The Lady and the Christmas Brooch - Excerpt

 The Lady and the Christmas Brooch - part of the Bluestocking Belles' holiday anthology - Christmastide Kisses

Love and destiny entwine in
Westerfield Manor's forbidden mysteries.

In the historic halls of Westerfield Manor, an entwined tale of mystery, love, and destiny unfolds. Lady Genevieve and Lord Ashford embark on a challenge to uncover the hidden family secrets that span generations—before midnight. Amidst the allure of the past, they find themselves drawn into a web of intrigue fueled by secret letters, a missing treasured brooch, and the whispers of an age-old romance. As midnight draws near, Genevieve and Ashford’s bond deepens, revealing that true love, like the secrets of the past, is illuminated by those willing to look beyond the bounds of a restricted society. In a spellbinding story weaving together destiny and unwavering commitment, the legacy of a family finds itself rewritten by the enduring and profound magic that only love can offer.


October 1811

Lady Genevieve Sinclair, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Grenfell, trudged along Manor Road toward Grenfell Manor. She liked the raised road with a sharp slope on the right. It offered a clear view of the North Sea. Normally, this route provided her with an enjoyable walk, but not today. Today, fortune had abandoned her, and the weather gods were anything but kind.

She lifted her skirts and skillfully navigated the treacherous puddles that dotted the path. The relentless wind whipped at her, and the unyielding rain lashed out at her and stung her cheeks. She lowered her head and kept moving. What she wouldn’t give for the warm weather of a St. Lukes Summer day right now.

Then, a fierce gust of wind howled down the road, its force nearly toppling her. Her senses dulled amid the cacophony of waves crashing upon the shore and the torrential downpour. With no shelter nearby, she had no choice but to persist through the onslaught.

Her senses numb, she failed to see or hear the approaching horse and rider until they were almost on top of her. As the racing horse broke through the curtain of rain, she instinctively raised her hand over her head in a futile attempt to shield herself. The startled horse veered away. Its rider struggled to regain control. In the chaos, the horse reared. A startled cry escaped Genevieves lips as she stepped back and stumbled on the rocks on the right side of the road.

Swift and sure, strong hands reached out and gripped her shoulders, pulling her to safety. Dazed, Genevieve gaze met the piercing silver-gray eyes of her rescuer and found a profound concern etched into his features.

Silent but determined, he guided her toward his horse.

Youll catch your death in this downpour.He mounted the animal. You can ride with me. Please give me your hand. Ill take you somewhere safe.

She shivered in her pelisse and hesitated, bewildered by the sudden turn of events. The day had started bright and sunny. How had she gotten into this predicament? The sailors at the town dock warned her against leaving, but she didnt listen. The day seemed perfectly fine.

Youre shivering,he noted, his voice deep and comforting. Quickly now. You need to get dry and warm.With remarkable ease, he lifted her onto his lap, wrapping her inside the warmth of his coat.

Where were you going?he inquired, his voice a soothing rumble. Yet, it was not just his words that eased her mind, but the genuine warmth of his concern and sanctuary from the storm.

Grenfell Manor,” she managed to say through chattering teeth. A deep rumble resonated in his chest, and as she stole a glance at him, an unspoken understanding passed between them. In that moment, amidst the howling wind and relentless rain, a profound realization rushed through her body. She felt it in her bones, an undeniable and irreversible truth. The attraction between them had ignited with an intensity that matched the tempestuous weather.

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