A Chance Encounter by Mary Balogh

By Mary Balogh

The city of Granby may well rarely be extra excited on the information that Ferndale Manor is to be opened back and that its new proprietor, Mr Mainwaring, is either prosperous, good-looking and unmarried. specifically, leave out Cecily Rowe and her mom and dad view the vacationing occasion with their eyes firmly set on matrimony -- for who should still should be the spouse of such a chic younger guy greater than beautiful sixteen-year-old Cecily?Only one member of the Rowe family doesn't percentage their excessive spirits. Elizabeth Rossiter, born a woman yet pressured to hunt employment as a governess, has tasted the delights of suitors and events in a former life in London, and now needs basically to be left by myself and unobserved. yet occasions conspire opposed to Elizabeth as neighborhood society embarks on frenzied job once again, bringing her head to head with the single individual she needed by no means to set eyes on back: Robert Denning, Marquess of Hetherington. the guy who six years past advised her he enjoyed her ... after which broke her center.

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Both frowned upon his wish to enlist, yet neither could suggest a useful employment for this younger son. They seemed to expect him to be an idle man-about-town although the family had very little money. Living in a style that he considered appropriate to his rank, the marquess had put too much stress on the income from his estates. Love had taken her quite unawares. They had both been attending a ball, but were not together because they had already shared the regulation two dances. Elizabeth had been wearing new slippers, which pinched her toes so badly that she was convinced that she must have at least one blister.

Mainwaring and his house guests to a dinner party the following week. Mrs. Rowe had pondered long on what entertainment she should organize. Should it be a full-scale ball? Would that be too ostentatious? Should it be an afternoon picnic? Was that too informal on so short an acquaintance? On Elizabeth's advice she finally settled for a dinner party, which had, anyway, been her first idea. As Elizabeth pointed out, a dinner party was free to develop in any direction. Music in the drawing room after dinner, or a few tables of cards, or even an informal dance to the music of the pianoforte could all be arranged with the minimum of fuss, depending upon the mood of the party.

She found them good company. Mrs. Prosser, a plain but sensible woman in her middle thirties by Elizabeth's estimation, did not say much, but her husband conversed easily, not suggesting any condescension to the inferior status of his companion. He made her feel a social equal, in fact, as he talked about the welcome they had received from several families in the neighborhood. He talked about his life in the diplomatic service, about a year he had spent on government business in Lisbon. All the while Elizabeth watched the couple walking ahead of them, arm in arm, talking and laughing together.

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