A Pitiful Remnant by Judith B. Glad



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ISBN: 9781601742001
Pages: 117
Description:
A marriage of convenience. How dreadfully inconvenient...

Lisanor needs a husband willing to marry her immediately, but he must agree to an outrageous condition. Guillemot is all but bankrupt and Clarence, the new marquess, has no choice but to marry for money. She is trained to manage a great estate, he to command a regiment, and neither is willing to give an inch. One of them must yield if they are to work together, to live together, perhaps even to love together.

EXCERPT:

"Miss Hight has come down, my lord. It is time."

Nettles stepped forward, helped him to his feet.

Clarence accepted his support as far as the door. "Turn me loose, Nettles. I will do this on my own two feet."

"But sor--"

"Now."

Before he opened the door again, Carleton reached to take something from behind a table. A walking stick. He held it out. "Your grandfather's favorite."

About to refuse, Clarence took a closer look, and accepted the cane. The amber head was warm in his hand, the malacca staff strong. When he leaned upon it, his legs seemed less weak. For the first time he felt secure on his feet. "Thank you, Carleton. I am ready."

The butler opened the door and Clarence made his slow way to the fireplace, before which Mr. Stackdale stood. He had time to notice the twin vases holding peacock feathers on the mantel, the two lines of chairs seating strangers, and the red-haired woman at the pianoforte, pounding away industriously. She was a stranger. A neighbor, perhaps?

He reached his goal and turned to face the spectators. Most of them were vaguely familiar, although he could put names on no one but Squire Tomlinson and his wife. Had they forgiven him for surviving Coruņa when Rodney had not?

The door in the far wall opened. At first he scarcely recognized his bride, but as she slowly drew near, he realized the lovely young woman on Mr. Whitsomeworth's arms was indeed Lisanor Hight. Her fair hair was piled high on her head and trimmed with strands of pearls and two pearly-white flowers.

Mother's camellias! I'd forgotten...

Her gown was not black, as he had expected, but a soft pearl grey, high-necked and long-sleeved, but narrow in the skirt, as he had discovered fashion now dictated. The color complimented her ivory complexion as the severe black she'd worn yesterday never could.

As she approached, she raised her chin and looked him straight in the eye. A challenge? Perhaps. He looked back, just as resolutely. But then her lips twitched. Or had he imagined it?

Lisanor had to admire the man who waited for her beside the vicar. He'd cleaned up nicely. The rich russet tailcoat and amber satin waistcoat made his swarthy skin seem merely tanned from the sun and his legs, clad in black pantaloons, were well-muscled, despite his infirmity. For the first time she noticed his eyes, pale grey in that dark face. Firmly she suppressed the smile that threatened, for this was her wedding. A solemn occasion.

But she was relieved. She could not expect love in this marriage, but if she was going to have to face this man across the table for the rest of her life, she did appreciate that he was comely.

"I will," he said in answer to something the vicar had said.

She forced herself to pay attention.

"...obey him, and serve him, love, honor, and keep him in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him, as long as ye both shall live?"

"I-I will." The words came out the barest whisper, for she had suddenly realized what she was pledging herself to do in order to keep Ackerslea Farm.

I hope he is a kind man. A reasonable one. But he was a soldier, trained to battle... Lost again in her thoughts, she did not hear the vicar's question, but came to herself when Mr. Whitsomeworth placed her hand in that of Lord Guillemot. It was warm, hard, callused as a laborer's hand might be. Without thinking, she raised her chin and looked up at the man who'd just been given her hand, her body, her very life to rule.

  • Published by: Uncial Press


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