By Judith Ivory
A Dutiful HeartAs befitting her identify, gorgeous put up Channing-Downes was once the right kind, obedient spouse of an getting older marquess -- until eventually her husband's dying left her penniless and alone...with one final marital legal responsibility to satisfy. Entrusted with providing a small black field to its rightful proprietor, she calls upon Graham Wessit, the infamous Earl of Netham, existence has been without end marred via rumor and scandal. yet Graham wishes not anything to do with a bequest from the fellow he holds liable for his wreck -- or with thebewitching emissary who brings it. within the face of breathtaking erotic secret -- within the throes of an infected ardour unbeckoned yet very unlikely to disclaim -- a rogue's hardened center might be undone via love...and a staidbeauty in straits could research the beautiful, sensuous freedom of quit.
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Her gaze turned to the folds of her skirt. “Henry was there. We talked. He helped so much. ” But then with a mock brightness and without waiting for an answer, she continued. “You should have seen the funeral. ” “He wasn’t exactly a butcher—” “But he was. He killed and dressed animals, though on a rather large scale. ” She looked up and opened her arms. ” She was suspended for a moment in that balletic position of raised arms. As if music had stopped for a count of three. It felt like that many heartbeats for the man watching from the window.
No, he’d seen a dozen widows, in and out of the wind. It was something else, he reasoned. Cer- 38 Ju≥itπ Ivor¯ tainly, it was not her connection with Henry. That appalled him; he’d liked her better before he’d known. Perhaps that was what he liked: He knew almost nothing about her. He laughed at himself, for he suspected, from the experience of waking up frequently beside strangers, that he was especially attracted to women he didn’t know. It was the mystery, he supposed. There was something essentially female in what was hidden, unknown.
You should have seen the funeral. ” “He wasn’t exactly a butcher—” “But he was. He killed and dressed animals, though on a rather large scale. ” She looked up and opened her arms. ” She was suspended for a moment in that balletic position of raised arms. As if music had stopped for a count of three. It felt like that many heartbeats for the man watching from the window. Graham leaned closer, fascinated, transﬁxed. The woman’s open arms seemed to remove status, station, even in some way her female gender.