Authors: VJ Dunraven
What Real Readers are Saying:
Heaven Sent (the Wrong One) is, by far, one of the greatest book I've read in a long time. It transports you to another plac
e and time with characters you'd wish you knew. The author moves you across time and sticks you right in the middle; a place you'll never want to leave. If you don't pick this book up, you are passing on one of the greatest stories.
~Justin C. USA
riting skill is impeccable! I was easily drawn to your books/stories and been raving about them with my friends. Heaven Sent the Wrong One is a perfect shot of romance and humor. Thank you, VJ Dunraven, for sharing your stories to the world. They're truly amazing.
~Geraldine Langamon, Philippines
Heaven Sent The Wrong One is my own "happy-hormone" booster! :) It was the reason why I woke up one day and greeted my moody neighbor "good morning sunshine!" As always, VJ Dunraven did an excellent job
. ~Fe Maricar Bisnar, Philippines
Heaven Sent (the wrong one) made me laugh, cry and realize that love stories don't always end the way we expect them to end. This story is a love story really close to reality. I love it!
I was very excited to re
ad this book and to read Allayne's story. From what I read from the Wattpad version, I wasn't disappointed at all. After a magical view of Cassandra's story, it was only fair we could view his magical world also. VJ Dunraven is a writer that I most definitely will never forget. She has a way with words that no writer can hope to achieve, and I seriously hope that she can be more known worldwide.
~Mariana Aleixo, Portugal
2011 VJ Dunraven
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.
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Printed in the United States of America
First Printing, 2011
Heaven Sent (The Wrong One) is a work of fiction. The characters and their
names, including the venues used are fictional, except for some well-known localities and landmarks in the period it was written. Historical references, though used with descriptive accuracy and in correct chronological order, were manipulated to accommodate the events in the story. Some euphemisms were utilized intentionally ahead of their etymology, morphology, and glottochronology in historical linguistics to fit the characters’ personalities.
Lastly, this author has chosen to forego conformity to custom
ary regency standards of decorum in favor of presenting strong, unconventional, and memorable characters close to her heart.
Table of Contents
Nothing at all
Seat of the Duke of Grandstone
llayne Carlyle set his sight on the mark. Carefully, he released the safety lock and steadied his grip on the pistol. His green gaze narrowed on the tiny red dot.
He pulled the trigger.
A flock of birds flew from the trees at the deafening sound. The target quivered from the impact of his bullet.
He lowered the gun and raised his head. A smile tugged the corners of his mouth.
A footman unhooked the wooden
disk and hurriedly brought it to Jeremiah Devlin Huntington, Marquess of Waterford, and Richard Christopher Radcliffe, Duke of Grandstone, for a closer inspection.
"Damn it," Richard hoisted the disk at an angle so that sunlight filtered through the burnt
hole. "How does he do it?"
"Well, old chap, you trounced us soundly once again," Jeremy shook his dark head as he examined the missing small center circle on the board with Richard.
"It's useless to compete with you," Richard handed the board back to the footman. "You have eyes as sharp as an eagle."
"And an aim as accurate as a damn sharpshooter," Jeremy motioned for his valet to gather his pistols and pack them in the gun cases.
"Where are you going?" Allayne handed his pistol to his own valet for a reload.
"Home," Jeremy shook off the gunpowder from his hands and pulled on his gloves.
"I'd best go too," Richard said, and gave instructions to his valet to wipe his pistols and put them in the leather cases. "You’re welcome to practice here as long you like. I will have Gordon bring more refreshments."
Allayne swore under his breath. "Gentlemen, it is three o'clock in the afternoon. It is a fine day for outdoor activities! If you like, we can go riding instead."
"Thank you, but no," Jeremy replied as his valet helped him put on his coat. "I must join Cassie for tea and I promised Edward I'd take him fishing at the pond."
"Tea?" Allayne scoffed at his brother-in-law. "Since when did you start taking tea?"
"Never. Cassie has tea, but she makes my coffee for me," Jeremy lifted his chin to let his valet fix his cravat.
"You'll ride all the way back to Waterford Park just to have your damned coffee," Allayne raised a tawny brow in disbelief.
"Well, no," Jeremy flashed him a crooked grin. "I'm going home because I miss your sister—and I'll be damned if I don't see her soon enough."
"Good God, man!" Allayne threw his hands in the air and shook his head. "We've only been out for two hours!"
"I'm afraid that is long enough," Richard interrupted. "I must go see Desiree. The twins should be up from their nap and I promised to let them go fishing with Edward."
"Damnation!" Allayne waved at his valet to pack up his pistols. "Both of you have turned into domestic bores."
"Ah, but you don't understand domestic bliss, my friend," Richard patted his back, humor twinkling in his blue eyes, "at least, not yet."
"Gah!" Allayne raked his fingers through his long, wavy, honey-blond hair. "Please
—I have no desire to get leg-shackled any time soon."
"But shouldn't you be thinking about
it?" Richard plunged his arms into the sleeves of the velvet coat his valet offered. "You're three and thirty—you're not getting any younger."
"I don't care. I'm content with my life, my sport, and my books," Allayne let his own valet assist him with his c
oat. "I don't need some chit hovering over me—not even for sex. God knows I have more than enough invitations to indulge in liaisons to fill my calendar for the next five years."
