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by Saydee Bennett
Description: Ella never dreamed she would fall in love with a royal duke -- she also never expected that someone would try to kill her, more than once.
eBook Publisher: New Concepts Publishing, 2011 2011
eBookwise Release Date: December 2011
5 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [285 KB]
Reading time: 199-278 min.
As Cornelia sat watching the daughter, she had labored for and given birth to three years ago, the beautiful woman's feelings of hatred continued to grow and it was apparent that she had no maternal bond with the girl. The small child was giggling and dancing around her father's chair knowing this would make him smile. Cornelia continued to watch her daughter, Ambrielle and became even more enraged as she thought of how her own beauty had captured everyone's eye before Ambrielle existed. Cornelia was still stunning with her flawless features and exquisite blonde hair that illuminated like fine gold. Even though her eyes were cold and distant to everyone that looked upon her, no one could deny the allure of the unusual icy blue color.
Wherever Cornelia went, her mannerisms seemed to command attention from all and her beauty caused everyone to gawk in silence. Cornelia was the Baroness of Alderon through her marriage to the Baron James of Alderon. This position among the nobles certainly was not among the highest, but if one did not know, they would assume Cornelia was a royal by the way she carried herself. The petite woman was full of natural grace and elegant in her every move especially when she knew every man had his eyes on her. The marriage between the Baron James and Cornelia was a simple one but a loveless one. She was a young beautiful woman wanting to claim a title and he, being quite a bit older, needed heirs.
Cornelia had come from a noble household, with her father being a baron and she decided at a young age that she could not live without the comforts and wealth that came with nobility. As a young woman, Cornelia spent time in the royal court seeking after a wealthy spouse. She would have preferred to marry an earl or duke, but settled with Baron James for several selfish reasons. James had a rather grand estate that was admired by many and he was also a favored baron of King Henry but most importantly with his age, she knew he would not live much longer.
The baroness had given birth to their son, Brenton first and she worshiped the babe from the moment she laid eyes on him. Cornelia's admiration for her son was selfish of course, because the baroness would make certain that Brenton would grow to become a powerful lord under her guidance. If her plans were successful, he would become the Baron of Alderon and be Cornelia's security with the aristocrats. Brenton was sure to be a handsome man that all the women adored, for he was blessed with his mother's flawless features. Cornelia knew to keep a close hand on her son as he grew older. She wanted Brenton to love and need her more than he could any other woman. With that, Brenton had become her world.
The birth of the baroness's daughter, Ambrielle, had been merely an inconvenience and she wished for another son just in case something were to happen to Brenton. It was not long after she had given birth to Ambrielle that she realized how quick everyone's eyes were being turned towards the baby and away from her. Panic swept through Cornelia's body as she thought of the baby girl growing more beautiful each day and her, only becoming older. It was in that moment, that Cornelia's jealousy overtook all other emotions and she began to loathe the little girl that was in her very own image.
Tonight though, her despise was great and she could hardly stand watching her young daughter steal the attention away that should have been hers. The baroness gazed at the scene moving in slow motion in front of her. The bright blue eyes of her daughter seemed to glitter in the candlelight and for a moment even Cornelia was entranced. The sound of laughter from her husband brought the baroness back to the coldness of her reality and Cornelia anxiously watched as Ambrielle weaved her magic on their special guests. Cornelia stood there trying to conceal her fury by breathing deeply and biting on her lip until she finally drew blood. Ambrielle had pilfered enough of this evening.
Suddenly the baroness bellowed out. "Helen! Come, you must take Ambrielle up to her bed now."
"Yes m'lady," Helen said, as she bowed.
She watched with pleasure as the governess came running and took the golden-haired little girl in her arms and left the room.
"Why must she leave right now Cornelia? We have just begun to enjoy her little songs," James begged. "Besides, my darling, we do have company and they seem to be enjoying her as well."
"Husband, you really are foolish and know nothing of children do you?" Cornelia remarked with a rude tone to her husband.
"Oh, but darling, don't you love the way she makes everybody smile?" James said with genuine love.
Cornelia pressed her lips together to keep from blurting out what she was, in truth thinking. It was taking everything in her to act like a proper lady.
"She is sweet as berry pie for all of you now, but it is just an act. I know that if she doesn't go to sleep now she will be unbearable tomorrow," the baroness smirked at her husband.
"Alright, I suppose a mother is always correct," he relented with a soft smile.
"Of course I am correct, I am always correct. Isn't that why you married me dear?" She said to her husband with an innocent look on her face.
James shrugged off the way Cornelia had praised herself. He was quite used to hearing such things come out of her mouth. The baron realized soon after they had married that Cornelia was a woman with extreme arrogance. James could see with ease that everything she did was only to benefit her own needs. It did not help matters that men and women alike, always remarked of her beauty, adding fuel to the fire of her haughtiness. The first year of their marriage, Baron James and Cornelia had spent very little time together. It was not until they had their children, Brenton and Ambrielle that James had stopped feeling so lonely.
The Baron James loved watching Ambrielle and his son Brenton play together, for it made him feel youthful again. He was so proud of the way his beautiful daughter Ambrielle could entertain everyone without any effort. Although she was but a small child, she seemed to entrance all just by batting her large blue eyes.
Brenton had become his father's best friend, as the two of them shared the same passion for life. James knew he had been blessed with a wonderful son and joyous daughter that made his life complete. The baron loved his children with all his heart and he hoped to live long enough to see them reach their full potential. James also prayed each night that when Brenton and Ambrielle grew up, they would be nothing like their mother.