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A LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE
A LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE
Marrying the Duke #0.5
Releasing Sept 22nd, 2015
Grandmother, grandmother, who shall it be
Who shall it be who will marry me?
Duke, Earl, a powerful marquess?
When my heart is given to Fyclan Morris…
In New York Times bestselling author Cathy Maxwell’s new novella, beautiful Jennifer Tarleton has no lack of noble suitors, but the only man who captures her attention is the one her father will never let her marry: Fyclan Morris. He’s a brash adventurer, witty, courageous…and Irish! Even worse, her father blames her for their reversal of fortune…
And it’s a fortune—or rather his grandmother the fortune teller—who foretold that Fyclan would meet “the one”, a love prophesied in the stars. He vows nothing will stand in the way of making Jennifer his bride, but is the price too high? Or is a thing called love worth every challenge?
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From almost the day he of his birth, his Gran had cooed in his ear that he was destined for great things, something she’d never said to his brother—and her words had proven true. How else could a poor lad from County Cork find himself on the brink of being named a director to the powerful East India Company?
But it wasn’t just money his Gran had offered. “When you meet this woman, hold on to her,” she’d said. “Your children’s children will be dukes and princes. They will stride the world. But first, you must meet the woman.”
“Why will I need her?” he’d asked. “Mr. Fralin says I’m the smartest pupil he’s ever taught. I don’t need a lass to help me be important.”
His Gran had cupped his chin with her cold, frail hand. “You are right, my chava, but she will not be just any woman. She will be your destiny. Your purpose.”
To a boy, such talk was gibberish. Like every other Irish lad his age, Fyclan was mad for horses and adventure. This talk of “purpose” had been beyond his understanding—especially when it involved lasses. He was going to be a military man. He would win honor and glory and own a stable of a fifty horses, and he wasn’t going to share one of them with a lass.
However now, he was a man, and wiser to the ways of the world. He’d proven he understood money. He’d made fortunes for his superiors as well as his own. There was no telling how far he could climb, especially since many whispered Fyclan’s smart leadership had saved the Company from another bankruptcy. It was commonly allowed that if he kept his current path, he would someday be knighted.
And certainly, many of the current directors had their eye on him as a husband for their daughters, but Fyclan had not been tempted. No, he’d been waiting for her, the one his Gran had promised--the lady in blue with golden hair and creamy skin whose path had just crossed his.
Most gently bred young ladies of her age would be just finishing the morning toilettes after a night of balls and routs. Not this one. Crossing the street ahead of Fyclan, she walked with purpose. She glanced at her scrap of paper repeatedly as if searching for an address. Her maid had to scamper to keep up with her. Her aggrieved footman held out his arm to protect her from the heavy traffic and unwarranted advances.
Fyclan crossed the street as well, wanting to keep her in his sights.
He didn’t quite know how he would approach her or gain an introduction, but reach her he would—
His friend Bishard laid both hands on his arm and swung him around. He kept hold of Fyclan’s jacket as he waved his hand in front of his face. “Are you not listening to me? Damn it all, Morris, I’ve never seen you chase a woman before, and now you charge off like a hound on the trace of a scent.”
Fyclan laughed. “Only yesterday you chastised me for not being more aware of the fair sex. Well, now I am aware. Very aware. And I’m about to lose her, so excuse me—”
Bishard held fast. “She’s not for you.”
Those were fighting words. “And why not?”
His friend glanced around as if those on the pavement around them would be keenly interested in what he was about to say. His voice lowered. “Stowe has spoken for her.”
He referred to the marquess of Stowe, one of the wealthiest men in London. The directors of the Company were keenly interested in him. Not only did they want his money for investment, they also needed his political patronage.
Bishard’s warning did give Fyclan pause. He looked in the direction of his goddess. She was moving steadily away, a bright blue gem weaving in and out amongst a sea of drab, hard working men and women, people whose lives held no room for such a lively color.
And he knew he must not lose her. “Who is Stowe to me?” he said and would have charged off again in pursuit but his friend held on.
“She is also Miss Jennifer Tarleton, Colonel Russell Tarleton’s daughter.”
“The fool who cost us Konkan?” Fyclan referred to the battle the Company had fought against the Maratha rulers over the northern provinces. Fyclan had been the Company officer in charge and had removed the man from his command. Fyclan had lead the counter offensive himself, barely saving the Company from a humiliating defeat.
“The same. And still just as foolish. From what I understand, he is in dun territory. His only hope is to marry his daughter to a trunk full of gold. Trust me, Morris, you don’t want this one.”
“I have money.”
“But not as much as Stowe,” Bishard answered.
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New York Times Bestselling Author, Cathy Maxwell, spends hours in front of her computer pondering the question, “Why do people fall in love?” It remains for her the great mystery of life and the secret to happiness. She lives in beautiful Virginia with children, horses, dogs, and cats.
THE MATCH OF THE CENTURY
Marrying the Duke #1
Coming November 24th