Title: Enticing Her Unexpected Bridegroom
Author: Catherine Hemmerling
Series Name: Lady Lancaster Garden Society
Sarah Jardin has been quite dreadfully in love with David Rochester her whole life. As the youngest of five daughters, her family and society neglect her. She’s outspoken, brash, and terribly ungraceful. In short, not at all a lady…until she’s taken under the benevolent wing of Lady Lancaster and invited to join the Young Ladies Garden Society.
But Sarah’s new life—filled with the mysteries and intrigues of high society—is interrupted by an unexpected scandal. Her scandal. In a moment of kindness, David comforts her…and they are discovered and forced to marry. Even as the newlyweds must come to terms with their new arrangement, they find themselves drawn into the investigation of a dangerous conspiracy.
With life and love on the line, their unexpected marriage will either end in rapture…or ruin.
Apologizing profusely, Lord Cardigan made his way over to his daughter and began removing her forcefully from the party, but apparently not before Lavinia saw the grateful smile Sarah gave David.
Pulling away from her father, Lavinia skewered Sarah with a look and said nastily, “It was you, wasn’t it? You were the one to break my gift.”
Feeling like a fly that has been pinned to a mat, Sarah was unable to move, unable to say anything. Hannah, however, stepped closer to her friend and took her arm reassuringly. “How dare you! You heard my brother say he broke it. What right do you have to accuse Sarah?”
David, too, stepped forward, and now both Rochesters were flanking Sarah protectively. “Yes, Lavinia…are you calling me a liar?”
Seeing that she was outnumbered, Lavinia wisely said nothing. Instead she allowed her father to finally lead her from the room, but not before she gave Sarah one last evil glare. After Lavinia and her family were gone, the party began to break up. But Sarah remained where she was, wracked with guilt.
Hannah and David remained where they were, as well, and Sarah took the opportunity to set the record straight.
“Hannah,” she said with a gulp, “Lavinia was right. David didn’t break the figurine. I did. But it was an accident, I swear.”
Hannah rolled her eyes. “Of course it was an accident, Sarah. Don’t think on it again. Yes, it was a pretty bauble, but it was from Lavinia,” she said, pronouncing her name like it was the plague or pestilence, “and I would have had to hate it on principle. That girl is rotten to the core.”
Sarah choked on something close to laughter and was surprised by how much better she felt knowing Hannah didn’t harbor her any ill will for her clumsiness.
“The question is,” Hannah continued, her eyes narrowing slightly as she looked at David, “why did my brother confess to something he did not do?”
David shrugged. “I knew that Lavinia would raise holy hell when she found out the bird was broken, and I could see Sarah was upset enough already. She didn’t need to deal with that little witch on top of it all.”
And that was it. That was the moment Sarah fell in love. Head over heels in love with David Rochester. Lord help her if Hannah ever found out.
“Oh, thank you, David,” Sarah sighed, looking up at her newfound hero.
Oh great, David thought to himself. He had seen that look before. What was it with girls anyway? Always falling “in love” over the stupidest of things. Well, that would teach
him to be nice to the little chit. Well, never again, he swore.
Catherine Hemmerling has been a technical writer in the software industry for nearly twenty years and has published many user manuals and technical documentation in that time. She has always had a love of writing fiction but has never pursued publication in that genre until recently.
Hopefully it is the beginning of a long new journey with Lady Lancaster and the Garden Society girls. Certainly historical romance (especially the scandalous kind) is more fun than writing technical documents!
This author happily resides in Tehachapi, California with her family.
Catherine writes for Entangled Publishing’s Scandalous historical line and is thrilled to be part of their family of writers!