Step back with us into a century long gone where horse drawn carriages and ladies with parasols were every day sights.
AN ARRANGED VALENTINE
Miss Penelope Braxton has never met either sensible George Harburton or his dashing younger brother, Henry, but she agrees to grant her dying father peace of mind by considering marriage to one of them.
The advantage of the match for the brothers is evident in the form of Miss Braxton’s substantial dowry. But her money takes second place when both George and Henry realize the extent of Penelope’s courage, wit, and devotion.
Will either gentleman be able to compose the perfect poetry to win Penelope’s heart?
George stomped into the kitchen an hour later, shaking the rain off his coat and attempting to dislodge from his head the unpleasant business of asking for another account extension with the local grain merchant. Still, doing so was better than explaining to Sir Robert and Penelope that their horses had starved whilst in his care.
Penelope. Would she be their salvation? Always a practical man, George pictured her slim figure and lovely green eyes while calling Laurence to come and help pull off his muddy boots. It was a somewhat ironic task for a footman, but better than cleaning up a trail of dirt if he wore them further into the house.
The rain had begun in earnest while he was in the stables, and Henry and Uncle Solomon would likely be soaked through when they returned. George hoped they might at least have a pheasant or a grouse for tonight’s dinner table as reward for their trouble.
Divested of the boots at last, George dispatched Laurence for a pair of shoes more suitable to the house and told the servant he would find him working in the library. He needed to make a note in the account books of the additional amount now owed for the grain. There was another, less tedious, but certainly more difficult, task to complete, as well—the writing of the St. Valentine’s Day verse, the first step in his wooing of Penelope.
George paused at the entrance to the great hall, found neither Sir Robert nor his daughter anywhere in sight, and made haste, his stocking feet noiseless on the cold stone floor. Once in the library, he shut the door behind him and exhaled in relief, grateful that their guests hadn’t caught him running about the place like an errant child, with no shoes on.
“Good morning, Mr. Harburton.”
His heart sank to his non-existent boots. George turned and saw Penelope seated in one of the wing chairs by the hearth, with an open book on her lap and a look of amusement in her eyes.
“Miss…Miss Braxton,” he stammered. “Yes, good morning. I trust you slept well?” Gathering his wits, George embraced his embarrassment and strode forward, seeking the warmth of the fire.
“Yes, quite well, sir. Thank you.” She nodded and smiled, as if finding one of her hosts pacing about, wearing twice-patched stockings, was an everyday occurrence. “I pray I haven’t overstepped by making myself comfortable here with my favourite of Mr. Shakespeare’s plays?”
She held up the volume in question, so he could see the title, The Merry Wives of Windsor.
“Not at all,” he assured her. “But, may I say, what an unusual choice. For I can imagine you enjoying a romantic tragedy such as Romeo and Juliet or even a history, on the order of Julius Caesar, but not a risqué comedy.”
“Do you think I possess no sense of humour, then, Mr. Harburton?” She cast a fleeting look down at his unshod feet.
Another outstanding Regency era book by Kadee McDonld is Marisa's Choice.
Marisa Landon agrees to a whirlwind London Season because it seems to be the only way to prove to William Wycliffe that their lifelong friendship can turn into something more. She has loved Will since she was only fourteen. Now that she’s grown up and he’s returned from the war, she’s more determined than ever to make him her own.
But first, Marisa must deal with her step-father’s attempt to engage her to an eccentric viscount and the unexpected attentions of Will’s best friend, a charming young earl who can offer her wealth and status.
What will Marisa choose to do if Will won't offer for her?
To read an excerpt from Marisa's Choice, please click HERE.
Kadee McDonald grew up in the heat and humidity of the Texas Gulf Coast, but often dreamed of the cool elegance of the early-19th century London ballrooms that she read about in Regency romances. Along with the ballrooms often came arranged marriages, but Kadee always wondered if there was ever such a thing as An Arranged Valentine.
Learn more about Kadee McDonald on her website. Stay connected on Twitter and Facebook.