A Summer Quest
Sophia Marcus knows who she wants to marry. Problem is, he’s not the man her father has in mind. Her father believes the sizeable estate his daughter will inherit warrants a title, and he’s invited a candidate to Wyldfell Priory for the Summer Market Fair.
Philip Harrington wants to marry Sophia. Problem is, six months ago his brother scandalized Little Chipping and the family has been under a cloud ever since. They’re on the verge of being accepted by society once more, but it is clear Sophia’s father has his sights set elsewhere.
Counting on Philip’s ability to produce the finest hog at the Summer Market, Philip and Sophia hatch a plan to rid her of an unwanted suitor and raise his standing in her father’s eyes. But the suitor is not without his own allies, and another scandal could be looming on the horizon.
“A Summer Quest” is part of The New Romance Cafe’s Summer Pleasures Anthology, available beginning August 18, 2021 for a limited time. All proceeds go to support Breast Cancer Research.
“I take it the viscount won’t respond well.”
Sophia drew herself up primly. “Lord Atherly showed himself most condescending when I expressed an opinion on crop rotation and considering long-term implications instead of only short-term gain.”
A shake of his head, dislodging a dark curl from beneath the practical straw tall hat he wore. “Foolish man. That alone sealed his fate with you.”
“Philip, you don’t mind that I’m concerned about the estate?” she asked, a sudden doubt assailing her. “You’re not humoring me because we’re courting?”
His expression grew serious as he reached out to wrap strong hands gently around her arms. “I love that you are as committed to this land as I am,” he said, his voice tender. “I love that you’re thinking about not only today, but the future. A future with us together. I disagree with you most assuredly about attempting to import a flock of Merino sheep because no other efforts have known success. I love you know enough to look at the possibilities. You’re bright, beautiful and capable. The idea of spending my life hand in hand with you is heaven on earth. Even when you drive me to madness.”
Looking up at him, she knew what she wanted, to be here with him, to argue and agree, work through things together. A man willing to see her as a partner, not someone confined to looking ornamental and bearing children. She didn’t object when he lowered his lips to hers.
It was not their first kiss, but somehow sweeter than all the ones before. This said, he would do everything he could to stay by her side, as she would try to clear the path for them. She did not care the agents watched them. They belonged to one another.