Published by Doe Bay Publishing on July 24th 2018
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
How can the Honorable John Bonnington maintain his self-respect as a gentleman if he's prohibited from continuing the family tradition of battling Napoleon's invasion into England?
Obligated to redeem her family's good name by making a respectable match following her sister's elopement, Lady Abigail is determined to find some way to continue her scandalous pursuit of higher education. Can love teach them that honor and knowledge come in many forms?
The Honorable John Andrew Bonnington, following the shrieks of laughter and the dogs’ barking, bolted over the fence, too impatient to walk to the gate connecting the family’s estate and his sister’s estate.
His younger brothers and their best-buddy, Edward Harcourt, had disappeared into the bright March sunshine for a cricket match. Most likely with their cricket-fanatic older sister.
He could have sent their tutor to fetch the wayward brothers, but the bright weather was the perfect excuse to leave the forlorn empty house. Like his younger brothers, Jack also felt the absence of his newly-wed sister.
By the loud barking and yipping, Wellesley, the family’s Labrador puppy, Matilda and Mirabelle, the spaniels, and Gus, Edward’s constant canine companion were also enjoying their liberation from the confines of the house.
Coming down the steep incline, Jack expected to see his sister’s flaming red hair and long stride running in the open field. Instead, he was shocked to see the boys huddled around a young woman lying flat on the cold spring ground.
Edward swung the cricket bat low in one hand while Colin leaned over the tiny blond woman. The dogs circled the prostrate form and yipped playfully. What had the boys done this time? Knocked the lady unconscious?
He ran. His heart pounding making it difficult to hear what Colin was saying to the fallen lady.
“I assumed you’d know that you can’t stand on the home base,” Colin apologized.
Edward shoved Colin. “How would she know since she’s never played before?”
Then Jack heard a light lyrical laugh. “No harm except for my pride that you were easily able to knock me off my feet. I’ve always wished to be taller.”
Jacks’ voice thundered as he increased his gait. “What have you done this time, Colin?”
The boys separated to give him a clear view of the lady. And there, in dishabille, was his nemesis, Miss Abigail Lyon. The maddening woman smiled up at him as if nothing was amiss. Her bandeau, supposedly holding her riotous curls in place, covered one eye, and her bright curls fell around her shoulders in wanton disarray as if she had recently been tumbled.
Jack pushed his brother aside to lift Miss Lyon off the cold wet ground. “Are you injured?”
“No. I’m quite fine.” She was a tiny thing and light as a bird, unlike his gangly sister. His body hardened immediately by the way her soft curves pressed against him.
“My brothers knocked you down?”
“The boys have been everything a lady would want in gentlemanly behavior.” Her voice was laced with amusement. Her bright blue eyes were wide and close enough to see the gold striations like streaks of sunlight in the cornflower blue.
“You definitely have sustained a head injury if you are calling these ruffians gentlemen.” Jack couldn’t look away from her shining face. “Have you any injuries?”
She was close enough to see that her lower lip was wider than her top and looked pillow soft and perfect for… He jerked his eyes away.
Despite her reddening face, she pushed against his chest with a puny effort. “I’m in no need of an unwanted rescue. Put me down.”
Colin interrupted. “I’m really sorry, Abbie.”
Jack twisted to give his brother his best polite-company stare of “what the hell are you doing.”
“Colin, you forget yourself. ‘Miss Lyon’ to you.”
The soft bundle of woman wrestled against him. “I’ve given the boys permission to call me Abbie.”
Jack was enjoying her tiny and futile attempts to release herself. She was like the puppy, Wellesley, with her uncoordinated efforts. His thoughts veered to how he would stop her from struggling with a warm kiss if she were another woman and if his brothers and Edward weren’t watching in rapt attention.
“You can unhand me. I’m not some damsel in distress. Beside you’re interrupting our game and my team is winning.” She twisted in his arms brushing his chest again with her abundant breasts. She definitely wasn’t tiny in the areas that mattered most to men. “Isn’t that right, Drew?”
He reminded himself what a frustrating piece of baggage Miss Abigail Lyon was. His expanding and tightening male body didn’t seem to care as he lowered ‘Abbie’ to the ground.
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