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Only one thing can make the Duke of Alderburgh enter into a society that he despises. For the honor attached to the Alderburgh name to be obscured by a scandal not of his making, can Simon do what he must?
Lady Georgiana Hazeldon finds her parents have finally made a match for her. But the reason behind the choice does not endear her to the gentleman any more than his actions to her before they are introduced.
“I know who you are.”
“Yes, Lord Evans, as does everyone in attendance tonight,” Georgiana said her mouth widening in a smile.
“No, I think you deliberately misunderstand. Your true identity is no secret to me.”
Not by word or movement did she reveal how disturbing his disclosure was. She lifted an eyebrow in question, hoping her simulated confusion would mislead him.
“I know who your father is.”
Her first instinct to shrink away disappeared with the need to keep him silent as she took a step forward. Dropping all pretence of not understanding what he was referring to, she willed him to keep his tone low.
“And I will not hesitate to let it be known who you really are.”
“Why would you do that? It makes not a bit of difference to anyone,” she said quietly with a last bit of bravado to convince him of what she didn’t really believe.
“Oh, but it does,” he said laughing shortly. “I’m a reasonable man, but if you want me to keep this to myself it will cost you.”
She opened her mouth to ask him his price, but the question stuck in her throat. However, he saved her from having to voice the odious request.
“Two thousand pounds will give you the security of knowing you’ve bought my silence.”
Unintentionally she took another step forward simultaneously taking an involuntary deep breath in astonishment at the amount he demanded. She daren’t say what she really wanted. To be able to tell him she’d not pay a single farthing would have made her feel better. She wasn’t allowed that luxury though.
Music, faint and tranquil floated over her ignored, as did the loud tittering and gossip exchanged from both women and men in the long conservatory.
All of a sudden, her favorite cream sprigged muslin evening dress felt two sizes too small and she itched to pull off the long suffocating white gloves that reached the short puffed sleeves on her forearm.
She searched for something, anything, to get her out of the situation and spoke to the first person to come close to them.
“My lord,” she said reaching out to halt the man who’d nearly passed them. “I am sorry you had to search for me. Of course I remember this dance was promised to you.”
Thankfully, her savior didn’t dispute her words. Lord Evans inclined his head at her before turning around and striding off.
Letting out a tiny breath of air that he was gone and so was her problem, at least for the moment, she opened her mouth to give a thank you and apology to the man who’d come to her aid on her lips.
But she never voiced them for he was staring at her as though she were the vilest creature he’d ever known.
She didn’t recognize him and that was strange for she thought she’d met everyone who attended balls at Carlton House.
I like to travel, fish, and enjoy the outdoors and taking pictures of the wildlife. Boat riding in the Louisiana swamps and bayous, hiking in the woods in Mississippi and traveling presents me with colorful palates to take photos of, paint and inspire my creative writing. A picture says a thousand words.
Book Publisher: Wigns e Press
No. of Pages: 306
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