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One passionate moment has ruined Kristin Taube’s pristine reputation. Now Jack Cameron owes her the innocence he stole away when he snatched that first kiss. When Kristin flees her home to begin a new life as an artist, Jack will follow her to the ends of the earth to unlock the secrets of the heart he roused from its slumber.
|Publisher:||Open Road Media Romance|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||1 MB|
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"Young Kristin, where ha' you been?" demanded Lottie McCloud, the Traubes' Scots housekeeper. "Yer parents an' brothers ha' left for the choral society banquet wi'out you."
Kristin's heart gave a bounce of happiness. Now she would have the opportunity to sketch a nose she had seen at the railroad station, a feature whose gaping nostrils were, she felt sure, the physical manifestation of moral degeneracy. Kristin and Genevieve Boyer had rescued a young girl before the bounder with the nose could prevail in his evil intentions.
"Your father was that angry," said Lottie, tucking her hands into the sash of her apron. "An' there's Mr. Cameron, as handsome as the Bonnie Prince himself, waitin' in the library for yer sister, an' her a half hour late already. You'd best get yerself in there an' entertain the man before he leaves in a tizzy."
Kristin felt a jolt of delicious terror at the prospect of spending time alone with the handsome and sophisticated Mr. Cameron, who had been the object of her secret daydreams for months. She was always amazed that Minna dared to treat him so cavalierly. Her sister's arrogance certainly didn't stem from any great beauty, for she had rather lank, dark hair, a sallow complexion, and eyes that were at least a quarter of an inch too close on either side of her nose. The color of the eyes, however, was interesting, Kristin decided, as interesting as the nose at the railroad station. Minna's eyes were ordinary brown, but in moments of extreme displeasure, an emotion to which she was prone, greenish-yellow flecks would appear and--
"Dinna stand there dreamin', lass. Get yerself into thelibrary."
Kristin's mind emptied of all thoughts about the bounder's nose, Minna's close-set, spotty eyes, and the conclusion that Minna thought she could treat Mr. Cameron carelessly because she had a huge dowry. "I have a headache!" said Kristin impulsively, afraid that Mr. Cameron might notice her silly infatuation and laugh at her.
"A nice cuppa tea will take care a that," said Lottie, "an' then if yer sister doesna get herself home, an' the man willna leave, you can offer him a wee bite a dinner. He must be gettin' hungry by now."
"But Lottie," protested Kristin.
"Hush now, lass. You're the only one at home to do it, so 'tis yer responsibility."
Kristin considered the matter of responsibility, not much of which came her way. Her older sister shared some of the household duties with her mother, although not many, and her brothers all held positions in the family meat-packing business. Being the youngest child, Kristin was ignored when it came to adult concerns. Nonetheless, she didn't want to spend the evening with Mr. Cameron. He made her heart flutter disturbingly. "Do you know where Minna is or when she's expected?" asked Kristin. Would she dare send a messenger to summon her sister home?
"She's gone off wi' friends, knowin' full well the man was comin' to take her to dinner. I told him so, an' he said--talkin' like some fancy English lord, for all Cameron's a good Scots name--'I hardly think Miss Traube would be so rude as to forget an appointment with her fiance.'"
Lottie mimicked him so broadly that Kristin felt defensive on his behalf.
"Now in you go, lass."
The housekeeper was edging Kristin toward the library door, where she patted Kristin's pale golden hair into place and straightened the lace collar on her soft wool dress. Kristin had only a second to give thanks that she was wearing a pretty gown. The color, Persian lilac, suited her coloring, and the close-fitting bodice denied the family's perception that she was still a little girl.