This author has learned Miss S—- H— has returned from her extended sojourn on the Continent. Tattler readers may remember Miss H— from the Unfortunate Incident a decade past that precipitated such a journey. One wonders how a certain earl will take her return, although when last they knew each other, she was a debutante while he was a mere viscount and the architect of her disgrace.
Readers may recall the scandal, though ten years have passed. Some noted at the time the then-viscount displayed a distinct preference for Miss H—-. He was often seen partnering her in a dance, or offering an arm to walk with her in a garden. Many a brow was raised at the sight, as the viscount had seemed determined to set upon a path of ruination and sin. The lure of the ostensibly innocent Miss H—-, however, had society wondering if perhaps the viscount would set upon a new path, this one leading to respectability and, indeed, matrimony.
However, blood will out, and the viscount’s had always been bad. Caught in clandestine embrace, the viscount disavowed Miss H—-, who had clearly forgotten the lessons learned by many an unfortunate lady before her. Such impropriety shredded her reputation, and only a quick decampment to the continent brought an end to whispers and speculation. There she remained…or she had until her recent return to London.
This author will be watching with baited breath for the reunion of debutant and earl. With the myriad of events planned for this season, surely such an encounter is inevitable?
Part of SECOND CHANCES: A Romance Writers of America Collection
The dissolute Earl of Edgington is last man Miss Sofia Hargrove ever wanted to see again. Ten years ago, she fell foolishly in love and, worse, she thought he loved her in return. Recklessly, she indulged her passion in a moonlit garden….and was caught. Ruined, she ran to the Continent, and then was devastated again when he didn’t follow. Now, at a London ball, he stands before her and begs for a chance to explain.
Edgington knows Sofie will never forgive him. For ten years, memories of her have haunted him, but his memories pale next to the bright, vibrant woman she’s become. The chance to explain, to ask her forgiveness, burns inside him, alongside the dormant passion he’s never forgotten and a long-held love that will no longer be denied.
Cassandra Dean, author of the bestselling Teach Me, entices readers once more with a tale of passion, love and second chances.
Hidden in the crowd, Edgington watched her. Now, it was obvious why he’d come to the ball—for the slight chance he would see her.
He’d heard about her return. It had been in all the papers, the triumphant return of Viscount Hargrove’s sister. They’d been full of her exploits on the Continent, the countries she’d seen, the society she’d kept. Each article he’d devoured, unable to keep the distance he maintained with everyone else, but then, that was nothing new. He’d never been able to distance himself from her.
Ten years since he’d seen her, and she hadn’t changed. Maybe she was a bit older, her hair a bit more gold, but she still looked as she did when he was a callow youth of twenty-one and more than a little infatuated. He remembered every curve of her face, the softness of her skin. The way her mouth moved under his.
Her gaze wandered to the dancing, and a wistful kind of smile occupied her face. His pulse a thunder in his ears, he wanted, quite stupidly, to ask her to dance.
Closing his eyes briefly, he shook himself. As if she would say yes. If he were to approach her, the smile would disappear from her features, as would all emotion. He knew. He’d seen it happen before.
Her gaze moved again and their eyes locked.
For a moment, a split second, her smile remained, and he had an insane hope that all had been forgiven, that, perhaps, he could approach her. Then, all expression bled from her face, and she regarded him coolly, her joy in the evening gone.
His heart sank. He’d known she’d react so, though a part of him had hoped he’d been wrong. A part of him had hoped he could approach her, could ask her to dance, could ask for her hand.
But, of course, he couldn’t. She was Miss Sofia Hargrove. The girl he’d ruined.
Cassandra Dean is a best-selling, multi-published author of historical and fantasy romance and is a 2016 finalist in the Romance Writers of Australia’s coveted R*BY Award. Her latest novel, SILK & SCHOLAR, is book 4 of her popular Silk Series featuring law-loving peeps and their happily ever after.
Cassandra is proud to call South Australia her home, where she regularly cheers on her AFL football team and creates her next tale.
Visit Cassandra’s website at http://cassandradean.com
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