I love FREE BOOKS and grabbed a copy of Shipmate by Mariana Gabrielle. Take a look!
Thanks to the Prince of Wales, retiring shipping magnate Myron Clewes has an ever-growing fortune, a fresh-minted peerage, a brand-new flagship, and an impossible set of requirements for a bride. Not least, she must be willing to leave England and everything she knows, possibly for good, in less than two months’ time.
Bella’s Happy-Ever-After in Royal Regard had its origins in a Happier-Than-She-Expected with her first husband, Baron Holsworthy, who gave her the confidence to steady her sea legs, take her life by the helm, and command her own voice, empowering a shy, young girl and unlikely adventurer to grow into one of King George IV’s trusted advisors.
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She is a professional writer, editor, and designer with almost twenty-five years’ experience, and a member of the Bluestocking Belles, the Writing Wenches, and the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She has written two Regency romances, Royal Regard and La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess, and will soon release three Royal Regard prequel novellas and a mainstream historical, Blind Tribute.
“Lord Holsworthy, have you any objection to secular thinkers?”
“Isabella!” she heard from behind, her Aunt Minerva apparently unwilling to allow Bella to ruin everything by appearing to be a godless bluestocking.
“My lady?” Bella queried.
“Do tell the baron about your work with the village school. She does quite well there, Lord Holsworthy. All of the tenants’ children attend. Isabella is excellent with children. She’s had a hand in raising my own sons, Lady Firthley’s brothers. She will be an excellent mother for any man who might marry her.”
Bella fell silent, face burning again.
“A village school, Miss Smithson? I am intrigued. I admit, I am less an evangelist for the teachings of John Wesley than educating the heathen in the English tongue, the rule of law, and the principles of economic freedom.”
The topic carried them some time, he contributing stories of similar enterprises he had both observed and financed in foreign climes, she detailing the structure she had helped create in Evercreech and at Brittlestep Manor, during the course of her regular work about the estate.
“Do you mean to say, Miss Smithson, you undertake management of your aunt and uncle’s estate?”
“No. No, of course not. Not in any meaningful way. Only… I oversee things when the household removes to London. They move staff, so I stay behind with a few maids and footmen…” Bella trailed off, aware in an instant she had just irreparably branded herself the poor relation. How she would be able to help that, though, she had never understood, as she was naught but an extra upper servant at Brittlestep Manor.
“Am I to understand you are not averse to a mop and broom, Miss Smithson?”
“I am not averse to honest work, my lord. I did not spend my entire life at the manor house, nor my time there at ease. Admittedly, as a member of the family, I am more familiar with household management than household tasks.”
Though he faced forward, his fingers tightened momentarily on hers, and she caught the smile in the corner of his mouth.
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