Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The English Lily - New Romance in the Garden

Lady Kendra Frazier is devastated. The love of her life just married another, and now all she desires is to be as far away as possible. She takes passage on the first boat leaving the harbor and finds herself on the way to America, still hiding a guilty secret.

Viscount Lawrie, Joseph Pinetti Gray, is facing financial ruin and needs a wealthy heiress. Luckily for him, Kendra's impetuous nature has handed him the fortuity he requires to save his family from downfall, and he pursues her once their ship is underway.

But Joseph's carefully cultivated plans come to a grinding halt when he finds himself falling in love instead of arranging a marriage of convenience. How can an old secondhand doll save the day?

He rushed over. “Thank God,” he whispered. He crouched down next to her. “Thank God,” he said again, touching his forehead to hers.

“Joseph? Lord Lawrie?” Her voice cracked. Her white glove was no longer white. He wished he could have protected her from that.

Leaning back, he peeled the stained fabric away. Her hand clenched. “My hands—”

He brushed his lips over the tiny scars. “Your hands are perfect,” he said. “We’ll have to marry, you know.”

“Married. I’ve dreamed of marrying,” she whispered, smiling. Her eyes were dry, but in them he read the shock and fear.

Something tight squeezed Joseph’s chest, and he found he could hardly breathe. Death hovered over them. While he might fail in creating bliss for Kendra’s last moments on this earth, he could offer her the whimsical fairytale.

Joseph dropped her hand and cupped her head with both hands. “Lady Kendra Frazier, would you do me the honor of becoming my wife, mademoiselle, s’il vous plaĆ®t?”

With a stately incline of her head, she replied with a trembling smile. “I shall be honored, Viscount Lawrie, Chevalier Joseph Pinetti Gray. Lord Hardwick’s Marriage Act was put in force in Scotland in fifty-four, so we’ve no need to post the banns.” A small hysterical laugh erupted. “Shall we escape to Gretna Green, my lord?” 

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