Sarah Jardin has been quite dreadfully in love with David Rochester her whole life. As the youngest of five daughters, her family and society neglect her. She's outspoken, brash, and terribly ungraceful. In short, not at all a lady...until she's taken under the benevolent wing of Lady Lancaster and invited to join the Young Ladies Garden Society.
But Sarah's new life—filled with the mysteries and intrigues of high society—is interrupted by an unexpected scandal. Her scandal. In a moment of kindness, David comforts her...and they are discovered and forced to marry. Even as the newlyweds must come to terms with their new arrangement, they find themselves drawn into the investigation of a dangerous conspiracy.
With life and love on the line, their unexpected marriage will either end in rapture...or ruin..
And after five days of being married, he thought it was going quite well. True, they didn’t have much to say to each other, and they hadn’t yet consummated the marriage (David didn’t see Sarah in that way, but he supposed he would take the plunge one of these days; an heir would be nice, after all), but they were still in the process of getting to know each other, so that was to be expected. But it was surprisingly pleasant to see her sitting across the table from him every morning and evening these last few days… surprisingly pleasant, indeed.
“How did you sleep, Sarah? I trust, well?” David asked as he slathered butter over a lightly browned piece of toast.
Sarah looked up from her own plate of eggs and kippers. “Very well. Thank you.”
Silence reigned for a few moments as the two silently chewed on their respective repasts, and then David said, “I was out at the stables earlier this morning and it looks to be another lovely day.”
“Oh?” Sarah countered civilly. “Then the sun is shining again today?”
“My, yes. It is very bright and I could hardly hear the grooms’ ‘hellos’ over the sound of birds chirping.”
“It has been an uncommonly beautiful summer, hasn’t it?”
“Do you have any plans today, David?”
“Hmmm?” David murmured, looking up from his plate again, surprised by the new topic. Usually their breakfast conversation covered the weather and not much more. “Oh, no, not really. I thought I might go over to Simon’s place after breakfast. He has just purchased a new broodmare, and I thought I would take a look at her.”
“Simon’s?” Sarah asked, perking up. “Do you think I might come along?”
David was perplexed. “I don’t honestly think you would be interested, Sarah-dear.”
“‘Sarah-dear’?” Sarah snorted. “I am not your ‘dear.’ You have made that abundantly clear, and how would you know what I am interested in or not? We never talk!”
“We are talking right now, Sarah-dear,” David responded tightly, “and as your husband, I may call you anything I like.”
“No, you may not!” Sarah cried, throwing down her napkin and standing abruptly. “You may have married me, but we are not husband and wife. And this—” At which point Sarah gestured wildly to the farce of a breakfast before them. “Is not talking. This is…this is…this is idiotic!”
And with that, Sarah spun around, tripped over her chair, and fell face first onto the plush carpeted floor with an inelegant “oomph.”
“Sarah! Are you all—” David burst out, getting up to come to her aid. But he was stopped cold in his tracks when his bride leaped to her feet and skewered him with a look that could maim.
“Don’t even think of helping me,” she snarled. “You are not allowed to be nice and gentlemanly when I am angry with you!”
And she proceeded to stomp out of the room. A few seconds later, David heard the front door slam as Sarah left the house for destinations unknown, and he wondered what in the hell had just happened.
About the Author
Catherine Hemmerling has been a technical writer in the software industry for nearly twenty years and has published many user manuals and technical documentation in that time. She has always had a love of writing fiction but has never pursued publication in that genre until recently.
Hopefully it is the beginning of a long new journey with Lady Lancaster and the Garden Society girls. Certainly historical romance (especially the scandalous kind) is more fun than writing technical documents!
This author happily resides in Tehachapi, California with her family.
Catherine writes for Entangled Publishing's Scandalous historical line and is thrilled to be part of their family of writers!