The Return of The Ladies of
Sommer by the Sea
She swore she’d help him find his soul mate.
Will she realize he has met his match?
Lady Anna Ravencroft shines brightly as a much-admired organizer and hostess. In her mind it is the one thing at which she succeeds. Inwardly she is shy, retiring… a wallflower. With two failed seasons that ended in disaster she has accepted marriage might not be in her future.
Lord Fraser Castleton, a London barrister is shocked when he inherits a title and estate from his mother’s great aunt and becomes the 8th Duke of Willbury. He returns to Sommer-by-the-Sea to take up permanent residence. He crosses paths with his longtime friend, Lady Anna. He confides that he is the target of every mother with an unmarried daughter. She commiserates with him. Every eligible gentleman sees the Ravencroft purse rather than her. Together they decide to find a mate for each other. Anna presents him with a list of several eligible women. Castleton is receptive, but not enthusiastic. He gives her the same reaction with the subsequent two lists. Will she realize he has already found his match?
Richard Younge who doesn’t always play by the rules wants to be the next Member of Parliament for his borough. His political backer will support him if Younge can finance the campaign himself. He suggests Younge find a wealthy wife to support his political plans. Marrying a Ravencroft would all but guarantee not only his backer’s continued support but provide the steady stream of money needed to claim his place amongst the gentry. He calls on Lady Anna for assistance with a campaign event and has an ulterior motive.
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A short excerpt to make you come back for more!
“Lady Anna. Lord Castleton. Welcome to the Tea Room.” Tanya took off her apron and set off a small cloud of flour as she put the pinnie down on the counter.
Anna glanced around the dining room. An older couple sat at the only other occupied table.
Castleton helped her into her chair as Tanya made her way to the front of the tearoom. He turned to her with his irresistibly devastating grin.
Anna busied herself by removing her gloves and putting them into her reticule, then placing it on her lap all to avoid his gaze. When she could no longer stall, she raised her head and found him sitting across from her and still staring.
What should she say? It was as if she didn’t know this man when they had been friends most of their lives. Well, she certainly didn’t know him as a military man, a barrister, a duke, and especially not as someone courting her. All she knew was the boy with whom she grew up and in a moment of panic, she wanted to leave.
“I didn’t intend to embarrass you. I can’t help the way I look at you.” His elbow was on the table with his chin in his hand. “One glance and I find myself smiling.”
He removed his hand and struck a more proper attitude, opened his serviette, and draped it on his lap.
Was he playing his part? She glanced at the couple at the other table and concluded he was courting her for their sake. Perhaps she could play the game as well.
“You flatter me, Fraser,” she gracefully placed her hand to her throat. “Or should I say you flatter yourself if you think I’m embarrassed.” She sat up straighter and looked down her nose following propriety. For two Seasons she observed and learned as girls struck that position.
“Oh?” He dared to struggle to hide his chuckle.
“Ginger biscuits, really, Fraser. I would have thought you’d had your fill as a boy and moved on to other more tempting morsels.”
He leaned closer toward her. His eyes were even more passionate than they had been moments before. He took her hand and her breath caught.
“Oh, but I am moved by a more temping… morsel. Much more tempting. Would you like me to elaborate?” With that he raised her hand to his lips.
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