Creator Long, Julie-Anne.
Language eng. Publication New York, N. Extent pages.
Note "An Avon romantic treasure". Isbn Library Locations Map Details. Central Library Borrow it. Library Links. Embed Experimental. Layout options: Carousel Grid List Card. Include data citation:. Copy to clipboard Close.
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Cite Data - Experimental. He was determined. Martin had come early to study the winds and currents and commit everything to memory. He pointed toward the royal mansion on the hill. The kinds of distractions that made him laugh and smile and forget certain less agreeable aspects of his life. Thank God the time had finally come. For the duration of the week anyway, which was all he could ask for. He turned his head slightly to feel a shift in the wind, noted the closing distance to the Squadron, and knew it was time to decrease speed.
Anticipation coursed through him for all the pleasures and amusements about to come his way at last, and for the great sense of accomplishment he would feel when he crossed the finish line on race day. God knew he sorely needed it. For Cowes week was, without question, one of the most fashionable social occasions of the year, and he was more than ready to settle in and have a devil of a good time. Her skirts whipped noisily in the brisk wind, and she had to hold on to her hat to keep it from flying off. Beside her stood Henry Kipper, Lord Radley, a baron who had been a social mentor to her father— God rest his soul.
Lord Radley was one of the oldest members of the exclusive yacht club and took great pleasure in that fact. Of course, she was not surprised. She knew the identity of the skipper. He was charming in public, a hero to the children, and he set the standard for excellence among sailors and shipwrights all over the world. Not to mention the fact that the more voracious gossips in London enjoyed the delicious tittletattle about him behind closed doors: that the only thing their champion racer liked better than a fast boat was a fast woman.
All at once, a flock of butterflies invaded her belly. Would he remember her? Probably not, thank goodness. It would be very awkward, and she would feel so foolish for harboring that strange infatuation all those years ago. She did not even want to remember their acquaintance, if one could call it that. She wished they would stop. Evelyn gazed longingly at the pram for a few seconds, then forced herself to return her attention to the exploits on the water.
Her heart skipped a beat as the keelboat changed direction again, narrowly missing another yacht. Oh, he had not changed. Not one bit. Lord Radley raised his quizzing glass again. Ran the first one aground after a month and the next a year later.
Quite a shame, really. They were magnificent boats, though perhaps a little too slow for his tastes. But at least he seems to have learned something.
Caution, indeed. He was here to sail his yacht in the race as well, and from what she heard, the earl had a spotless reputation and was known to be a gracious and courteous gentleman—quite the opposite of Lord Martin Langdon.
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He did, after all, consider himself her unofficial guardian, and had acted as such ever since her father passed away a year ago, six years after she lost her mother. Lord Radley wished to see her safely and happily married with children, because she was now completely alone in the world. She still remembered the day he told her the vicar had asked for her hand in marriage. Not with your looks. Now get out of here. There was the more important matter of her inheritance, which made her an attractive prize for any man, and she was not blind to the fact that Lord Radley would derive great pleasure from seeing it settled upon his nephew.
She was not offended by this, mind you. And she was completely aware of the fact that she had never been pretty.
She realized with rather perverse amusement that no one could ever accuse her of not being a realist. How could she be anything but? Filling her lungs with the fresh, salty sea air, she decided to dispense with those memories and anything that resembled a complaint. She was thrilled to be here for this exciting week in Cowes.
Absolutely thrilled. She wanted to marry again because she desired the life she never knew—one filled with children and the laughter they would bring into a home of her own. It was well past time for a change. In that regard, she was glad she had her wealth to attract a husband.
At least she had something, and she would not be reluctant to use it to find a husband she could love and respect. Chapter 4 nm A fter finding a spot to drop anchor among the hundred or so other yachts in the Solent, Martin and Spence changed into the proper attire for the Royal Yacht Squadron, donning navy, crested jackets and clean white shirts. They rowed to shore with their belongings, for they had rooms booked at the Royal Marine Hotel.
A crowd of onlookers was gathered on the parade, and as soon as Martin stepped onto the private Squadron dock, he was met with flattering cheers and applause, just as Spence had predicted. He stopped to face them; then, to their utmost delight, he smiled and took a great sweeping bow. The boy touched the tip of his hat.
As soon as they were out of hearing range, Spence leaned close. Quite sickening, really. If only they knew the real you. They entered the clubhouse through the main door and were greeted by other members on their way to the dining room.