Welcome! Last week I introduced you to the Phillip, the hero of my new regency romance, The Partridge and the Peartree, scheduled for release on November 2. (If you missed it, you can read it here.) Today I'd like you to meet the heroine:
Lady Amelia Partridge paused outside the bookstore to put her new purchases into a leather satchel she'd borrowed from her brother. Edward hadn't known about the loan, of course. But he was off on one of his hunting trips with his friends. She supposed she looked silly, carrying it about; however, the books wouldn't fit in her reticule, and she didn't want all of London to know about her reading selections. The books were for some special children in her life, but she didn’t want to explain to her friends if they should happen to see her.
She handed the satchel to Giles, her young footman, and led the way back to the high street, where she had arranged to meet her coach near the park. From there, she rode in comfort back to her brother's home.
It had been her home, too, for the past twenty-three years. But now she was going to have to find another place to live. Despite the forty-odd rooms in Sudbury House, there was not enough space for two women. At least, not when one of the women was her brother's fiancée, Colette.
Her brother Edward, Earl of Sudbury, had suggested she marry. But she absolutely couldn't bind herself to some fop who thought of no one but himself, or worse, one who dictated her every move. She led her own life and didn't want someone else telling her what to do, the way her father had run her mother's life. The poor woman hadn't had a moment to herself until the day she died. It was a lesson well learned.
Edward would give her an allowance, of course, and he'd offered to let her have the cottage in Oxfordshire. But she would need more than what he’d be able to give her, especially if Collette had anything to say about it. Besides, the cottage was far away from her friends. Recently, she’d had some success writing books, keeping her identity hidden by using a pen name for the books she wrote. If she lived frugally, perhaps she’d be able to support herself, especially if Edward would help her purchase a small home in London.
Her impending move had been in her thoughts when she had run into the man in the bookshop. He'd looked familiar, but since she avoided most social events, she had no idea who he was. The gentleman's face had been kind, full of character and compassion. The scars on his left cheek did nothing to detract from his looks, and his deep blue eyes had shone with intelligence. He'd been standing in the philosophy section, perusing the titles on a high shelf when she'd bumped into him. She'd apologized, but he hadn't responded. Instead, he'd simply picked up her books and handed them back to her. Perhaps he hadn't wanted anyone to know he was there, either.
Arriving at the townhouse, she instructed Giles to take the satchel to her sitting room. She would have two or three hours to herself before dinner, and then she would have to get dressed to go out again. Tonight was the Linden daughters' recital, and though she preferred to stay at home, she felt obligated to attend. Desiree, the girls' mother, had become a good friend through the Ladies' Literary Society, and both Laurel and Merilee had become dear to her.
Perhaps, if she could shut out enough of the music, she could plot out her next novel in her head. She had a good memory and could write down the details when she got home.
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