Authors: Jennifer Wenn
Tags: #romance, #historical, #regency, #spicy
Rake walked slowly to her side and pulled out
the book she had just placed on the shelf. “Promise me you won’t go to Gretna Green with Thomas or any other man.”
“You can’t ask me to promise you that. I don’t know what lies in my future, and such a promise is impossible to make.”
“Then promise me you won’t go to Gretna Green without telling me, so I have a chance to stop you.”
She laughed outright. He was hilariously outrageous sometimes, this Lord Richard Darling.
“You want me to tell you if I’m about to elope, so you can stop me?”
“Yes. I want you to promise to inform me beforehand, so I have a chance to interfere.”
“If I ever do elope, my reputation would be destroyed immediately, and the only thing to save me then would be a marriage. Do you really think I would then want you to interfere and make sure a marriage never takes place?”
“I might marry you myself, to save you.”
She laughed again. “Then I promise to never elope to Gretna Green, if only to save you from a fate worse than death—marriage.”
Rake chuckled as he ambled toward the door. “With the right woman, marriage would not be a complete waste.”
“This was a fantastic book! The plot, the characters, the love, loss, pain, and just everything about life that we know is out there is blended into the pages almost seamlessly as though they were born there. I have no idea what more I can say about this book? Why are you still sitting here! Go and get it, you will not be disappointed!”
~Valkyrie Fatality, Rockin’ & Reviewing (5 Stars)
“I enjoyed the characters and their interactions. Fanny's family is fantastic and it was fun to see how a family of all men deals with the only girl in the family line. I loved the basic plot…a fantastic novel, and I would definitely re-read it.”
~Victoria Lane, The Romance Reviews
NEVER HAD A DREAM COME TRUE
is a sequel to
A FAMILY AFFAIR
Both are included in
The Royal Family
Dream Come True
The Royal Family, Book Two
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, organizations, places, events, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
Text copyright © 2014 by Jenny Wennergrund
Originally published by Wild Rose Press
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without express written permission of the publisher.
Published by AmazonEncore, Seattle
Amazon, the Amazon logo, and AmazonEncore are trademarks of
, Inc., or its affiliates.
Cover Designer: Tamra Westberry
This title was previously published by Wild Rose Press; this version has been reproduced from Wild Rose Press archive files.
Molly, Max, Wilmer and Emma ~
You are my dream come true
“Having a nice swim, are we?”
Lady Penelope de Vere closed her eyes in horror as she heard the too-familiar voice.
Unfortunately, surprise made her forget her current floating position in the lake at Chester Park. As she stiffened in response, she sank like a stone.
Sputtering, she reappeared from the lukewarm water, silently hoping her imagination was playing tricks on her.
Please, dear Lord, don’t let Rake be there when I open my eyes,
she prayed, but in vain.
Lord Richard Darling leaned, relaxed, against the trunk of a willow by the shore. With his arms crossed over his broad chest and his normal amused grin in place, he looked just as handsome and rakish as ever.
She had never felt more mortified, but, too proud to let him know, she only bowed her head slightly in greeting while ignoring the water that ran from her hair across the corner of her eye.
His amusement was even more apparent as he returned the somewhat misplaced greeting with a highly arched eyebrow. His grin deepened, letting her know without words how hilarious he found her.
“I hope all’s well with you?”
She murmured a polite answer, not able to come up with something witty and intelligent. All she wanted was for him to go away and leave her alone, but to her chagrin it seemed he had no such intention.
“And how are your parents?”
So, he was going to have some fun as she was in this awkward position? She straightened her back, as much as the water treading allowed her, and gave him the small polite smile she saved for persons she couldn’t wait to get rid of. “They are fine, thank you.”
“And your sister fares well?”
“Yes, thank you. Charmaine and our parents are still in London but will be returning soon.”
“It must be hard being the youngest and having to stay behind while your family is off to London for the Season.”
“Not really.” She shrugged, and just managed to save herself from ending up under the surface again. “I would have been much more miserable caught all alone in our townhouse than I am here in the countryside, enjoying life under the guardianship of your parents.”
