Fall in love with romance again…
Miss Tamsin Tisdale believes herself to be completely unsuitable for London life. After a myriad of social mishaps, and the potential ruination of her family name, she’s shipped away to her cousin’s northern estate. Only after she accepts the type of existence Society dictates she must follow will she be welcomed home.
Marcus Winston, the Duke of Grayson, has a lackluster reputation. The last in a dying line, he’s endured a protected life—rank with privilege, but encumbered by isolation. After a brief encounter with rebellion, he learns the devastating consequences of his carelessness and willingly accepts living life from inside his gilded cage.
However, a chance meeting with the brazen Miss Tisdale gives Marc the opportunity to reinvent himself into the man he’s always dreamed of being. But when his deception comes to light, and ghosts from both their pasts threaten to unravel the intimacy they’ve come to cherish, will either of them set their fears aside long enough to embrace love? Or will Miss Tisdale’s stubbornness divide them?
Marc watched the faint outline come across the dense morning fog, becoming more discernible as it approached. The tall, thin figure was riding along at a perilous speed, given the morning’s lack of visibility. He thought perhaps it was some gangly young man misguided in the fog. It wouldn’t be the first time someone accidentally stumbled upon the vast property that made up his family’s immodest estate.
Then the fog parted in an almost biblical manner, revealing his gross inaccuracy.
Were those . . . breasts?
Marc closed his eyes and thought for a moment. Typically, women didn’t ride alone at such an hour and they certainly didn’t wander unexpectedly across his property. It’d been quite a while, his last birthday to be exact, since his last intimate encounter with a woman—a gift, compliments of St. Regis—so there was always the possibility that perhaps his half-drunk, sex-starved mind had conjured up the sensual image.
He shook his head, opened his eyes, and looked back again toward the horizon.
Yes, those were most certainly breasts.
And she was most definitely not a young man. The woman’s riding habit pulled taut against her body as she raced toward him. Her hair was blowing behind her—various hues of auburn and gold, like wild flames curling about in the wind. Then a decidedly feminine voice burst through the morning’s silence, interrupting his self-doubt.
“Oh, thank goodness I found you!”
This was no mirage. She was indeed very real.
Marc watched, dumbfounded, as the girl—no, woman—slowed her approach. “Pardon?” he called back, certain he couldn’t possibly have heard her correctly.
“I’m so happy I’ve found you,” she repeated, nearly breathless. “Well, not you specifically, anyone really. I’ve been riding in circles for close to an hour now, and I’d just about given up all hope of finding someone when I spotted you. My cousin warned me about the altitude of these hills and how I mustn’t underestimate the density of this blasted fog. Of course, I didn’t listen and got myself thoroughly turned about. You see, I’m forever regretting not listening.”
She rode closer still and he could see her quite plainly now. She was tall and lanky, her riding habit revealing a rather trim frame. His focus quickly shifted from her slender build to her smile. It resembled nothing of the demure, timid smiles he’d become accustomed to seeing within his social circles. This smile was wide, revealing a number of straight ivory teeth, and seemed to extend to every facet of her face. Even her eyes, large and dark, appeared to be smiling.
Were they brown?
They were an impossibly dark shade of blue.
Then she gave her head a little shake, throwing a mass of unruly ginger curls over her shoulders, captivating him entirely.
Jessica Jefferson makes her home in northern Indiana, or as she likes to think of it—almost Chicago. She is heavily inspired by classic sweeping, historical romance novels, but aims to take those key emotional elements and inject a fresh blend of quick dialogue and comedy.
Visit her at http://www.jessicajefferson.com for more of her random romance musings.