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The Bluestocking and the Rake – excerpt

An excerpt from this book

Bluestocking-and-the-Rake-cover“What exactly are you up to?” Miss Blakelow demanded, watching as the party retreated to stroll in the gardens. His lordship held the door open for her, and as she brushed past him, she trod on something and tripped, only just catching herself before she ploughed face-first into his chest.

“That was my foot,” he said with a pained expression on his face.

“Sorry,” she said awkwardly.

“What did you do with that money I gave you for the new spectacles? You clearly have not made use of it. If I find you have spent it on any of the Blakelow brats, it will be very much the worse for you—”

“What are you doing?” she interrupted with some impatience. “Did I or did I not refuse your offer of marriage the other day?”

“You did.”

“I did. I am glad that we are in agreement over that. So why then, given my very clear refusal, have you just announced that we are to be married?”

“I didn’t. I announced my intention to marry you. That, my girl, is entirely different.”

“I am not going to marry you. Can you understand that?”

He gave her a twisted smile. “I will allow that you are not ready to marry me at the present moment, but I hope that once you have discovered that you cannot live without me then you will change your mind.”

There was a loud groan from the lady.

“Yes, my love?”

“I will not change my mind. I won’t marry. I cannot marry. There, can I be any plainer?”

“Why not?”

She rolled her eyes. “I am not having this discussion with you. Please consider this my final answer.”

“Very well. I will come to an agreement with you. I will not send details of our engagement to the newspapers just yet.”

“How kind.”

“Yes. We will be friends first.”

“When are you going home?” she asked, as if his presence gave her exquisite pain.

He grinned. “When you have agreed to ride with me tomorrow.”

“Then you will have a long wait, my lord.”

“A walk then, by the lake.”

“No.”

“You are being rude to me today,” he marveled.

“I know it amuses you, my lord, to mock me because you think I have no experience of men. you are no more my choice of husband than I am your choice of wife.”

He smiled. “Then that shows how little you know me … and yourself for that matter.”

With this very perplexing remark he let her go and watched her disappear into the rose garden. He left soon afterward sure in the knowledge that Miss Georgiana Blakelow was thinking about him—perhaps not in the most flattering of terms, but she was definitely thinking about him.

Excerpted with permission from Montlake Romance from The Bluestocking and the Rake © 2015 by Norma Darcy. All rights reserved.

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