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Joan M. Fox
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Jordan Brisbane's departure leaves heartbroken Marigold Calloway a spinster. When Jordan returns to a Christmas house party, Marigold plans her revenge. Jordan isn't certain his fiancée is right for him, so he invites his American partner and his daughter to visit England with him.
Merriment, intrigue and mystery brighten this delightful Regency romp.
During the next few weeks, Jordan spent most of his time with Ben and Marigold and little with the senior Calloways and the younger Calloway girls, who were cloistered in the schoolroom with their teacher. The month of July was an opportune time for him to acquaint himself with his new relatives since after that he would leave for America. There was no certitude if, or when, he would return to England’s shores.
The men relaxed and unwound, enjoying a respite before seeking business pursuits. They joked, dreamed, and argued about everything under the sun. They rode into the village and explored the rolling countryside. At times Marigold was asked to go along, but not if the men sought their censored, masculine amusements. During some days, Bennett and Jordan played billiards, draughts, or chess. They lazed on chaises on the sun-warmed, stone terrace attached to the rear of Highcrest Farm’s manor with a cool drink of ale or wine in hand while they conversed or argued like intimate friends. Marigold often sat nearby listening or quietly sketching. She was totally infatuated by her dark-haired step-cousin.
Rose had warned Marigold not to intrude upon the men, so Marigold was careful not to be a pest. Nevertheless, she cleverly probed for Jordan’s feelings about her. Frustrated because he treated her like a sister the way Bennett did, alas, she was never able to fully read his mind.
One day she noticed that Jordan carried a dog-eared epistle in his jacket pocket. When they were alone, he sometimes read poetry to her from it. If she were allowed to comment, she was pleased and surprised that her ideas were considered, although he never really praised her for them.
Marigold knew she was bright, but she had learned from her mother it was unwise for a female to flaunt her intellect. Rose warned her that a woman should hide her knowledge under a basket until such time she was firmly wed, or it would be difficult to snare a proper husband. Women were supposed to be simply decorative non-entities, but should a family crisis arise, Marigold firmly believed her mother’s strength and sagacity could handle any problem.
Now Marigold simply listened to whatever Jordan had to say. He was everything wonderful in her eyes. She hugged absolute certainty to her breast and daily dreamed of marrying him.
Meanwhile, Jordan thought Marigold amusing and lively, and found she loved to talk. He politely listened to her girlish prattle. Her witty stories were often childlike, but always entertaining.
Neither Rose nor Malcolm were concerned about Marigold and Jordan’s solo encounters. They were always in full sight, never closeted behind closed doors. And they were cousins, if not through blood ties, by close familial connections.
One day the pair was on the terrace alone. “Let me relate the tale of a barnyard duckling that adopted one of our hounds for his mother,” Marigold said. “He snuggled amongst the litter of new pups tight against the bitch. I guess the dog was so surprised, she let him stay.” Marigold giggled. “Soon he grew bigger, but it took a while before the mother dog realized something was amiss. She finally growled at him fiercely and chased the duck away, nipping at his tail feathers.”
“What happened then?” Jordan asked.
“The drake waddled around the yard after the hound, quacking morosely as if he’d lost his best friend ever. It was quite pitiful.” She paused, rolled her eyes, and said wistfully, “I have a feeling we had him for supper. I failed to ask Mrs. Fortune if that was the same duck Cook stuffed and roasted a few weeks ago.”
Joan M. Fox is a multi-published romance author. She writes both Contemporary and Historical Romances.
Born and having grown up in New Jersey, Joan has remained in the state most of her life with only a few short side trips. She resides in a semi-rural county in the “Garden State” accompanied on several acres by several 4-footed friends: a thoroughbred mare, a large Rottweiler, and an aged, half-Siamese cat.
Joan is a small town gal who earned a B.S. in Fine Art Education, although she never pursued teaching as a career for more than one year. Instead, she traveled daily to work in New York City and wrote advertising copy and radio commercials, plus direct mail catalogs, public relations and publicity blurbs. Later, when widowed, she earned a N.J. Real Estate Broker’s license and listed and sold residential real estate in New Jersey. She now paints and sells watercolors as well as writing fiction.
Joan has been published elsewhere in Trade Size format with a pair of Victorian Romances. She also writes explicit, erotic romances under another name which are released in download only.
“A Sweeter Revenge,” is her second historical romance with Wings. This novel is set during the Christmas holidays in England in the early 1800’s. Another Regency, her first book with Wings, “Never Let Me Go,” received stellar reviews from several Internet romance review sites.
Visit Joan’s website at: http://home.earthlink.net/~tamemyheart
Or, email her at: email@example.com
“NEVER LET ME GO,” my third romance, is a rollicking Regency romance set in 1814 in England.
This was an excellent story. The characters are so real. You're kept on the edge until the very end wondering how Horatio and Anabel can overcome the obstacles in their way. When you do get to the end, it's very satisfying and well done. Overall rating: 5 hearts -- Renee Burnette, The Romance Studio
The book was a rollicking adventure! It was an extremely fun and fast read. The reader was entranced by the relationship between Horatio and Anabel. There is adventure, mystery, and of course, romance in this book. This reviewer has read and loved all the author’s previous books and looks forward to the next one!!! Rating: 4.5 -- Susan Tam/Love Romances
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 279
Paper Weight (lb): 11.8
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