Author Jude Knight is here today with her latest release, The Husband Gamble.
This beautiful little story was originally part of the Wedding Wagers collection, and is now available as an individual release. Jude is a New Zealander, and a member of the international group of authors, the Bluestocking Belles.
The abducted bride; the upright earl. The only place they match is over the chess board. Lady Osbourne’s famed matchmaking skills may not be enough to find a match for Miss Amaryllis Fernhill, who was abducted right out of the church in front of her groom and has been no one knows where for six years. Nathan Belvoir, Earl of Hythe, wants a countess that will live up to his illustrious name and embellish his diplomatic and political career. Miss Fernhill is obviously unsuitable. Why, then, can he not look away?
This was a disaster. Had he known Miss Fernhill was going to be here, Hythe would never have come. They had never been introduced and she obviously did not recognise him, but he knew her.
At first, he had not realised, in the dim light of the passage, that it was her he found unexpectedly in his arms. She fitted. It was a ridiculous thing to say, and a worse thing to feel to the depths of his being. What did it mean? That she was the right height for him? That she was lithe and curvy, all at once? That something inside him recognised her, even before he knew who she was?
She had captured his attention from the beginning of the Season. Hythe had asked after her and discovered her scandalous mystery. No Belvoir countess could possibly have such question marks about her past. Hythe kept his distance, even though he had been drawn to her again and again when they happen to be at the same entertainments.
Now he was to be in her company for a week. Hythe should be calling for his carriage, and riding away from this place as fast as he could. Not promenading the lady through the house, as if she was any other gentlewoman.
Of course, he would treat her with every courtesy, even if having her so briefly in his arms had prompted thoughts that were far from polite. Apart from the necessary manners of a gentleman, he would simply have to avoid her, which would surely not be hard. Others would be at the house party, would they not?
It was with some relief that Hythe showed her into the drawing room, where a number of people had already gathered.
“Oh good,” said the lady on his arm, “my cousin is already here.” Hythe followed the direction of her gaze and saw the elderly matron who had been Miss Fernhill’s chaperone throughout the Season. Good indeed. His duty was almost done. He could safely conduct the lady to her cousin and hopefully stay far away from her for the remainder of the week.
It was only polite to linger long enough to acknowledge the introduction, then Lady Barker asked about his sister, Sophia, and so he remained to answer questions about the children. Lady Osbourne, their hostess, came and whisked Miss Fernhill away to introduce her to several of the other ladies, and Lady Barker saw somebody she knew and excused herself.
Now Hythe had exactly what he wanted; freedom to look about the room and contemplate the gathering. Why, then, was his gaze drawn inexorably to where Miss Fernhill was sitting on a sofa with another young lady, accepting introductions to various of the gentlemen?
But I saw her first, said some unruly ungovernable part of Hythe. Nonsense. He was a Belvoir. He was the Earl of Hythe. He would not forget what he owed to his name.
Find your copy here:
About the Author:
Jude Knight always wanted to be a novelist, but life got in the way for decades and she nearly lost the dream. She wrote a thousand beginnings, but it took a huge life event to shove her into writing an ending. That was in 2014. Eight novels and counting later, plus short stories and novellas galore, she’s living her dream: writing historical fiction with a large helping of romance, more than a dash of suspense, and a sprinkling of humor.
Learn more about Jude at:
Website and blog: http://judeknightauthor.com/
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Jude-Knight/e/B00RG3SG7I