Miss Miranda de Courtenay held back the tears threatening to leak from her eyes. Her chin jutted forward even while she took a firmer hold on Phillip, the Marquis of Wyndham’s arm. Her brother Adrian and Lady Celia Lacey both threw accusatory glances in her direction. In their eyes, Miranda had betrayed them. Could they not see for themselves she was doing them a favor? Having arrived with Celia’s father just as the couple had fallen to the ground in a public display had been sheer luck on Miranda’s part and was far more than she had expected when she urged the duke that his daughter needed him. Maybe having the entire ton as a spectator was a step too far but some matters needed to be shook up for the greater good. Adrian and Celia belonged together…
…and Miranda wanted Phillip as a husband. He was as good a choice as any other titled lord and at least he had been giving her the time of day. Celia did not want the man so why should Miranda not take advantage of the situation presented to her.
“I believe I will excuse myself from this fiasco, Miss Miranda,” Phillip murmured before his mouth clamped shut. She peered up at him and saw his cheek tick as though his tightly clenched jaw was an indication as to his true feelings for Celia.
“Of course, my lord,” she replied even though she was disappointed he refused to stay with her. It took everything in Miranda’s power not to stomp her foot to show her displeasure. She let go of his arm with a sense that any thoughts of this man becoming her husband just slipped through her grasp.
She went to a nearby bench and sat beneath the swaying branches of a tree. Adrian and the duke passed by her as though she did not exist. Celia’s sister’s quickly tucked the poor girl into their fold to usher her away while the gossipmongers began their attack.
But it was the whisperings of the Danver sister’s as they walked by that caused Miranda to truly regret her actions both today and in her past.
“You should not be surprised de Courtenay was taking advantage of a young woman like Lady Celia,” Prudence said making no attempt to lower her voice. “Why he is a notorious rake of the worse sort!”
“Really, Prue,” Abigail scolded, “you are just miffed he did not give you the least bit of attention during the last season. I would be far more concerned on what this will do to his younger sister’s reputation.”
A snigger left Prudence’s lips. “Her reputation was ruined during that altercation with the Marquis of Aldridge during the charity ball at Hollystone Hall. She failed to get Aldridge to propose then and it appears she has had no better luck with Wyndham now.”
“Let us hurry and get this all written down while the latest bit of gossip is fresh in our minds. I have no doubt Mr. Clemens at the Teatime Tattler will be publishing this latest development as soon as he receives the news,” Abigail said with a laugh.
Miranda whipped out her fan to flutter it before her flushed face. A sob tore at her throat at the injustice of it all. Making her way from the gardens, she called for her carriage to be brought around and could only wonder just how much farther she must fall before she finally found someone to love…
The Earl Takes A Wife by Sherry Ewing
Lady Celia Lacey is too young for a husband, especially man-about-town Lord Adrian de Courtenay. But when she meets him at a house party, she falls in love and cannot get him out of her mind. Will he ever think she is old enough to become his wife?
Adrian finds the appealing innocent impossible to forget, though she is barely out of the schoolroom and a relative by marriage. If they are constantly in each other’s company, then how can he move on without her?
His sister’s deceptions bring them together, but destroys their happiness. Can they reach past the hurt to the love that still burns?
Valentines From Bath: A Bluestocking Belles Collection
The Master of Ceremonies announces a great ball to be held on Valentine’s Day in the Upper Assembly Rooms of Bath. Ladies of the highest rank—and some who wish they were—scheme, prepare, and compete to make best use of the opportunity. Dukes, earls, tradesmen, and the occasional charlatan are alert to the possibilities as the event draws nigh.
But anything can happen in the magic of music and candlelight as couples dance, flirt, and open themselves to romantic possibilities. Problems and conflict may just fade away at a Valentine’s Day Ball.
Buy Links for Valentines From Bath:
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2Wkm5Ma
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2S9TwSh
Bluestocking Belle Sherry Ewing hopes you’ve enjoyed this little tidbit into Miranda de Courtenay’s life. She’s a secondary character in Sherry’s novella The Earl Takes a Wife that is in the Belles box set Valentines From Bath.
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