By Caroline Linden
A unmarried ladyin ownership of an outstanding fortunemust be in wish of a suitor
Margaret de Lacey has permitted her single statewith dignity, if now not satisfaction. She had no suitors whilst she wasyoung and starry-eyed, notwithstanding unfortunately poor,and it’s not going any guy will courtroom her now that she’s older,wiser, and nonetheless simply as penniless. until eventually, that is,her brother without notice inherits the dukedom of Durhamand settles a big dowry on her, making herthe so much eligible heiress in town.
No gentleman in London is extra short of a wealthybride than Rhys Corwen, Earl of Dowling. He contrives anintroduction to Margaret as a result of her dowry, yet sheswiftly units him correct: no fortune hunter will win her middle orher hand. faraway from dispose of, Rhys is intrigued. Interested.Entranced. and shortly the single factor he needsmore than Margaret’s fortune . . . is her love.
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Edward smiled wryly at his father’s masked sadness. He was once completely satisfied his more youthful brother, no less than, used to be domestic. “I’ll move fetch him correct up. ” “Do that,” murmured Durham. “I might be completely happy to work out him. And Charles . . . Charles can be right here quickly? ” “At any moment,” Edward acknowledged back as he slipped throughout the door and held it for the general practitioner to take his position within the room. He reached the pinnacle of the steps simply as his brother got here working up. “Am I too overdue? ” demanded Gerard. Edward shook his head. Gerard exhaled and ran one surrender his head. His darkish hair was once damp with sweat, and mud coated him from head to toe. “Thank God. I’ve been driving all day; most likely rattling close to killed the negative horse. ” He glanced at Edward. “Charlie? ” “No signal of him, as usual,” muttered Edward as they walked down the corridor. “Father’s been calling for him for 2 days now. ” “Well, a few issues by no means switch. ” Gerard sighed and pulled unfastened a couple of buttons of his coat. “I should still wash. ” Edward nodded. “I had all of the rooms ready. yet Gerard—hurry. ” His brother paused at the threshold of his bedchamber. “He’s particularly loss of life, then? ” It did appear magnificent, even to Edward. Durham were an important individual, each piece as strong and bold as his sons. because the loss of life of the duchess over 20 years in the past, the family have been a safeguard of male objectives, and not anyone pursued them tougher than Durham himself. Edward used to be nearly eighteen ahead of any of the brothers might outshoot their father, they usually outrode him basically whilst the surgeon flatly ordered His Grace out of the saddle on the age of seventy after a nasty fall injured his again. yet now Durham was once over 80. He used to be an outdated guy, and have been demise for the higher a part of a 12 months. Gerard simply hadn’t obvious the decline. “Yes, he’s rather dying,” Edward acknowledged in resolution to his brother’s query. “I will be shocked if he lasts the evening. ” while his more youthful brother slipped into the sickroom a couple of minutes later, Edward had already back to his submit via the window. Durham had informed him to attend there, to announce the instant Charlie arrived. He questioned what his father sought after so desperately to inform Charlie; God knew Charlie hadn’t cared a lot for something the duke had needed to say for the final ten years or so, and it appears nonetheless didn’t. yet no matter what ultimate phrases Durham had for his inheritor, they have been evidently of great value. while he heard the creak of the door at Gerard’s front, Durham lurched up back and cried out, “Charles? ” “No, Father, ’tis Gerard. ” now not a hint of offense or disappointed marred Gerard’s gentle tone. He crossed to the mattress and took his father’s hand. “Edward wrote me a few nonsense that you just have been ill,” he stated. “I got here to thrash a few feel into him. ” “But why did you no longer deliver Charles? ” whispered the duke in pain. “Ah, lads. i must inform Charles . . . ask his forgiveness . . . ” That used to be new. Edward deserted his window submit as Gerard shot him a curious glance. “Forgiveness, Father? ” A tear leaked from the duke’s eye, tracing a glistening direction down his sunken cheek.