Authors: Sisters Traherne (Lady Meriel's Duty; Lord Lyford's Secret)
“I meant what I said about making things pay for themselves. Whether the men were disgruntled or not makes little difference. When one gives a man something he has not earned, he does not appreciate it. Consider Jared himself, if you will.”
“I won’t. I have had my fill of Jared. If I yield to your wishes, sir, I suppose you will carp every time I spend a groat.”
“Certainly, but I hope that question means you do not intend to give me a set-down and that you will marry me in spite of my nipcheese notions and my despicable connection with trade.”
“Well, I’m very much afraid I will,” she said.
He stepped near to her, pulling her up from her chair and putting his arms around her. Then he said in a tone very different from the one he had been using, “What made you change your mind, Gwen?”
She looked into his captivating eyes and wondered that he could ask. “You trust me,” she said simply. “No man has ever truly done that before. I noticed it first when you not only allowed me to swim but also arranged a place for me to do so. There were other such instances too, but today when you leapt to help me when my own brother would not, and when you hadn’t the slightest notion of what I was trying to do … well, no one has ever done such a thing before. I knew I cared for you long before that, of course. I think you know that.”
“I do. ’Tis why I dared to tease you.”
“Well, perhaps I would have succumbed to your wishes in any event, sir, but now I no longer fear marriage, not with you.”
The next thing she knew, she was being thoroughly kissed and enjoying it very much. Neither of them heard the library door open, but both jumped nearly out of their skins when the countess banged her cane sharply upon the floor.
“So this is where you have got to! What on earth are you doing, the pair of you?”
Lyford recovered his composure first. “You may be the first to wish me happy, ma’am. Lady Gwenyth has done me the honor to agree to be my wife.”
“Oh, she has, has she?”
Gwenyth eyed her warily, but Lyford chuckled. “No doubt you do not think her a proper person to take your place at Molesford, ma’am, but I assure you that you may remain with us as long as necessary, to teach her everything you know. No doubt Newton will be content to hang about for another year or two.”
“Fiddle faddle!” snapped the countess, turning on her heel and slamming the door behind her, leaving them to return to what they had been doing before she interrupted them.
A fourth-generation Californian of Scottish descent, Amanda Scott is the author of more than fifty romantic novels, many of which appeared on the
bestseller list. Her Scottish heritage and love of history (she received undergraduate and graduate degrees in history at Mills College and California State University, San Jose, respectively) inspired her to write historical fiction. Credited by
with starting the Scottish romance subgenre, Scott has also won acclaim for her sparkling Regency romances. She is the recipient of the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award (for
Lord Abberley’s Nemesis
, 1986) and the RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award. She lives in central California with her husband.
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Lady Meriel’s Duty
copyright © 1987 by Lynne Scott-Drennan
Lord Lyford’s Secret
copyright © 1990 by Lynne Scott-Drennan
Cover design by Mimi Bark
This edition published in 2013 by Open Road Integrated Media
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