on January 31st 2017
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Captain Lord Henry Challoner is a young viscount who’s left his ambition on the plains of South Africa. Wounded in the First Boer War, he’s come home and wishes he were anywhere else, until his desperate father sends him to Puddling-on-the-Wold to rusticate and recalibrate. How can Henry have any fun without any alcohol, or worse yet, any women? Kept under house arrest under the watchful eye of his draconian housekeeper and earnest local vicar, he’s bored enough to begin speaking to sheep until he literally stumbles across schoolteacher Rachel Everett.
Rachel knows she’s not on Henry’s improvement plan, but can’t seem to avoid or repel him no matter what she does to keep him at arm’s length. Could it be that she quite enjoys being in his arms, even if it’s against all the Puddling Rehabilitation Rules? Can Rachel circumvent the town fathers and Henry escape his personal jailors and demons?
Schooling the Viscount
“Quite right. I haven’t the best reputation. A sensible girl like you is wise to be wary. See, that’s why I want to marry you. You’re sensible.”
Rachel curbed the urge to throw her inkpot at him. She didn’t want to be sensible at the moment! But really, of course Henry didn’t love her. She didn’t love him either. She hardly knew him, and she wasn’t even supposed to know as much as she did. She’d be getting a visit from members of the Puddling Rehabilitation Foundation any second to accuse her of sabotage.
Someone would have noticed him walking down the hill to the school on such a filthy day, and would blame her for being some sort of Circe. Unless he was planning on plunging into the stream and getting even wetter, the school as the final destination.
She stood up. “While I am grateful for both your offer of escort and of marriage, I must decline both. Good day, Lord Challoner.”
He rose too, with a blinding smile. “At least take my umbrella.”
“Did you hear me?” Rachel cried.
“Yes. I have my good ear turned toward you. And I’m getting better at reading lips. Of course, when I look at yours, I forget what you’re saying and just want to kiss you.”
Well, that was almost romantic. Rachel tried not to feel a pleased flutter.
“I insist you take the umbrella.” Henry propped it against her desk. “I assume you don’t wish to be seen with me.”
“You assume correctly.”
“Very well. Shall I leave first?”
“Don’t you have a hat?”
“No, I hate them.”
Blast. He would be soaked by the time he climbed back up the hill.
He was probably used to marching in the rain. Beneath the scorching sun. Under conditions in countries she couldn’t even fathom or find on a map. It wasn’t as if it was an Indian monsoon out there—just a heavy warm English rain. Rachel had not been looking forward to it herself, but hadn’t been afraid to brave the elements. Why should she worry about a strong, healthy man?
Yet she did. She’d worried last night when she’d left him unconscious in the cool night air. Henry needed someone to take care of him. Care for him.
No, Rachel. No. But she picked up the umbrella and took hold of his arm, ignoring the warning voice in her head. Sometimes being sensible was overrated.
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The lady’s maid meets her match…
Wenna Chenoweth’s future is secure, until dashing Devon Courtney’s illicit flirtation gets her dismissed from her job as a lady’s maid. With nowhere to turn, Wenna is forced to accept Devon’s bold proposal: To be his bride. To enter society on the handsome aristocrat’s arm. To give him the heir he requires. It’s a foolproof plan. Except Wenna finds herself falling hard for a man who can never love her for who she is….
Wenna is passionate, mysterious, and ill-suited to the idle life of a society wife. She’s also exactly the kind of woman who could endanger Devon’s hopes to build his own future far from his family’s influence. For the spirited beauty has embarked on an unthinkable plan of her own—one that could lead him to surrender his resolve, and sacrifice everything he believes he holds dear….
Yet amid the wondrous landscape of colonial South Australia, anything is possible. Perhaps even love between two people the boundaries of society would keep apart….
After training at the South Australian School of Art, Virginia Taylor worked in an advertising agency. This segued into re-training as a nurse/midwife before meeting the man of her dreams, marrying and producing two children. Over the years Virginia has been a theatre set painter and designer, but now she fills her days as a full-time writer.