response to those words from his father. Everything is not well at home and he
finds himself in a bit of a fix. A little warning that his father had made
tentative arrangements for his marriage would have been nice but Luke really
wishes it had been anyone other than the young lady chosen. After all, Phoebe
Ramsey had always been an annoyance and any time they had spent together had
resulted in physical injuries for one of them.
Just when Luke thinks he's escaped that particular future, he
finds himself courting a young woman he doesn’t want, a furious best friend who
wants a duel to satisfy honor, and the responsibility of finding who and why
someone had caused an accident for his mother.
has loved reading books. That love of words extended to writing as she grew
older and when it became more difficult to find a ‘clean’ book, she determined
to write her own. Among her favorite authors is Jane Austen, Sir Arthur Conan
Doyle, and Georgette Heyer.
to laptop keyboard), she can generally be found with a book in hand. In her
spare time, Bethany reviews books for a book site called More Than A Review.
Lucas Bywood: Rupert Penry-Jones
Miles Russell: Dominic Cooper
Mr. John Ward: James Norton
George Bywood: Jonny Lee Miller
Miss Olivia Darkin: Millie Brady
Miss Phoebe Ramsey: Elinor Tomlinson
Rosamund Bywood: Christina Cole
Phillipa Bywood: Bella Heathcote
A woman’s voice startled me out of my reverie. Across the pond, I saw a young woman coming around a bush, following the path that led from Braglow to the pond. She was looking over her shoulder, and hadn’t noticed my presence yet. A moment later, another woman came into sight, twirling a parasol.
One of them could be Phoebe, and I felt a moment of panic. I didn’t feel ready to face her, not without this whole engagement thing settled. Then again, who better to settle it with than the lady in question? And being away from both sets of parents was a definite advantage.
“Here we go, Phaeton,” I murmured, patting my horse’s neck. “Let’s see what has brought two ladies out so early.” I rode around the pond towards them.
The second lady hurried to the first lady’s side.
I slowed Phaeton to a halt and dismounted a few yards from them. “Good morning,” I said, lifting my hat from my head. I offered a bow, keeping Phaeton’s reins in my hand.
“Lucas Bywood?” the second young lady asked, sounding alarmed. “Is that you?”
Turning my attention to her, I frowned. Gone was the tangled hair I remembered her always having, and no longer did she appear gangly. Her hair was arranged in a surprisingly elegant way, for her being on a country walk, with one curl resting on her shoulder. Her pale green gown wasn’t wrinkled or stained, but dainty and fashionable. Phoebe Ramsey had gone from an ugly duckling to a swan while I had been gone!
“What do we need to discuss, Miles?” I asked warily. He was a good two inches taller than I was, and I knew full well he was capable of defeating me if we came to blows. Though I wasn’t sure why I expected that to be a possibility. After all, he had only said he wanted to talk. “Why didn’t you say you were coming?”
Shelving my curiosity for the moment, I nodded in understanding. He was no doubt still under the impression it was expected for me to marry her. “Ah, I see. You will be happy to know I spoke to Phoebe earlier today and resolved everything.”
“She is a fine girl, and I want your word you will treat her right.”
“Now hold on, Miles.” I held my hands up in surrender. When had he become so fond of silly Phoebe? “I am not going to marry her!”
My friend’s hands balled into fists. “Luke, I will not stand by and watch you ruin her!”
“Miles, you need to take a moment and calm down,” I couldn’t help but be surprised by his reaction and immediately went on the defensive. “No one’s reputation has been ruined. She and I discussed it, like adults, and we both agreed we wouldn’t suit. In fact, I had the feeling she was expecting you to be at the pond early this morning, not me.”
Breathing out, Miles collapsed onto the bench. “She was waiting for me at the pond?”
“It certainly appeared to be so, and she mentioned you by name. Never say you had a rendezvous planned and then didn’t show up! Bad form, Miles. That is the last thing you do to a lady.”