This week's Wednesday Wonders features
Belong to Me
by Kit Morgan
The Cooke brothers, Duncan, Colin and Harrison, lived in a little town out west called Clear Creek. They moved to America as young boys and helped tame the Wild West with not only their fists, but impeccable manners! In all that time, they kept hearing bits and pieces of a tale their mother told them. Over the years however, not to mention the loss of their mother, they lost most of the story and could only remember one major detail. A crocodile. Oh, and their third cousin the earl of course, who later became a duke, and whose duchy eventually fell to Duncan – but that’s another tale. This tale is something else entirely …
Anthony Sayer had toiled for the East India Company for many years and after the death of his father was more than happy to return to England once and for all. Unfortunately, the Company had other ideas for Anthony, ones he wasn’t too thrilled to take on. Little did he know he’d be taking on so much more.
Isabelle Bainbridge – better known as Isabelle Painbridge (or Hurricane Isabelle, depending on which circles one ran in) had given up any hopes of marriage. At twenty-six she was considered “on the shelf” by most of the ton and began to despair of ever finding a husband. Enter one Anthony Sayer. He was handsome, an earl and, better yet, available! But when a diary is delivered to her, its secrets turn Isabelle’s life upside down. Wishing to escape the horrible truths of the diary, she heads for India hoping to escape the scandal that will surely follow should anyone learn the book’s secrets. Unfortunately she runs into something else while abroad. Namely, one Anthony Sayer. And he isn’t exactly glad to see her. After all, Anthony has secrets of his own ...
Enjoy this clean and wholesome romance full of fun, adventure, and a few critters to boot!
Anthony allowed himself to be ushered along. “She’s horribly ugly, isn’t she?” he stated more than asked.
“On the contrary!”
Anthony stopped again, this time causing Nigel to lose his grip and stumble ahead a few feet before he could right himself. He quickly apologized to several guests before turning to him. “Really, she’s quite beautiful. In fact, of the three Bainbridge daughters, she’s by far the most lovely.”
“Then why haven’t you danced with her? In fact,” Anthony added, knowing Nigel’s reputation for being a horrible rake, “why haven’t you …”
“Oh, but I have!” Nigel retorted and held one arm at the memory as if it were broken. “But I would never consider being anything but a gentleman with the lady. I value my life.”
Anthony could only stare. Value my life?
Nigel smiled anew. “Tell you what, I’ll just make you a wager. Five quid says you can’t make it through one dance with Miss Bainbridge and leave here in one piece.”
Anthony scowled. He needed to get out of there, not play some foolish game with Nigel. “What the devil are you getting at? Just get me out of here!” he hissed.
“I cannot. But Miss Bainbridge can.”
Anthony could see a blur of bright yellow with a smaller blur of green in tow, approaching quickly. “Fine,” he groaned. “Where is she?”
Nigel pointed toward the refreshment table.
The usual guests were milling about. Men of lower rank and status that the matrons wouldn’t target until later, after they’d first run their daughters through the gauntlet of the higher-ranking bachelors in attendance. Married men and women, there for the entertainment that the Amesburys so graciously provided. And, of course, Mrs. Amesbury herself, at the end of the table near a massive punch bowl with an incredible ice sculpture of some sort of nymph climbing from its sugary depths.
Chatting with Mrs. Amesbury was a delectable-looking woman with the most striking chocolate-brown eyes he’d ever seen. Their warmth was unmistakable even at this distance and in stark contrast to her blonde hair. Pity she was probably the wife of one of the men nearby, as she was a touch older than most of the ladies in attendance. Most of them, Mrs. Amesbury had enthusiastically informed him, were in either their first or second season.
“There, talking to our beloved hostess,” Nigel informed him. “That’s Isabelle Bainbridge. Now be quick and save yourself! You haven’t much choice at this point.” He tossed his head at the women that almost had them surrounded.
The one in the lead caught her breath, then rushed at him in a mass of yellow silk and sweat. “Ohhhh, Lord Sayerrrrrr!”
Anthony nodded politely at her as he turned, glared one last time at the now-smirking Nigel, and charged toward the refreshment table and Isabelle Bainbridge.
“Lord Sayer, a moment if you please!” the woman in yellow screeched after him.
Anthony made his legs move faster. “Mrs. Amesbury!” he shouted over the din of his baying pursuers. It felt very much like a fox hunt – from the fox’s point of view.
His tone startled Miss Bainbridge, who jumped at the sound and dropped her glass of punch. It fell to the floor and shattered, spraying drink and glass everywhere. In response, she jumped away from the table and out of the mess.
Anthony didn’t have a prayer. Between his momentum from fleeing the herd of women behind him and the now-slippery floor, he slid headlong into the refreshment table, right beside the punch bowl. Being the trained officer he was, however, he managed to stop himself by grabbing either side of the massive bowl as he careened into it. The ice sculpture rocked dangerously, threatening to crash onto the table. What a pity to lose such a glorious creation, he thought as he got his booted feet under him and, still bent over the punch bowl, glared in Nigel’s direction.
The look of horror on Nigel’s face and Mrs. Amesbury’s scream of warning were the last things Anthony Sayer, the new Earl of Stantham, saw or heard before everything went black.
You may purchase Belong to Me on Amazon by CLICKING HERE.
About Kit Morgan:
A consistent Top 100 lists bestseller, Kit Morgan, aka Geralyn Beauchamp, has been writing for fun all of her life. When writing as Geralyn Beauchamp, her books are epic, adventurous, romantic fantasy at its best. When writing as Kit Morgan they are whimsical, fun, inspirational sweet and clean stories that depict a strong sense of family and community. She hopes you will enjoy reading this first book in the The Bainbridge Sisters series.
Website: www.authorkitmorgan.com (social media links are there.)