Jeremy laughed. "I know what you mean, old chap," he slapped Allayne on the
shoulder. "But I guarantee—you'll eat every single word you said once you find The One. You just haven't met her yet."
Allayne rolled his eyes heavenward. "Oh please
—not another lecture from Reverend Jeremy, our very own fallen profligate."
"I vacated the
throne as the most notorious rake in England when I fell in love with your sister," Jeremy waggled his brows, his dark eyes teasing. "And the last time I looked, you—Allayne Carlyle, have taken up residency as the new King of Rakes."
ged. "The more reason why I don’t need to tie myself up to a single chit—when there's a whole buffet of them to sample out there."
"Spoken like a true Corinthian," Richard chuckled as his valet tied his straight blond hair loosely with a black ribbon at hi
s nape. "I can't wait to see you swallow your own tongue when you finally meet your match."
"Speaking of a match," Jeremy interjected. "Cassie said your mama is quite determined to send you off to Bath to meet the Earl of Weston's daughter at the Countess
Dowager Penthorpe's house party in a few days."
Allayne snorted. "Lord, I just wish my dear mother would stop this relentless matchmaking," he rubbed the back of his neck. "She even has a list
—can you believe it? I have met every single one of them and rejected them all, and still—she will not leave me alone. Now she's dispatching me to her friend's godforsaken house party! I don't even know anyone, nor do I have the acquaintance of the hostess, Lady Penthorpe, who I assume shall introduce me to this chit. I told her this would be the very last time I am letting her manipulate me into one of her schemes. If this chit turns out to be as insipid as the other ones, I am moving to Waterford Park—away from my mother," he thrust a finger at Jeremy's chest, "and don't even think about saying no—I'll sleep in the stables if I have to."
"Of course you can stay with us at Waterford Park," Jeremy replied, with a sweep of his hand to brush the lock of black hair that had fallen on his brow.
"Or, you can hide here at Grandstone Park," Richard added, with a suppressed grin.
Allayne watched his two best friends exchange mischievous glances.
"Good God," Jeremy suddenly exclaimed. "What a damn pickle!"
He and Richard burst out laughing.
"Do you think this is funny?" Allayne glared at both men. "What am I supposed to do in Bath for a fortnight with a bunch of peers my parents' age?"
Richard and Jeremy looked at each other.
"Well, if you ask me, it seems Lady Carlyle purposely arranged for both you and the chit to be out of place," Richard replied, his lips twitching. "Perhaps to encourage more time together?"
"Ah, Lady Carlyle has finally learned from the master," Jeremy did a theatrical bow.
Both men dissolved into another fit of laughter.
"This discussion is over. I'm going hom
e," Allayne said in irritation, cocking his head at his valet who hastily gathered his things. His friends had certainly turned into silly love-struck buffoons.
"Nonsense," Jeremy anchored an arm around his shoulders and strolled with him to the path leadi
ng to the driveway. "You're coming with me to Waterford Park to visit with your nephew and my wife."
Richard caught up next to him and gave him a slap on the back forceful enough to dislodge his tonsils. "Better than going back to Rose Hill, old chap
—your mother might concoct yet another scheme."
Allayne began to protest, but changed his mind. What good would it be to go home if his mother would not leave him alone? He could not even read his books in peace, for heaven's sake, without her whining about the
ir fortune going down the drain someday if he did not produce an heir. And not just one—she wanted a dozen! The lady must think he was some buck rabbit who could churn out a nest of bunnies in a single mating. "Alright," he finally acquiesced.
Richard turned towards the garden entrance of Grandstone Manor. "My family and I shall see you there in an hour and a half. Joshua and Diana can't wait to go fishing."
"Cassie has plans to take Desiree to the village for some shopping," Jeremy called over
his shoulder. "That should keep them occupied while we're at the pond."
"Splendid! We'll see you then," Richard waved at them by the door before he went in.
The grooms brought their horses around and held the reins. Allayne mounted alongside Jeremy.
Richard's voice echoed in his mind, as they urged their horses into a gallop
. My wife.
Jeremy's voice simultaneously sounded in his ear.
Goddammit! Allayne rattled his brain free from the uncanny taunts. What the hell was he thinking of? Yes, times h
ave changed and his friends have other priorities now—but so what? He could still go on his merry way to London if he wanted to. He was a free man, without any liability and commitment to no one. He could do anything he desired!
Minutes later, they turned
their mounts onto the tree-lined drive of Waterford Park. At the very end of the road where the wide steps to the mansion's entrance flowed, Cassie stood with Edward, waving at him and Jeremy.
Jeremy jumped off as soon as the groom steadied his horse. He w
ent straight to his wife and gave her a kiss thorough enough to embarrass the servants, and make his son Edward blow a loud whistle with his fingers.
Allayne chuckled and gave his nephew a sideways hug. As they waited for Cassie and Jeremy to pry their eye
s away from each other, he could not help but feel a certain yearning in his heart.
It must be nice to have someone waiting at home for you, who loves you like that,
a little voice in his head whispered.
No, thank you!
Allayne reprimanded the annoying voice in a stern tone and shuffled his feet with unease.
"Did you say something?" Cassie swiveled her head at him, her eyes shining with happiness.
"Me? No—" He dropped a kiss on his sister's blushing cheek. Oddly, he felt alone—like an outsider, even though he was family. "I was just—it's nothing. Nothing at all."