Only in Her Dreams
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by Veronica Towers
Description: Marcus Derning, Duke of Allendale and former Captain in the 73rd Foot Brigade owes his life to the timely intervention of Sergeant Montague--an intervention which cost the man his life. What better way to honor the man's memory but by marrying his daughter--if she would only have him? Sarah knows that duty and honor are poor substitutes for love. A captain can not marry the daughter of a common soldier. Much less a common soldier's daughter marry a Duke. Even deep in her heart where her irrational hopes linger, she knows the only way she could ever be with Marcus is Only in Her Dreams.
eBook Publisher: DCL Publications LLC, 2007 Australia
eBookwise Release Date: August 2007
49 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [201 KB]
Reading time: 132-186 min.
"Sarah Montague's father was killed saving the life of another soldier. So when Captain Marcus Derning comes to her rescue and gives up his cabin for her on the shop back to England, he is returning a favour. He does not expect to find himself enchanted by this young woman. Nor does he expect the carriage to have an accident and then to be shot at by ... mysterious rogues. His teasing as they travel together causes Sarah to run off secretly, but he follows her to her cousin's mission in London. Marcus asks her to marry him but she refuses him. How could she expect to marry a man like that? She is the quartermaster's daughter and he is related to a duke! There will be a lot more dark twists before Sarah can expect to find happiness. This is a good Regency story with plenty of pace and excitement. I enjoyed it. 4.5 red roses!"--Anne, Redrosesforauthors
"Here now, Miss, I'm sorry but we be all full up," the grubby sailor at the dock said without looking up from his ship's manifest.
Sarah Montague paused on the crowded foul smelling dock and set her bags down. She reached up and smoothed a lock of her curly, light brown hair back into her battered bonnet and straightened herself to her full five feet, five inches and looked straight into the man's eyes. "I paid for my passage on this ship," she said with a quiet dignity. A meager cabin on any ship in Calais was hard to come by these days after Waterloo, she thought. This enterprising American ship, looking to turn a quick profit from transporting British families home, was Sarah's last hope to go home to England.
"Well, Miss, it seem that we be overbooked," the man said gruffly his eyes shifting so that they did not meet hers, "I'll refunds your blunt, never you mind."
Sarah looked up to the satisfied face of Captain Harriman's wife who was standing at the railing of the boat. She had never been overly fond of Sarah, but since the incident with Lieutenant Wilbur she had seemed to go out of her way to cause trouble for Sarah. Sarah dropped her gaze determined the woman would not see the tears of despair that welled in her eyes.
In all her years following her father with the Seventy-third of Foot from Australia, Ceylon, Edinburgh and finally Waterloo, Sarah had never felt such despair. When her mother and brother had died of fever she'd at least still had her father. Now she had no one. Her father had made so many friends as the quartermaster but they were either dead or seemingly avoiding her. She had no money to spare for even the cheapest accommodations here in Calais. She would need every shilling she had to make her way to London. There were funds in the bank in London, but London is not Calais, she thought in despair.
"What seems to be the trouble here?" a deep male voice said.
Sarah turned to look at the man. The late afternoon sun shone around the man who spoke, highlighting his chestnut brown hair. Sarah recognized the tall broad shouldered man as Captain Marcus Derning, the man her father died saving from looters. A glare from that rugged green-eyed visage had been known to make battle hardened soldiers stammer. Sarah noted that the glare was now being directed at the hapless sailor refusing to board her.
"Well, you sees Cap'n, I jist tol' this woman here that we be overbooked an' she'll needs to take the packet tomorrow," the ship's mate looked up to Captain Derning trying for sincerity.
"Miss Montague can have my cabin," Captain Derning said swiftly, "I shall sleep on deck."
Mrs. Harriman chose to speak up, "Captain Derning, you could not possibly allow that woman to be on the same ship as my young, impressionable daughter. The creature obviously would be in her element down here at the docks."
The inference was plain and Sarah felt her face flush as she turned to look towards the water. A tear threatened to spill from her light blue eyes.
"Madame, I do not believe that this is any of your affair," he turned back to the ship's mate. "You will board Miss Montague at once, or I shall take steps to remove you from your position."
He stepped up and started to pick up the small amount of baggage holding all of Sarah's pitiably few possessions. Sarah tried to stay his hand, "Captain Derning, I do not wish to inconvenience you, I could see if a passage is available tomorrow."
"Nonsense, do you want to go or not?" he glared at her. A vein throbbed in his forehead next to the scabbed bullet graze he sustained at Waterloo.
"Oh, of course, I do," Sarah had begun.
"Then let us get you on board," he resumed gathering her bags.
"Captain, you have been wounded--I can carry my own things..." Sarah might as well have been talking to the air. The Captain ignored her and left her to trail after him up the gangplank and across the deck. Sarah followed him down a well worn set of steps to a well-appointed, though small, cabin.