The Teatime Tattler has just confirmed that Lady Nanette de Chappell, the Comtesse de Moyne has gone on a mission for her grand mere. We all love her grand mere and ache in our hearts that she is infirmed. Who can deny the woman, certainly not her granddaughter. We all would like to see the vibrant and beautiful belle settled with a family of her own, but alas, young women today have these ideas about marriage. Lady Nanette is no different. I have it on good advice that she has taken on the quest to avoid being matched to someone for whom she doesn’t care. She longs for a love match. Really. Don’t we all.
There was a time when this writer thought she had found it in Lord Morgan Fitzhugh before he left to serve the king. We all mourned the loss of his father and older brother, lost at sea on their trading ship. The reluctant lord has his demons to bear that resulted in his declaration of remaining a bachelor.
My news today is about the unsuspecting couple. Lady Nanette and Lord Fitzhugh have been stranded in a snowstorm. No has been able to reach them. As you know, Sommer by the Sea is experiencing the worst snowstorm in years. While many have settled into the safety of their homes, Lady Nanette struck out for her grand mere’s closed castle in the center of Lord Fitzhugh estate to retrieve a prized possession for her grand mere. She wants to hold it once again before she passes.
I have it on good authority that Lord Fitzhugh hasn’t let her go alone. Fighting through an avalanche and tunnel cave in, they must depend on each other to escape. In the process, they both have the potential of finding something they’ve been searching for. If only they will open their eyes.
The Duke’s Lost Love
Lady Nanette de Chappell, the Comtesse de Moyne and Lord Morgan Fitzhugh, the reluctant 5th Duke of Preswick grew up near each other in Sommer by the Sea, Nanette at her grandparent’s now closed down Dunamara Castle and Fitzhugh at Preswick Hall.
Fitzhugh is with his three closest friends. Each of them suffers a form of feminine defeat. After a night of drinking, they decide to swear off the company of women for three years and instead study chivalrous love.
The following morning, Nanette and her three ladies arrive at Fitzhugh’s doorstep in a broken carriage. She is on her way to Dunamara for two reasons, retrieve an item for her ill grandmother and to avoid a dinner party to meet yet another suitor she will find lacking. She seeks the solitude of Dunamara to determine if her ideal is realistic or a dream no man can fulfill.
Fitzhugh takes her to Dunamara. A freak snowstorm strands them at the castle. Fighting through an avalanche and tunnel cave in, they must depend on each other to escape. In the process, they both have the potential of finding something they’ve been searching for. If only they will open their eyes.
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“It’s because of you that I acted.” Her voice was low and composed.
Her statement caught him off-guard. For a moment, he thought he had misunderstood until he peered at her. “Me?” He quickly moved from embarrassment to confusion. He didn’t take his eyes off her.
“I’ve witnessed situations where people willfully rejected taking action. They looked on as if the situation was an entertainment. It’s much the same amongst the ton. Along with too many insulting innuendoes and uncaring, hurtful, and yes, intentional acts of total disregard at the expense of someone.
“But not you. I took notice of you all those years ago. The example you set. You didn’t walk away from others when they needed assistance. I made a pledge to myself I would never be, nor be associated with, that type of person.
“No. I am not brave. I am a thinking, feeling person who doesn’t define acts of kindness as a weakness, but rather as a strength. I have learned your lesson well.”
“Don’t make me out to be something I am not. There are many more like me, better than me.” He closed his saddlebag.
“So you may think. But if you looked, I mean more than a passing glance, you would see the truth. At least that has been my plight. I haven’t met anyone who can meet my standard. ”
He returned to her.
“And I will not accept anyone less.” She added before he said anything.
They were both searching for something. He hoped with all his heart Nanette would find it. She’d grown to be a beauty one any man would be proud to have as a wife. He tilted his head as his gaze travelled over her face and searched her eyes.
His body heated as he caught a glimpse of her, the real Nanette. Aware of her intelligence and independent spirt, now he found her banter warm and enchanting. He admired her fire, her ice. Deep down, he wanted to find out more about her warmth.