Historical Romance Novella
Release Date: 3/15/17
Just shy of fifteen years old, and during a fake and impromptu wedding ceremony, Lily Scott married her best friend’s brother, Henry Dalton.
It seemed harmless enough until he leaned in and whispered to her his true feelings, amorous words she has been unable to forget: Now you’re mine, forever and always.
Unfortunately, growing up pulls them apart and transforms Henry into a pompous scoundrel. When they meet again at a house party hosted by Henry’s sister, will Henry remember his once faithful promise to Lily?
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“Did you write the letter?”
Lily jumped and spread her gloved hand over her chest. Her heart thumped against her palm as she rotated around to face her friend. “Yes,” she answered, leaving out the fact that it no longer remained in her possession. “It’s…written.”
Jane clapped her hands like a child. “I’m sure it’s perfect, but I’ll read it later when Aunt Sophia has fallen asleep,” she whispered.
Lily glanced over at the gray-haired woman, her head bobbing one way and then the next, against a red and gold striped mahogany-framed couch. Aunt Sophia remained the preferred relative above everyone else because she always fell asleep during her sole occupation as a chaperone.
“For now, I’m trying to discover what possessed my brother to ask me to invite Miss Appleton,” Jane said, all the while smiling in their direction. “They are not together, but I do believe he chooses to associate with the most disagreeable women on purpose, just to vex me.”
Lily tried to avoid glancing in Henry’s direction by instead sending her friend a sympathetic smile. She’d always remembered Jane as being outspoken and determined. With a much larger dowry than Lily, she attracted her fair share of suitors, all of whom she tried to deflect with her infamous “parlor games.” That is until Jane had suddenly and surprisingly realized her unrecoverable love for Mr. Waverley.
“I cannot begin to speculate about Henry’s many cordial affairs,” Jane continued, fanning her face in disgust. “Do you know that Miss Appleton is rumored to have been engaged five months ago, but the wedding was called off because of something the groom discovered but did not disclose?”
Lily pressed her lips together. While her heart had remained steadfast and loyal to Jane’s brother, he’d veered off onto a path of open debauchery. Sometime between their quiet walks in the garden, a lovely pretend wedding day, and this moment, he’d become a man she hardly recognized. What had happened to the young boy who had reached for her hand when he thought her unhappy or hurt? Perhaps she might address him as Mr. Daltrey, next time.
“Oh, good. Look, Henry’s unlatched himself from Miss Appleton and is now speaking to Mr. Waverley. I shall introduce you to him.”
Lily shook her head. “But I had hoped to have some punch.” She needed something to steady her nerves, a place to think on how to retrieve the letter. Since seeing Henry again, her heart hadn’t slowed its pace, and her hands had yet to stop shaking. Of course, when she turned away, Jane grasped one of her trembling hands, hauling her toward where Mr. Waverley and Henry stood talking, a glass of brandy in their right hands.
Lily believed she could not imagine Mr. Waverley any more handsome. He was tall with soft blond hair and gentle blue eyes. He was not, however, her husband. Stirred by Henry’s presence, Lily shifted her gaze to him. Her progress forward faltered when his hand reached into the pocket he’d secured Mr. Waverly’s letter. In slow motion, her legs tangled, her ankles twisted, and she landed on the hard floor with a graceless thud.
About the Author:
I’m a LEO wife, mother, and third-generation veteran.
I have been writing for thirteen years. My debut novel, LORD BACHELOR, earned second place in The Heart of Excellence, Reader’s Choice Award in 2016. This novel was also featured in InD’tale Magazine for receiving a Crowned Heart Review (4.5 stars). Although I enjoy the contemporary romance genre, my first love is historical romance. There’s just something about a man in a pair of Hessian boots.
When I’m not writing, I’m spending time with my husband and two boys, ages 13 and 11. Without their sacrifice and understanding, I would have never been able to pursue my passion of writing or my accomplishment of becoming a published author.
No matter what I write and read, there ALWAYS has to be a happy ending.