You and No Otherby Cathy Maxwell
The constraints of quiet widowhood have become too much for Lady Caroline Pearson to bear—especially now that her brother-in law has idiotically, and illegally, gambled away her house. Boldly, she confronts the new owner in person. But not only does the dashing rogue, James Ferrington, refuse to return Caroline's deed, he tries to take scandalous advantage of… See more details below
The constraints of quiet widowhood have become too much for Lady Caroline Pearson to bear—especially now that her brother-in law has idiotically, and illegally, gambled away her house. Boldly, she confronts the new owner in person. But not only does the dashing rogue, James Ferrington, refuse to return Caroline's deed, he tries to take scandalous advantage of her as well.
Sheepish and repentant, James arrives on Caroline's doorstep to make amends— unaware that the young widow and her eccentric aunt are intent on retaliation. James merely meant to seduce a bewitching minx and have done with it—and, suddenly, he's a kidnapped prisoner in Caroline's cellar. But most shocking of all, James realizes that he has no desire whatsoever to be free—for the audacious Caroline has inflamed his senses, destroyed his reason . . . and completely captured his heart.
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Read an Excerpt
Widowhood suited Lady Caroline Pearson just fine.
Her late husband Trumbull had recognized no difference between his wife and his horses, al though Caroline suspected the horses had fared better than she. She and Trumbull had been the match of the Season, but Caroline considered the marriage a failure.
When Trumbull had choked on a chicken bone at the age of thirty-four while attending a cockfight with some of his sporting-mad cronies, Caroline had gladly wrapped herself up in widow's black . . . and hard-earned peace.
To that end, for the past three years since her husband's death, she'd avoided his family like the plague, lived within the meager allowance they provided, supplementing it with a small stipend she earned teaching at Miss Elmhart's School for Young Gentlewomen, and kept her existence respectfully discreet, as was expected of a Lady of Quality. And if occasionally she grew restless with the sameness of her days, well, then, that could be expected from a woman widowed so young. She'd told herself years ago that life rarely lived up to one's expectations.
However, today, the day she turned thirty, the . futility of her life hit her with the force of a slam against a stone wall.
Thirty marked the end of her youth, the halfway point between birth and deathand what did she have to show for it? Drab respectability, loneliness . . . and a sense of being incomplete.
Of course, children might have filled the void, but Caroline was barren. In seven years of marriage, she'd failed to conceive. After the second year of their marriage, not a day had gone by without Trumbull complaining bitterly of her worthlessness. It didn't matter to himthat his wife had been presented at Court, knew all the expected social graces along with French and Latin, could manage his household and see to his capricious whims. What mattered was whether or not she could breedand making sure his family and acquaintances knew that the failure to produce an heir was hers, not his.
Sane, sensible Caroline, who always played by the rules, had lost the game.
That night, lying alone in her bed, Caroline cried herself to sleep. Great sobbing cries of anger, disappointment, and sorrow. Not since her sham of a marriage had she indulged herself in such a manner. Consequently, she overslept and woke up late the next day, heavy-lidded, tired, and cranky which was unfortunate, because her whole world was about to change....
Copyright ) 1996 by Catherine Maxwell
Meet the Author
Cathy Maxwell spends hours in front of her computer pondering the question, "Why do people fall in love?" It remains for her the great mystery of life and the secret to happiness. She lives in beautiful Virginia with children, horses, dogs, and cats.
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