The Sisters of the Aristocracy
Linda Rae Sande
As the illegitimate daughter of an earl, Lily was a maid until the Earl of Trenton claimed her as his sister. Suddenly being courted by four aristocrats and a subject of the gossip rags, she wonders if her substantial dowry is the reason she’s so popular. Concerned by what he's reading in the newspapers, the earl invites her to spend the summer with him in Staffordshire so he can hear her side of the stories—tales Lily may need to embellish a bit to get her way.
William started life as a street urchin, but he worked his way up as a clerk at an import company and has a beautiful home to show for it. Satisfied with life, he has no need to wonder what's next—until he’s reintroduced to the comely blonde he once saved from a rake. The idea of courting Lily is suddenly all he can think about. But will Lily consider his suit now that she’s elevated in Society?
Lily decides she may have to spin a few tales of her own to get her way in The Desire of a Lady.
"What I cannot imagine is a life without Lily,
for I do not believe it would be a life worth living."
Sarah Wellingham, Countess of Trenton, speared her fingers through her husband’s butter blond curls. “Why, give me a glance with those beautiful blue eyes and toss me a sovereign, and I’ll give you a tumble right here and now.”Gabriel Wellingham, Earl of Trenton, straightened at his desk and regarded his wife with widened eyes. “What?” he replied in shock. “It didn’t cost me anything last night!” he claimed in mock dismay.Grinning in delight, Sarah shrugged. “It’s those blue eyes and that blond hair,” she whispered as she ruffled up his hair with her long fingers. A gold filigree bracelet dotted with sapphires encircled the wrist at the base of her hand. Although the piece of jewelry was more appropriately worn at balls and the opera, Gabriel had insisted she wear it everyday. “You’ll need a reminder you’re a countess now, and no longer a commoner,” he had said when he first wrapped it around her wrist. Sarah tore her eyes away from the winking blue jewels and settled them back on her husband’s blue eyes. “And speaking of your very best trait, you must know your sister is receiving a good deal of attention, and not all of it because of those blue eyes and blond curls of hers,” she said with an arched eyebrow. “She was mentioned again in The Morning Chronicle.” The earl rolled his eyes and sighed. “I am a bit concerned about that,” he admitted, “Which is why I’m considering sending the coach to London for her. It would do her some good to spend some time in the country.”Sarah nodded her understanding, not about to tell him she had already sent a letter to her sister-in-law with the invitation to visit Trenton Manor. Although Sarah was still the manager of the Spread Eagle in Stretton, she had arranged for Margery Higgins, her eventual replacement, to see to the operation of the coaching inn while she prepared for her sister-in-law’s arrival. At some point, probably sooner than later, Margery would simply take over and run the inn, but Sarah had promised the owner she would continue her involvement until Margery was truly ready to assume command. With a toddler hanging onto her skirts and what she was sure was another baby on the way, Sarah hoped it would be sooner.“I fear those who pay her such attendance don’t necessarily have her best interests at heart,” Sarah said as she took the chair across from her husband’s desk. Although she had only been his countess a bit more than a year, Sarah had settled into her role much like she had when she agreed to manage the Spread Eagle. An earldom, as it turned out, was very much like a business. Gabriel frowned. “You think they mean to ruin her and ... what?” he asked in alarm.Allowing a sigh, Sarah leaned forward and lowered her voice. “Ruin her and marry her,” she clarified. “She’s a very pretty chit, but there is another reason all the young bucks, and some not so young ones, are interested in taking her as their wife.”His blue eyes widening in alarm, Gabriel shook his head. “Her dowry, do you suppose?” he asked finally.It took everything Sarah had not to roll her eyes.ABOUT Linda Rae Sande
A former technical writer, Linda Rae’s interest in the Regency has resulted in ten books set during that era. When she’s not writing, she can frequently be found at the local cinema enjoying the latest movie. During the winter, she houses junior hockey players and is a fan of the San Jose Sharks. She makes her home in Cody. Read more about her books on her website: www.lindaraesande.com.
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