Click on image to enlarge.
by Veronica Towers
Category: Romance/Historical Fiction
Description: Lost Hope James, the Earl of Stanhope had just managed to turn his life around from the devastation of his father's bankruptcy and suicide when his son was kidnapped. ..wrecking every hope he cherished. He vows to be stronger than his father and survive. Lost Love Amelia Appleby is shattered at the death of her "husband" and miscarriage. Rather than let her give in to her despair, she finds a new reason to live in caring for the street children of London. Separately they have the will to survive, but could two lost souls find what was ripped from them so long ago to reclaim their? Lost Dreams
eBook Publisher: DCL Publications LLC, 2011 March
eBookwise Release Date: March 2011
4 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [235 KB]
Reading time: 149-209 min.
Amelia looked, at herself in the cheval mirror and turned this way and that...it was the nicest dress she'd ever owned. It was made of pretty blue eyelet with a ruffle of white eyelet. She held a posy of pink roses, accented with rosemary and lavender. She looked in the mirror at Allendale house once more as Sarah adjusted her veil of white net and tried to still her wildly beating heart.
Sarah stood back to look at her handiwork and frowned. "You look a deal too pale, I will go and see if Aunt Minerva brought the rouge pot as I asked."
"Sarah wait, I'll just pinch my cheeks," she said as she thrust her bouquet at her cousin. She gave her cheeks a vigorous tweaking.
There was a knock at the door and she turned as Ida and Peter entered the room both looking uncomfortable in their good clothing.
"Peter said that he thinks you might cry off at the last minute," Ida explained trying not to look anxious.
She looked into his anxious eyes and took a deep breath. All those years ago when she eloped with Andrew Davies, she was not this nervous. Of course that debacle did not result in a real marriage. And when she found herself to be pregnant, she was not so distraught even then. This line of thinking was not getting her any calmer. She took another deep, calming breath and asked, "Viscount Linley, could you lend me your arm? I believe we have an appointment."
Young Ivan's chest puffed up as he put her kid gloved fingers onto his arm and guided her to the grand staircase. They passed some fine portraits of some of Marcus' very dour relatives. Ivan said, "Lord Stanhope invited his brother-in-law and father-in-law to the ceremony."
She paused at the top of the staircase. "Really?"
Ivan nodded vigorously. "The man who said he was quite possibly my uncle Wendell, told me that his father could not come."
She looked down and at the base of the shining elaborate staircase stood her soon to be husband and Marcus. She took one last deep breath and straightened her shoulders and took a step down the staircase. She must have lifted her skirt just a touch more than was modest since both men looked at her feet with dismay or consternation, she thought just before she tripped on the wire.
She had the presence of mind to shove Ivan backward but not the presence of mind to hold down her skirts as she tumbled. Before she completed one rotation she felt strong masculine hands catch her up into his arms. Unfortunately, she still had her skirts over her head. She felt a warm large hand brush her bare thigh just above the garter. The deep masculine voice rumbled loudly, "Turn your head, Allendale. Ivan go to the servant staircase and for God's sake look for a trip wire."
She heard Marcus say, "Nevermind, I will go up and make sure he and my wife make it downstairs safely."
Lord Stanhope set her onto her feet in the foyer and carefully helped her to untangle her layers of fabric from over her head. She was mortified the view of her he must have: all of her skirts were over her head, her garters, silk stockings and bare thighs, were plainly visible. Oh Lord, even Marcus... One pin from her hair seemed to catch on a loop of lace and he carefully pulled it out. She looked up and caught an amused look in his eyes.
She was confused. She just fell down a flight of stairs, or near enough, and he is amused? She frowned. He would probably guffaw if I fell off a cliff. She supposed she should thank him for catching her, but all she could manage was a belligerent, "Well?"
His amused look broke into a bit of a grin. "You are a natural blond, aren't you?"
It took her a minute then she realized to what he must be referring. Her mouth curved into a shocked 'O' and she picked up her beautiful bouquet in its silver filigree holder from the base of the stairs and hit him with it.