Cover & Excerpt
by Rebecca Thomas
Lady Arabella Sutton is stunned to learn her brother has betrothed her to a stranger despite his promises for a season in London. Although she is the first to admit no man would suit, since she’s more interested in horses than marriage, the last thing she wants is to become a brood mare to a stuffy old earl. Facing a future she cannot abide, she takes an impetuous ride to clear her head and ends up tending her injured mare instead.
Oliver Westwyck, the Earl of Marsdale, can’t believe his luck when he stops at an inn the night before he’s to meet his fiancée. In the stable, while tending the colt he intends to give to his future wife, he happens upon her—rain-drenched but beautiful. She assumes he’s a stable hand, a fine joke he means to end...until Lady Arabella declares all noblemen are egotistical, conceited, and arrogant. How can he reveal his true identity before he’s managed to change her mind and win her heart?
Genre: Historical RomancePurchase links: Amazon ARe Kobo iTunes/iBookstore B&N
Release Date: December 30, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Flirt
Excerpt & More
About to unleash his displeasure with her, instead Oliver’s chest tightened. Drops of rain fell off her lashes and spilled down her pale cheeks. She looked like a beautiful, sodden, street urchin. “I’m making sure you get home safely.”
“I wasn’t aware you were my keeper, Mr. Carrington.”
If she only knew he’d be keeping her from this day forward. He continued to ride alongside her while determining the best way to proceed.
Her dark brows furrowed together in a V and she yelled above the sound of the rainfall, “I’m not going home yet. It’s too far. I won’t make it there before dark. So go on back to the inn. I don’t require your assistance.”
The pinch in his chest moved to his fingers and he wanted nothing but to drag her off her horse and shake some sense into her. Did she really think it was acceptable to ride across the country in inclement weather, in the near dark and unescorted? What kind of woman had he agreed to marry? For the first time since meeting her, he wondered if maybe he’d made a mistake. “It is not appropriate for a lady—”
“None of this is your business. I’m not your concern.” Smudged with fatigue, her wide eyes stared up at him. Through the rain, anger flickered across every corner of her face. She sucked in a shaky breath. “Mr. Carrington, I appreciate your concern, really I do, but I had to leave the inn.”
“Had to leave? With night falling and a storm raging? You could have been killed! That river crossing alone was enough to unseat an inexperienced rider. Nevermind the wind and rain.”
She opened her mouth to speak, but he leaned in closer to her mount and grabbed hold of the reins. “I told you I would secure a room for you. Why did you run away?”
Emerald green eyes narrowed at him. “I’ve no need of escort, nor do I owe you further explanation. The stable lad should have explained to you. Besides, I am on Sutton lands now. I know these woods like—let go of my horse’s bridle.”
Oliver stared at her, unmoving, refusing to release the leather.
“If you please, sir, I’m turning here.”
Was that fear in her eyes? Or fury? He freed his hold on the reins and scolded himself for his irrational action. He didn’t wish to frighten her.
She turned down a less traveled road.
He wanted to ask where she was going, but thought better of angering her further. A stone cottage appeared in the mist amongst the trees, answering his unspoken question.
She dismounted and glanced over her shoulder at him. If she was surprised he still trailed her, she didn’t show it. Her posture was ramrod straight as she led her horse to the stable.
Once he’d dismounted and joined her inside the small enclosure, Oliver said, “Do you have any idea of the worry you’ve caused me?”
She flexed her jaw as though choosing her words with care. “Sir. I’ll say again that you are not my keeper. I’m safely to shelter now. You’ve no reason to worry.”
She spoke with confidence, but a small amount of distress laced her tone. Good, maybe a touch of fear would serve her well when making future decisions. In frustration, Oliver grunted. “Why did you run—”
“I’m not running, I simply left.” Her voice shook. “Now you must leave this instant. I can take care of myself.”
Her face paled and Oliver’s guilt over not confessing his identity hit him over the head like a shovel. He noticed something else as well. Something real and very tangible, something he was not yet ready to name, lay between them. He wondered if she felt it, too.
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