My guest was unable to make it today, so I thought I’d share my my latest preorder. When a Marquis Chooses a Bride, is book 2 in The Worthingtons! Since this book doesn’t release for a while, I’m going to give a commenter’s choice of one of the book in The Marriage Game. Just leave a comment telling me which book you would like.
I’m thrill with this cover. Let me know what you think.
Thanks to their large extended family and unconventional courtship, The Worthingtons have seen their share of scandal and excitement. But nothing has prepared them for this…
The Dowager Lady Worthington isn’t quite sure what to make of country-girl Dorothea Stern. As the granddaughter of the Duke of Bristol, Dotty is schooled in the ways and means of the nobility. But her sharp wit and outspoken nature has everyone in a tizzy. Especially their cousin, Dominic, the Marquis of Merton.
Prematurely stuffy, Dom was raised by his cheerless uncle to be wary of a host of things, including innovation, waltzing, and most perilous of all: true love. Still, there’s something about Dotty, beyond her beauty, that Dom cannot resist. But the odds are against him if he intends to win her as his bride. Will he choose loyalty to his family—or risk everything for the one woman he believes is his perfect match…
They resumed ambling on the side of the path. Suddenly there was a commotion and a shout from behind. Dotty turned. A small dog had grabbed the tassel on a man’s boot and was backing up growling with its tail wagging trying to shake its prize. Foolishly, the man kept kicking out at the dog, making the animal think he was playing.
She put a hand over her mouth to keep from giggling, yet when he lifted his cane to strike the poor little thing, she rushed forward. “Here now, sir! What do you think you’re doing?” She bent to the dog who turned out to nothing more than a puppy. Turning to the man, she narrowed her eyes and scowled. “Shame on you.”
Dotty worked on releasing the tassel from the puppy’s grip, but each time the man shook his leg, trying to get the animal off, the puppy held on harder, growling and shaking his head. “Stop moving. Are you so stupid you cannot see the dog thinks you are trying to play?”
“Get him off me,” the man shouted in voice growing higher in fright. “Someone will pay for this. Is he your beast?”
Determined ignore him, she counted to ten, took a breath, and finally managed to release the gold bobble from the puppy’s sharp teeth. “There now.” Picking up the dog, she stroked its wiry fur. “Where is your master?”
Just then, two school aged boys came running up. “Oh, miss. Thank you so much. We’ve been looking for Bennie all over. He got away from us.”
By this time Bennie was snapping at the ribbons of her bonnet. Dotty laughed as she tried to free them. “Here now, sir. Those are not for you either.” She saved the ribbons and handed the puppy to one of the boys.
“We’ll pay you for the damage, miss.”
“It’s no bother.” She smiled at both of them. “Use the money to buy a lead. That will keep Bennie from running away.”
“He’s only twelve weeks old,” the other boy said proudly. “We didn’t think he could run so fast.”
“Or so far,” added the other.
“Thank you,” they both said in unison.
Ah, well. Puppies would be puppies and boys would be boys. “Run along now, and keep Bennie out of trouble.”
“Wait just a minute,” the man with the tassels growled. “You owe me compensation. Your vicious beast ruined my boots.”
“Stuff and nonsense.” Dotty closed her eyes for a moment before fixing the man with a stern look. “It was entirely your fault. If you had acted like a sensible person and just picked the poor puppy up, your boots would not have suffered any damage.”
By this time Charlotte and Louisa were ranged beside Dotty. The footmen were close behind.
“Dotty, are you all right?” Charlotte asked.
“I am fine.” She glanced at Louisa who seemed to be glaring at the man’s companion, whom Dotty had not previously noticed.
The contrast between that man and his friend with the tassels was remarkable.
She knew now what her father had meant when he had spoken disparagingly about “Dandies.” The man whose boots Bennie had attacked was obviously one of that set. His shirt points were so high he could barely turn his head. His waist was nipped in and his garishly striped waistcoat was covered by so many fobs and other ornaments one could hardly see the cloth. Whereas his companion was dressed with elegant propriety in a dark blue coat and buff pantaloons. No gold tassels adorned his boots, which were so highly polished the sun reflected off them. With stylish gold hair and deep blue eyes, he was very handsome indeed. Then his lips curved up in a mocking smile, ruining the favorable impression she’d had.
“Merton.” Louisa infused her voice with a note of disgust. “A friend of yours I suppose.”
Merton cleared his throat. “I dare say, Fotherby, that the lady is correct. You should have been able to stop the animal before any damage occurred.”
Fotherby turned to Merton, staring at his companion as if betrayed. Merton’s masked eyes were unreadable to Dotty, but something in them must have made an impression on Fotherby for he turned to her and bow slightly.
“Ladies, my deepest apologies for not acting promptly to avoid an unnecessary scene.”
Never one to hold a grudge, Dotty inclined her head, “Your apology is accepted, sir.”
Merton lifted one brow and looked pointedly at Louisa.
“Very well,” she said, in no good humor. “Miss Stern, may I present the Marquis of Merton, a cousin of mine. Merton, Miss Stern, a long time friend of Lady Charlotte’s family.”
Dom bowed and watched with appreciation as Miss Stern gracefully curtseyed. He had not been paying much attention to her encounter with Fotherby, thinking her just another modern termagant, until she stood and faced him. Botticelli could not have painted such perfection. The glossy blue-black curls peeping out from her hat served as a perfect frame for her heart shaped face. She gazed at Dom with bright moss green eyes. Surreptitiously, he sucked in a breath. He’d seen many beautiful women this Season, including Lady Charlotte, but none came close to equaling Miss Stern.
But, Dotty, what a horrible name. It must be short for something. He prayed it was short for something. If not, the name would have to change.