Tangled Love by Rosemary Morris was short listed for the best romantic e-book at The Festival of Romance, Bedford U.K in 2013
London - 1702
Chesney stepped from Lady Ware’s spacious house into King Street, and walked towards Whitehall. Although the proposal to marry Lady Richelda took him by surprise, he gave further thought to accepting it. Yet he would not wait for Lady Richelda to come to town where she would doubtless parade in the latest fashions, powder and patch. Where did she live? He searched his memory. Ah, now he remembered. She lived at Bellemont which Lady Ware had mentioned lay close by his newly purchased property. Why not hazard a journey there and cast an eye over both domains?
His stride quickened to keep pace with his racing mind. Was the young lady tall or short, plain or pretty, blonde or brunette, meek or shrewish, illiterate or well educated?
Cocksure, Chesney took her acceptance of his proposal for granted. After all, why should she refuse a well-educated, not ill favoured viscount?
He knew it was time to settle down and have a family. If she proved suitable he would wed her. He would welcome her inheritance. For his part, he would try not to give her cause for complaint by ensuring she lacked naught. They would refurbish Field House, improve the estate and purchase a town house.
His inner voice nagged him. What of love?
For most people of his rank, sentiment had little to do with marriage. In fact, some said no lady concerned herself with the vulgarity of love or passion. A wife’s happiness and satisfaction should be derived through ensuring her husband’s comfort, good works, plying her needle and raising children.
He sighed. A man in his position must marry if only to father heirs.
‘Look an Adonis? Who is he?’ A high-pitched female voice interrupted his thoughts.
Chesney looked round at a powdered and patched lady with rouged cheeks who stared at him.
‘I don’t know, I think he’s a newcomer to town,’ her companion, a younger lady said in an equally strident tone.
Unaffected by their comments he laughed. Since his youth women commented on his height and his perfect proportions. He did not consider himself vain, but unlike some members of his gentlemen’s club, who took little exercise and overate, he fenced, hunted, rode and walked to keep his body fit.
The older lady inclined her head, the younger one winked before they went about their business.
Chesney whistled low. What would Lady Richelda think of him? He contemplated his future with pleasure. With a smile, he thought of London’s coffeehouses, theatres, parks, concerts and pleasure gardens. Lady Richelda’s inheritance, added to his more modest one, would ensure they could command the elegancies of life.
When he reached his lodgings, he summoned Roberts. ‘Pack, we leave for Field House tomorrow. Send a message to the stables. I require my coach at eight in the morning. Is there anything to eat?’
Roberts shook his head.
‘Order some mutton pies from the tavern. Do you want me to die of hunger? Hurry, man, what do you tarry for?’ He clapped his hands, his mind racing with thoughts of the future.
Roberts bowed low. He straightened, regarding him with his face creased in familiar lines of despair.
‘What?’ Chesney sighed. Why did he always feel dishevelled in his manservant’s presence? Roberts was only six years his senior but Chesney could not remember a day when the man did not wear an immaculate black cloth suit, a neat black waistcoat and unwrinkled stockings.
‘Firstly, my lord, the sooner you purchase a London House and employ a cook the better it will be. Secondly, with all due respect, my lord, your appearance grieves me.’
Chesney looked contritely at his black, buckled shoes and his white silk stockings splashed with muck from London’s filthy streets. He knew Roberts aspired to take the credit for him always being dressed to perfection. ‘Do not despair, you shall have the pleasure of dressing me in fine clothes on my wedding day,’ he teased.
Tangled Love is available from: MuseItUp Publishing, Amazon Kindle, Nook, Omlit, Bookstrand Mainstream, Kobo and elsewhere.
To view the book trailer, read the first three chapters and reviews please visit. www.rosemarymorris.co.uk