Captain Pershore stood on the deck of his ship, his black hair fluttering in a strong breeze. His hand rested on the hilt of his scimitar attached to his belt holding up his dark breeches. He was feeling rather pleased with himself. After all, a lovely lady was waiting for him in his cabin. For the moment, she might be unwilling, but that would not last long. He would have the lady as his.
Annamarie twisted and turned her wrists, struggling as much as she could, but the ropes only burned her, not loosening even a tad bit. Nothing short of a blade could free her of this binding.
The pirate had captured her out of her bedroom last night. At least, she assumed it had only been the previous night. She had no concept of how much time had passed since her abduction.
Her parents had been away, visiting friends, so the chances of anyone knowing she had been captured were nearly nonexistent.
What was she going to do?
Lord Barnet approached the manor. He had hoped to call upon Lady Annamarie. With her dark hair and darker eyes, she was a vision to see, but it was her mind and her heart that drew her to him.
To his shock and bewilderment, the butler who answered the door had swollen eyes. The maid scurrying by was crying.
“Whatever is going on?” Barnet asked.
“We are waiting for the lord and lady to return, but… It seems someone has stolen into the house and taken Lady Annamarie.” The butler hung his head.
Barnet pushed open the door and rushed to Annamarie’s bedroom. Yes, there had indeed been a struggle here. Annamarie had not left of her own free will.
As he turned to leave, he spied something glittering by her bed. A coin, an old one, the kind he had seen a villain of a man juggling in a nearby tavern.
Captain Pershore, a brutal pirate known for taking all he wanted.
Apparently he wanted Lady Annamarie.
“Should we notify—“ the butler called, but Barnet was already leaving.
He would not allow Annamarie to be in that foul man’s presence. He would do all he could to save her.
He would not fail.
To be continued…
Taken from the notes of one Lady Anna Wycliff
Lady Anna is the heroine in Christmas Kisses, part of the Bluestocking Belles’ boxed set Holly and Hopeful Hearts available now from various retailers. 25% of proceeds will go to the Malala Fund.
About the Book
When the Duchess of Haverford sends out invitations to a Yuletide house party and a New Year’s Eve ball at her country estate, Hollystone Hall, those who respond know that Her Grace intends to raise money for her favorite cause and promote whatever marriages she can. Eight assorted heroes and heroines set out with their pocketbooks firmly clutched and hearts in protective custody. Or are they?
About the Stories
A Suitable Husband, by Jude Knight
As the Duchess of Haverford’s companion, Cedrica Grenford is not treated as a poor relation and is encouraged to mingle with Her Grace’s guests. Surely she can find a suitable husband amongst the gentlemen gathered for the duchess’s house party. Above stairs or possibly below.
Valuing Vanessa, by Susana Ellis
Facing a dim future as a spinster under her mother’s thumb, Vanessa Sedgely makes a practical decision to attach an amiable gentleman who will not try to rule her life.
A Kiss for Charity, by Sherry Ewing
Young widow Grace, Lady de Courtenay, has no idea how a close encounter with a rake at a masquerade ball would make her yearn for love again. Can she learn to forgive Lord Nicholas Lacey and set aside their differences to let love into her heart?
Artemis, by Jessica Cale
Actress Charlotte Halfpenny is in trouble. Pregnant, abandoned by her lover, and out of a job, Charlotte faces eviction two weeks before Christmas. When the reclusive Earl of Somerton makes her an outrageous offer, she has no choice but to accept. Could he be the man of her dreams, or is the nightmare just beginning?
The Bluestocking and the Barbarian, by Jude Knight
James must marry to please his grandfather, the duke, and to win social acceptance for himself and his father’s other foreign-born children. But only Lady Sophia Belvoir makes his heart sing, and to win her he must invite himself to spend Christmas at the home of his father’s greatest enemy.
Christmas Kisses, by Nicole Zoltack
Louisa Wycliff, Dowager Countess of Exeter wants only for her darling daughter, Anna, to find a man she can love and marry. Appallingly, Anna has her sights on a scoundrel of a duke who chases after every skirt he sees. Anna truly thinks the dashing duke cares for her, but her mother has her doubts.
An Open Heart, by Caroline Warfield
Esther Baumann longs for a loving husband who will help her create a home where they will teach their children to value the traditions of their people, but she wants a man who is also open to new ideas and happy to make friends outside their narrow circle. Is it so unreasonable to ask for toe curling passion as well?
Dashing Through the Snow, by Amy Rose Bennett
Headstrong bluestocking, Miss Kate Woodville, never thought her Christmas would be spent racing across England with a viscount hell-bent on vengeance. She certainly never expected to find love…
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