Yet that was not an ideal basis upon which to begin a marriage. “That might very well have been the case, but she requires something I am unable to offer.”
About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Ella Quinn's studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them.
She is married to her wonderful husband of over thirty years. They have a son and two beautiful granddaughters, and a Great Dane. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make their dreams come true and are now living on a sailboat. After cruising the Caribbean and North America, she completed a transatlantic crossing from St. Martin to Southern Europe. She's currently living in Germany, happily writing while her husband is back at work, recovering from retirement.
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