In 1814 London, England, a lady is defined as a demure, delicate flower. Miss Francine Annesley is not that lady. If men were like plants, she would have a garden of admirers to choose from instead of the thorn in her side since childhood, Julian Beckwith. But she would make an even worse nun than she does a lady, which will be her fate if she can't dig up a husband before the Season ends. However, Julian is not an option.
With only ten short days left in the Season, Francine doesn't have time to waste on petty squabbles or knee-weakening kisses, even if Julian's offer to fulfill her every wish rouses her curiosity. It seems men are more complicated than plants. Too bad love bloomed at the most inconvenient of times...
“Tell me about this plant you saw.”
“You know I can’t do it justice.” Mirth infused his voice. “I once described a rose to you as ‘red.’”
I chuckled. “Well, you weren’t wrong.”
“I also wasn’t very observant, as you pointed out for the next hour.” He shuddered. “It was very like schoolwork. I think you made me memorize the parts.”
I lifted my head. “I did not.”
“You made me repeat them so often, it felt as though you did.”
I smiled. “You didn’t get it wrong after that, did you?”
“Of course I did.” He barked out a laugh. “You know I have no head for that kind of thing.”
“No?” I shifted to study his face while we spoke. “I’d wager you could describe your crops to the tiniest detail.”
He shook his head. “Not even if you threatened my life. But I can look at them and tell you if they look…wrong.”
I laughed. “Is that the technical term?”
“You know what I mean.” He threw his free hand into the air. “Weak. Sickly.”
I grinned. I was only teasing him. Judging by the half smile turning up one corner of his mouth, he knew it.
“You did an admirable job describing the problem with your crops. The one I helped with.”
His arm tightened around my shoulders. “Thank you again, by the way.”
My cheeks heated as my gaze dropped to his mouth. The heat of his body surrounded me. I’d never felt so relaxed, comfortable and yet aware of him at the same time. Would he kiss me again? When he made no move to, I leaned closer. He didn’t pull away.
About the Author
Harmony Williams has been living vicariously in Regency-era England since she discovered Jane Austen. Since time machines don’t yet exist, she’s had to make do with books—fictional and non-fictional. On the rare occasion she doesn’t have her nose stuck in a book, she likes to drink tea and spend time with her 90-lb lapdog. A feminist, she writes stories about strong women and the men who support them as equals.