The Reluctant Suitor
Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
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For as long as she can remember, Lady Adriana Sutton has adored Colton Wyndham, to whom she has been promised by an agreement of courtship and betrothal since childhood. As a young girl, she was wounded by Colton's stubborn refusal to comply with his father's wishes and by his angry departure. He was too proud and too stubborn to accept a future not of his own choosing. Rather than submit, he fled from his ancestral home for a life of adventure and danger as an officer in the British army.
The years have been immensely kind to Lady Adriana. No longer the plain, thin tomboy Colton had spurned, she has blossomed into an uncommon beauty desired by nearly every eligible bachelor in the land. Yet the only man she desires is the decorated hero who has finally come home to claim his rightful title. Arrogant, unmoved, and seductive as ever, he remains averse to the idea of their betrothal in spite of his growing desire for her.
To demonstrate his belief that love cannot be forced, Colton agrees to court Lady Adriana for ninety days, after which time he will be allowed to keep his precious freedom if he so wishes. But much has changed since he balked at his father's plans. Forced into a courtship with this stunning, spirited woman, who is as different today from the young chit he left behind as spring is to winter, the heroic heart that was once closed to Adriana is moved by her charm, her grace, and her sensuality ... and begins to yield. But a secret from Colton's past may doom their burgeoning love ... even as the treacherous schemes of a sinister rival threaten to steal the remarkable lady from his arms forever.
A lush and spellbinding story of passion and betrayal that grandly sweeps the reader into the magnificent ballrooms and intimate boudoirs of Regency England, The Reluctant Suitor is romance as only the incomparable Kathleen Woodiwiss can deliver it -- a love story that will dwell in the reader's heart and memory forever and stand proudly as one of the author's very best.
little girl you once rejected. Three months from now, we may decide to take different paths other than the one your father intended for us. Should that occur, I hope we shall each be tolerant of the other’s feelings and somehow manage to remain friends for the sake of our families.” The corners of his lips twitched in amusement. “Strange, but I thought you had changed a great deal since I left home. As much as I’ve searched, I cannot find that light smattering of freckles that once bridged your
Pandora, if you don’t mind,” Colton interjected, his tone pleasant in spite of the threats the woman had just leveled against them. Having already advanced toward the drawing room door, Pandora halted promptly, certain he had decided to relent. Stepping back to face him, she arched a brow expectantly. “Yes, what is it?” “Perhaps you can save me the trouble of asking the performers of the theatre where you worked if Alice Cobble didindeed work there and was with child during the latter part of
fervently assured him that she would stay near. Samantha’s time was near at hand, and shortly after Colton had left for London, Philana had departed in the opposite direction for the Burkes’ country residence where she planned to stay until her grandchild was born. Samantha had been pleading for her to come and spend some time with them anyway, Philana had explained, and this seemed her best opportunity yet. Leaving the enormous Jacobean bed, Adriana slipped a silken wrapper over her chemise
had done when his father had made an appearance, not only because of his extraordinary good looks, but also for his lofty presence. Perhaps, after all this time, there was still strong evidence of that Viking lord from ages ago running in the Wyndhams’ blood. Five Edmund Elston sat back in his chair as he stared agog at his rumple-haired son who shuffled like an ancient dotard into the dining room. His shoulders were sharply hunched, and he held an arm clasped across his middle as if
shalltry not to belabor that fact overmuch, however slighted I felt at the time for not being permitted to join them.” Her chin sagged in astonishment at his outrageous charge. “I never said you had to keep your distance from me.” The shining gray orbs challenged her above a lazy smile. “Oh? Perhaps I misunderstood. You did say our courtship was to begin after the Autumn Ball, did you not? Was I not to keep my distance until then?” She sighed heavily, convinced that he was not much changed