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A Very Special Christmas Present

Author(s): Susanne Marie Knight

Deidre's only brother was killed in the Napoleonic Wars, so romance is the furthest thing from her mind. However her young "niece"--Cupid's curly-haired accomplice--is determined to give Auntie Dee the best Christmas present ever.

Excerpt


Jeremy glanced down at the swirl of guests but no one noticed the tête-à-tête above them. “And my name is Jeremy, Tilly. My friends call me Jerry.” Sitting down on the floor so he would not loom over her, he attempted to assuage his curiosity. “I admit to being curious. Tell me, why are you raining roses on Sir Hector’s party?” 

Her giggle engendered another smile of his own. Truly, she was a most adorable child. “Papa and Mama don’t know I’m here,” she whispered. “But I had to come. I had to do something! I promised Auntie Dee I would find her a--”

She blushed pinker than the roses by her side. Tugging on his sleeve, she then pointed toward a group assembled in the far corner of the room. “There’s Auntie Dee now. See how unhappy she is?”

One young woman among the four did stand out,--most likely because she was not simpering in an obsequious fashion. Tall, almost majestic, she wore her sleek, dark hair swept high off her long neck and caught up in a silver net with tendrils escaping at the sides. As she listened to the chatter around her, she languidly fanned her pale face while her heavy-lidded eyes glittered, even at this distance. No animation disturbed her demeanor. Dressed in a grey bombazine gown that proclaimed to all and sundry she was in half-mourning, she looked as stiff and aloof from the proceedings as Jeremy felt.

“Your aunt, you say?” He shook his head. Indeed, he could see no resemblance to the energetic redheaded minx by his side. “What did you promise to find for her?”

Hopping from one foot to the other, Tilly shrugged her shoulders. “It’s Christmas. And I wanted to give her a present. D’you think, maybe, you could dance with Auntie Dee?”

Surely, that was an odd request from a child. As he gazed down at the sober young woman in grey, a peculiar longing settled within his chest. But what the deuce it was, he had no idea.


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ISBN (Print):
ISBN (Electronic): 9781601741745
Genre: Historical
Date Published: 12/13/2013
Publisher: Uncial Press

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