VBT – Nurse to the Marquess
Posted by authorcamilson
About the Author
USA Today Best-Selling author, Katy Walters e.books, and paperbacks are purchased and read in their thousands on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. Katy lives in the midst of Regency towns on the South Coast of England. Her main interests are historical; contemporary suspense romance, and time travel. She is equally drawn to the paranormal based on mythology and the Dark Ages.
After studying at various universities Katy was awarded a B.A Hons (psych) B.A.(Soc.) B.A. Eng Lit & Creative Writing and an M.A. She was also awarded a Doctor of Science (Hon) for research into pain control. She pursued a fulfilling career as a research psychologist and psychotherapist and gained a fellowship in hypnotherapy. She now enjoys writing over several genres. At present Katy is working on a novel based on psychology and hypnosis.
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About the Book:
Title: NURSE TO THE MARQUESS
Author: Katy Walters
Publisher: Celtic Circle Publishing
Genre: Regency Suspense/Romance
Under pressure from her aunt, Lady Rosamond Whitney agrees to attend the Little Season in support of her widowed friend Lady Harriett Templeton.
Still mourning for her young husband, Lady Harriett also has no desire to marry again. Yet they both give in to their beloved aunt who fears for their future if they do not meet worthy husbands.
After visiting the modiste who is preparing their ball gowns and riding habits for the Little Season, they go to a local coffee house, unaware of the danger ahead.
Enter the Lord Sebastian, 6th Marquess of Delmoor, once a renowned rakehell and hero of the Battle of Waterloo suffering from war wounds that make it highly unlikely he will win the love of a woman. His friend, Lord Charles Roberts, 10th Viscount Morhampton intent of finding a bride, begs Sebastian’s support as he attends the Little Season.
On their way, to Bath, they stop for coffee at the local coffee house little realizing they would be fighting a rapacious group of drunken dandiprats intent on dishonouring Lady Rosamond and Lady Harriett.
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‘Cassie, you’re badgering me again.’
‘Dearest, I’m only thinking of you. The Little Season is upon us. We’ve put it off too long.’ Her Grace, the Duchess of Taunton, stood in front of a baronial stone hearth, the carved features of leaping gargoyles menacing in the flickering firelight. ‘There will be such splendid balls. So many suiters will attend looking for a suitable wife.’
‘I’m happy as I am.’ Defiantly, Rosamond crossed her arms across her chest. ‘Tis not a joking matter Cassie,’ she muttered, seeing her sister bite back a smile.
‘Look, it‘s only a few balls and soirees.’
‘But it’s all so belittling – a sham. The truth is, we’re not going there to enjoy the dancing, we’re parading ourselves, like stuffed dolls on a shelf.’
‘If you want to marry, you’ll have to attend more social events.’
‘Cassie, I don’t want to wed – not yet. I’m so caught up with the horses. Really.’
‘Time is running out Rose. Look, you’re now one and twenty and you haven’t attended a season. Don’t let your chances slip away.
‘Cassie, I told you I’m not interested. I have too much to do.’
Tutting, the Duchess crossed to her side, as she spoke. ‘You’re still young and beautiful – please think about it. Surely you don’t want to live your life alone? Any suiter would go on his knees for your hand. Just think you could meet the man of your dreams, and be wed at Christmas. Oh yes, imagine – a Christmas wedding. Don’t throw it away.’ She patted her sister on the arm and sitting down on the chaise longue picked up her embroidery.’
Rose beetled her brows. ‘I cringe at the thought of it. Endless boring hours doing those country dances. Don’t laugh.’ She scowled at her sister. They’re trying to ban the waltz, honestly the only dance where you can have some fun. ‘Nay, I’m not waiting for a titled runt.’
‘I would not describe the men as—’
‘I will know the man for me at first glance, and it won’t be in an Assembly Room. I want a hot-blooded gallant, not some bacon brained twit, mincing to the minuet.’
‘Come on Rose, what novel are you reading? You have to have presence, be seen to —’
‘So you want to wait for some unknown beau who might happen to come along?
