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Susanne Marie Knight
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AN AMERICAN ROSE
American Nicolette Turner has a bone to pick with the British. Not only is her countryâ€™s maritime rights being violated, but her English grandfather, Lord Eldredge, demands that she travel across the Atlantic to visit him. What she doesnâ€™t know is that he intends for her to marry, thereby staying in England and having lots of babies.
The most eligible suitor is neighbor Victor Kincaid. Victor has severe money problems. Lord Eldredge offers to take care of the debts... if Victor marries Nicolette. At first Victor believes sheâ€™s a fortune-hunter, but soon becomes captivated by her. Can he convince her he wants more than a marriage of convenience?
Damn. Asking for this womanâ€™s hand is going to be deuced awkward, to say the least. Inhaling deeply, Victor walked into the drawing room and scanned its yellow interior. A cheerful fire crackled in the fireplace which stood between two immense paintings. Just beyond the hearthrug in the middle of the drawing room, a table displayed the nuncheon meal. Cold meats, cheeses, pickles, jellies, breads, and fruits--everything a man could want to assuage his hunger. But more important than food, a crystal decanter of sherry beckoned to him.
It would have to wait. Where the devil is Nicolette?
The two settees around the table were empty and not a sound other than the snapping and popping of flames disturbed the tranquil air.
He released his breath. Was he supposed to seek her out? "Damn,â€ he repeated, this time out loud.
A movement by the large wing-backed chair near the fireplace caught his attention. It was Nicolette, so curled within the chairâ€™s comfortable borders that, from his vantage, he had not seen her. "Is something wrong, Lord Cushing? Is the food not to your liking?â€
She looked an odd mixture of mischievousness and grandeur. Her delicately arched eyebrows were lifted in an indifferent manner, however, the twinkle in her grey eyes revealed amusement at having caught him in an unguarded moment.
"Er, no, not at all.â€ He cleared his throat, then gestured toward the table. "Shall we?â€
Nodding, she left the chair to pick up a dish. She must not have been very hungry for she chose only a few cubes of cheese, a biscuit, apple slices, and strips of pineapple. "I find our hostâ€™s hospitality most agreeable. I never expected to feast on pineapple, quite a costly fruit in these parts Margaret tells me.â€ Nicolette chose one of the settees and sat.
He made a move to pour her a glass of sherry, but she declined the wine.
Pity. It would have made his ordeal easier if she were a trifle elevated.
He sat opposite her on the other settee and balanced a full plate on his lap. How should he begin? "Lady Nicolette--â€
"Perhaps itâ€™s time we called each other by our Christian names.â€
He smiled. She was going to make this easy for him. "Yes. Yes, certainly, Nicolette. I realize we have not known each other long, however, our families have been neighbors and friends for close to two hundred years.â€
"My fatherâ€™s family,â€ she corrected.
"Yes, of course.â€ Why would she even mention her motherâ€™s connections? He ran his hand over his hair, then took a drink of sherry. "I would have preferred for us to get better acquainted before...â€
He glanced into her earnest eyes. So, she was not going to make it easy. "Nicolette, as you are aware, shopping is not the sole purpose of being in London today. It is your grandfatherâ€™s wish to bring us... together.â€
She met his gaze unflinchingly. "And he uses his wealth to achieve his ends.â€
Victorâ€™s sentiments exactly, but why protest when he had already agreed to the arrangement? "As I am in need of funds, as are you, I see no reason to quibble about the circumstances that unite us in marriage.â€
Her nostrils flaring, she straightened her back. In truth she looked as formidable as an avenging fury. "Marriage? I must have missed something important. When did you propose?â€
Award-winning author Susanne Marie Knight specializes in Romance Writing with a Twist! She currently has sold 16 books. In addition to A CONTINENTAL MARRIAGE, she has THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD and ALIEN HEAT (futuristic romance) with Wings ePress Inc. Her other Regencies include 2005 EPPIE finalist THE CONTRARY CONTESSA; 2003 EPPIE finalist THE MAGIC TOKEN; two five-star time-travels Lord Darverâ€™s Match and TIMELESS Deception; and SOJOURN THROUGH TIME. In addition, she is the author of the 2003 EPPIE finalist and award-winning Janus Is A Two-Headed God; 2004 Dream Realm Award Winner THE COMING; 2003 EPPIE finalist LOVE AT THE TOP; Tainted Tea For Two; PAST INDISCRETIONS; COMPETITORS!; and Grave Future.
Susanne lives in the Pacific Northwest, by way of Okinawa, Montana, Alabama, and Florida. Along with her husband, daughter, and feisty Siamese cat, she enjoys the areaâ€™s beautiful ponderosa pine trees and wide, open spaces--a perfect environment for writing. For more information about Susanne, please visit her website at www.susanneknight.com.
Ms. Knight has written yet another enjoyable romp illustrating the development of an unlikely relationship between two opposites. Her quirky sense of humor and endearing characters provide hours of reading pleasure, along with a fast moving plot written smoothly and seemingly without effort. Well-rounded characters, while thoroughly likeable, are not without their faults, which serve to add compelling back-story and character development beneath the talents of Ms. Knight's pen. She has once again delivered with 'The Reluctant Landlord'. -- Denise M. Clark The Road to Romance
The Reluctant Landlord is a fairly short story and is easy to read. There are a lot of obstacles in The Earl and Katrinaâ€™s path before they can find true love. Fortunately, the Earl is a man used to getting his own way and sweeps aside anyone who tries to thwart him. Though he is formidable, he is still rather a likable character. Susanne Marie Knight wrote the characters well and it is evident that they are thoroughly thought out. They interact with each other superbly and this makes them all the more interesting. Reviewed in July 2002 by Mary.
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 260
Paper Weight (lb): 11.0
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