on January 1st 1970
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A beautifully told Regency tale about second chances for love....
When Wilhelmina Turner’s younger sister runs off with a young Lothario, she has no choice but to turn to the notorious rake who broke his promise and her heart, for assistance. George Bartlett, the Marquess of Chesterton, hasn’t forgotten the woman who hurt him so many years ago, but can’t deny her request, knowing that his brother’s reputation and fortune is at risk. A series of misfortunes leave the straight-laced widow and committed bachelor stranded, sharing both close quarters and old secrets. But when morning comes, will this unlikely pair find a second chance at love?
His hands circled around her waist, the thumbs grazing the lowest part of her back. She was angry, but even rage wasn’t enough to mask the warmth his touch sent through her center.
George lifted her up to the back of the mare without difficulty. She wasn’t dainty by any means, but he handled her with the same ease as if she were a mere wisp of a girl.
With the all the grace of a newborn calf, she pulled herself to a sitting position atop the mare.
“You get situated and I’ll be right back. I’m going to let the others know we’re leaving.”
She nodded, thankful for the brief reprieve. Wilhelmina could barely handle his hands about her waist, how could she possibly expect to withstand him sitting directly behind her on the horse. Lud knew he’d be touching quite a bit more while she sat in a compromising position.
“Are you ready, then?”
His voice startled her, clearing the wicked thoughts from her mind. “Ready as I’ll ever be.”
It was as if he knew what she’d been thinking because he smiled before hoisting himself up onto the mare. He took a moment to situate himself, his body so close to her own she could feel the warmth radiating off him despite the bitter chill in the air.
“You’re trembling,” he remarked. George reached around her, wrapping her in a blanket he must have found in the carriage. “Here, cover up with this. It’s large enough to share.”
He enveloped them both, sliding his body even closer.
The tremble had no doubt escalated to full on shaking, but not because of the weather.
“Are you all right?” he asked one more time before their departure.
She didn’t speak, uncertain as to how to answer the question.