‘Yes, if you put it that way.’ Rose frowned, trying to look interested in the builders working in the castle bailey.
‘I know, but it rarely happens – ouch, darn it.’ Cassie sucked on her finger. ‘I’ve pricked my finger on the needle.
‘Hmm, maybe you’ll stop needling me.’ Rose could not suppress a grin, and pulled out her handkerchief from her pocket. ‘Here, use this.’
Cassie hissed, ‘funny, you’re very quick today. But don’t change the subject Rose; you do need to think very seriously on what you could be throwing away. Next season you will be two and twenty and….’ she let her words trail away.
‘And I’ll be too old; I’ll become an ape leader, cooing after my nieces and nephews.’
‘Rose it’s not a joking matter. Even one year in your age makes all the difference. Men are looking for a wife, the future mother of their heirs.’
‘Oh Lord, don’t Cassie, now I’m a brood mare.’
Cassie bent her head wrapping the handkerchief around her finger. ‘It’s life dearest, life, and I want you to have one with the man you love. Darn it, will you tie this up for me please.’
Bending, Rose tied the handkerchief in a knot. ‘Honestly Cassie … I really hate those assembly rooms, queuing up and writing their name on my dance card when I don’t even like them.’
‘Well … look, why don’t you just try? Attend a couple of the dances. The Assembly Rooms at Bath are spacious, with beautiful crystal chandeliers, a huge ballroom. I’ve heard they have so much fun there. And there’s a scrumptious buffet. It’s not at all like the preening pomp and lifted noses of the Big Season.’
Rose chuckled. ‘If a man twinkle toed his way across the room to me, I’d run. Honestly Cassie, they’re all so effeminate, waving fingertips, pointing toes and—’
Putting the embroidery aside, Cassie looked earnestly at her sister. ‘The right beau may just attend this time, you never know.’
‘The right beau?’ Rose tossed her head. ‘A man who spends his time at dances, and soirees? I have no time for dandies.’
‘Don’t exaggerate. They’ll be lots of handsome men attending, It’s the only way for them to find a wife really.’
‘Hmm like cats feeding on mice.’
This could be your season for love.’
‘I abhor the Assemblies Cassie; I can’t imagine sitting on wallflower row, all fluff and feathers twiddling a stupid fan. Many girls sit there all evening praying some male will ask them to dance. How debasing. No, I will not attend.’
‘I shall let the dowager loose on you.’ Cassie smiled, raising her eyebrows.
Rose lifted her hands in defense. ‘You wouldn’t? Not the dragon; you wouldn’t?’
‘Alright, but it’s six months since Harriett’s period of mourning ended. The dear dowager told me, she’s now discarded her black gloves. It’s time Harriett entered the society again. Your sister-in-law needs you. She dreads attending the Assemblies. Truly she needs you. You know how she suffered.’
‘Now it’s emotional blackmail.’
‘Pray relent, if not for her, then for your own sweet sake. At this rate, you’ll never experience a man’s touch, his passion, his love. I don’t like to repeat this but you may not have another chance. Most young women wed at seventeen and mothers with two children at your age.’
‘But you were four and twenty before you met Max, and you didn’t attend one formal ball or assembly, yet you urge me to sell myself on the Marriage Mart?
Exasperated, but amused, Cassandra rose to her feet and walked over to the fire warming her hands over the glowing embers of the logs. Today would be quite busy with groups of tourists arriving to view the castle and the ongoing rebuild. ‘Rose, the dowager is forcing our gentle Harriett to attend, but I will not do that to you. I just ask that you try, if only for two weeks.’
‘Oh … alright – but just a week.’ Rose stood up; her mouth set defiantly.
Cassandra drew a breath of relief. Privately, she too did not agree with the Marriage Mart; of young women literally posing to catch a future husband. However, pray God, there would be a man to meet Rose’s expectations. She was a head turner, with her amber eyes, an abundance of golden hair and cream complexion. However, to Cassandra’s despair, the girl preferred mucking out the stables to tiaras and dances. It would be a lonely life for her, a spinster doting on her siblings’ infants. In time, she would regret it.
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