Unconsciously he glanced toward the magnificent castle hovering above them with all its towers and pinnacles. His eyes lost their usual arrogance for a short second and the love he felt for his home and his parents was evident.
Penny caught herself from sighing in awe. He was such a handsome man. His dark brown hair framed his strong face lovingly. He was tall and broad shouldered, opposite of the gracious and slender wisp that was the height of fashion these days.
Not that his unfashionable looks made him any less popular among the opposite sex. He was a devoted libertine, infamous for his affairs with more women than anyone could count.
But strangely enough that didn’t matter in the eyes of the loving mothers of society. Even though he was the seventh and youngest son of the Duke of Berkeley and not once had hinted that he wanted to change his lecherous lifestyle, he still was one of the most eligible bachelors of society.
“I cannot thank your parents enough for inviting me to stay here with them and Francesca. They have made sure I had the most wonderful time.”
He nodded absentmindedly, still gazing at the castle. “They are the best.”
Love filled her heart as she thought about his parents. They were indeed the best; she would never disagree with him about that.
Her own parents were not the most affectionate, and she had more than once wished they would grant her just a little of the love the duke and duchess showered upon their loved ones.
It was saddening to think Rake’s parents offered her more love than her own did.
Lord and Lady Nester had not been able to hide their relief when the duchess asked if Penny could stay with them at Chester Park during the Season.
To them it was the perfect solution.
They didn’t want their underaged daughter with them in London needing to be entertained somehow when all they wanted was to show off their gem, the beautiful Charmaine, and thrive in her popularity as the incomparable queen of the
“We were told you all were going to arrive tomorrow.” Penny changed the subject shyly, and he woke from his thoughts.
“Ah yes.” His usual arrogant face was firmly in place again. “It was the plan, but then I had some friends who were passing here, and so I took the chance of getting here earlier. I haven’t seen my parents for a couple of months now, and selfishly I wanted them to myself for a few hours. As soon as all my brothers return, there is hardly any chance for a private talk, you know.”
“Your parents will love having you all to themselves, if only for a mere day.”
to themselves, I presume.” He grinned. “You, Fanny, and Charles are also crowding Chester Park.”
She looked up at the enormous castle that contained hundreds of rooms and shook her head mentally. “Crowding?”
When she met his smoky grey eyes again, they were laughing at her, and she blushed, mortified over her own stupidity and that she offered it to him so easily for his teasing.
“We’ll try to keep ourselves out of your way,” she murmured, and couldn’t stop a small shiver.
The water felt much colder under the willow than out in the sun, even though it was August and summer still ruled. She glanced longingly at the blanket which she had left in the sunlit grass. The mere thought of covering herself with its dry warmth made her shiver even more.
If only Rake hadn’t been there.
She knew she looked a mess, with her hair wet and tangled and her chemise completely soaked. It shouldn’t bother her, as this was only Rake, her best friend’s uncle, whom she had known for her whole life, but it did. And all because her silly heart had decided many years ago that it was madly in love with him, and she knew by experience there was nothing she could do about it.
She took a deep breath and squared her shoulders for strength. This was not the time to let her awkwardness toward him get her sick. She swam closer to the shore until her feet touched the sandy bottom, and before she could change her mind she started to make her way out of the water.
Not until she had passed the muddy part of the shore and regained her balance and posture did she look up at him. To her surprise he had lost his mirth and instead was frowning at her, as if something bothered him immensely.
“Do you mind?” she asked, with a gesture toward her blanket at his feet, but he only blinked at her, as if his thoughts were miles away.
“I would like to change my clothes without an audience,” she advised, and finally she caught his attention. He lifted his head and met her eyes, and this time it was she who unwillingly frowned.
Something was different.
She had never seen him look at her like this. His eyes were all dark and smoldering, and something warm started to build up inside her in response.
“I don’t mind at all.” A lazy grin grew upon his handsome face. “Please don’t let my humble person stop you from getting warm and dry.”
She frowned at him again
, not wanting to change into her dress in front of him.
The mere thought of him watching her squirm out of the wet chemise while hiding behind the blanket made her groan.