The Duke Deal by Valerie Bowman EPUB & PDF – eBook Details
- Author: Valerie Bowman
- Language: English
- Formats: PDF / EPUB
- Status: Available For Free Download
- Series: None
- Price: Free
- File Size: 1 MB
Essex, December 1814, The Duke of Edgefield’s Country Estate
Your grandfather is dying.”
The words slashed across Veronica Sinclair’s heart. She stared at
her mother, who had just delivered the unwelcome news. Mama’s eyes
were red-rimmed, and she looked as if she hadn’t slept in days. Had she lost
weight? Poor, dear Mama. This must be excruciating for her.
Veronica took a shaky breath. Despite the ache in her chest, she had to be
strong. Mama needed her. “What do the doctors say? How much time?”
Mama lifted her chin, but Veronica could see the pain in her eyes. Her
stoic, perfectly mannered mother was at her limit. Mama’s father, the
esteemed Duke of Holden, was dying. That a man, so vital and powerful, was
nearing the end of his life, defied belief.
“Not much,” Mama finally managed, her voice reed thin. “I merely hope
he’ll live through Christmastide at Whitmore Manor.”
Veronica swallowed hard and nodded. Christmastide had always been
Grandpapa’s favorite time of year. Christmas Day was next week. And
Whitmore Manor was where her grandfather resided now, to spend time with
Grandfather was a duke, and Mama herself was a marchioness. She’d
married Veronica’s father, the Marquess of Whitmore, when she was a girl of
nineteen. Together they had raised four children before Father’s death seven
years ago. Veronica, the eldest of the three sisters, had married a duke.
Edgefield. Yet Veronica hadn’t wanted to marry so young. She’d wanted to
ensure she made the best match. One as loving and happy as her grandparents
had been. Fortunately, Mama had agreed to give her time. She hadn’t wanted
her daughter to make the same mistake she had. It wasn’t Mama’s fault
Veronica had made the wrong decision, after all.
Veronica had been a woman of two and twenty when she’d finally taken a
husband. If only she’d known then she was making the biggest mistake of her
life. She shook her head. There was no point in mentally rehashing the past.
Instead, she concentrated on her mother’s solemn face. Poor, dear Mama had
traveled from Whitmore Manor in Kent all the way to Essex to deliver this
news to her daughter in person. That’s how Veronica knew it was serious.
More serious than all the other times Grandpapa had suffered a setback with
his health. The man was six and eighty years of age. He’d endured an attack
of the heart many months ago. The entire family had been worried about him
since. After all, he couldn’t live forever. No matter how much they wished
for it. But it was especially awful to know that if he lived one more sennight,
it would be his last holiday. His last Christmastide at Whitmore Manor.
Veronica clenched her jaw to fight the tears that had gathered at the back
of her eyes. If Mama wasn’t crying, Veronica wouldn’t start. It would only
make Mama sadder. No, Veronica would be strong and show no emotion.
She’d had enough practice over the last two years.
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