but it's up for preorder ...
My latest Regency from Carina
The Duke's Seduction of Lady M
All Mary wants is a quiet life.
All Brody wants is to get his life back again.
Neither of them expected what an impact they would make on each other.
Neither was prepared to give way...
‘So,’ Mary broached the subject she really wanted some information on. ‘You mentioned the duke is out and about again. What do you mean.’ It hit Mary that in her months at The Grange, no one really mentioned the duke at all, other than he had been abroad for many years. Had anyone ever said he was at the castle? She searched her mind but couldn’t recall any conversations. After all the locals would know what was going on and have no cause to talk about it to her.
‘Ah, Brody? Well it’s like this. Or,’ Miss Wishlade said with a frown. ‘I believe it is. Mind I only know what I hear from Mrs Loveage, but he came back a changed man and did nothing.’
‘Came back?’ So he had been away then? ‘How changed?’
‘Oh I forgot you weren’t here before.’ Miss Wishlade looked around the garden and leaned conspiratorially. ‘Well, the young Duke, not that he was the Duke in those days, but he was not to put it too finely, a hellion my dear. A rake and a womaniser. His poor mama was in despair. He took but never repaid if you know what I mean.’ She coloured as she spoke. ‘Even though the estate is wealthy no coffers are bottomless. I tried to tell her, he’d been spoiled, that there was nothing malicious in his behaviour. That if you are brought up to believe you are so important you bow to no other diktats than those you chose to, you are not going to listen to reason. Sadly, he was treated in that manner by his mama. His papa bless his soul, tried to intervene but when a thrashing resulted in the uproar his mama created, why it was no wonder it had no real effect.’
Mary pondered Miss Wishlade’s words. ‘But surely he went away to school?’ From what her brother had let slip, school tended to beat all delusions of grandeur out of everyone.
‘Well, yes, but whatever it achieved was lost each time he came home. I daresay his schooldays meant he wasn’t quite so obnoxious,” Miss Wishlade said fairly. ‘But it still meant he had no concept of money management, or how to run the estates.’ She shook her head. ‘Or in those days have any desire to learn. Or so it appeared.’
‘He seems like a wastrel,’ Mary observed tartly. No wonder he looked at me so insolently. He is no gentleman whatever his title.
‘The problem is, my dear, when you are told the world owes you, then why sadly, you tend to take those sentiments at face value and follow that path.’ Miss Wishlade sat back in her chair and shook her head. ‘If truth be told I feel sorry for him. His mama is very strong willed, and no one really stood up to her.’
‘Not even her husband?’
Miss Wishlade shook her head again until her while coiffed hair stood out from her skull. ‘Oh no dear, as I said, he tried, but in the end? Why something happened and Brody left. No one knows all the ins and out of why and what happened next, but those it is rumoured he was working for the crown. I suspect we’ll never know.’
Mary agreed with her. She searched for something to say to change the topic but Miss Wishlade pre-empted her.
‘Now he’s home? Who knows what he’s like? Although Mrs Loveage says he’s kept himself to himself. Even when his mama took the rest of the family away, he’s not really been out and about. He’s been very quiet, no one has really seen hair or hide of him. I thought though, when we saw him earlier that he’s a man with a lot of anger in him.’ She paused and tilted her head to one side like an inquisitive bird. ‘And even more sorrow. Poor man.’
It was still no reason for him to stare at a woman in such an insolent and stripping of clothes manner. Mary had an awful though, one she immediately scotched. Surely he didn’t believe in droit de seigneur? Those days were long gone.
Anyway whatever it is, it looks likes he’s back with us again,’ Annie said as she caught the end of the conversation. ‘Which is good.’
Mary nodded. It all sounded somewhat far-fetched. Something made up to explain his boorish attitude? If so it wasn’t enough to appease her.
What if it was right though? That instead as she has supposed—if she’d thought about him at all—she’d have decided he was in London or visiting one of his other estates with the rest of his family. Like many of the ton? She was feeling a little uneasy about her holier than thou attitude. Wasn’t it as bad as his ‘I do what I want one’?
She needed to get away and think about the revelations.
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love R x