The Duke’s Brown-eyed Lady by Maggi Andersen EPUB & PDF – eBook Details
- Author: Maggi Andersen
- Language: English
- Formats: PDF / EPUB
- Status: Available for Download
- Series: None
- Price: Free
- File Size: 1 MB
Late March 1819
HIS GRACE, EUGENE Felsted, Duke of Chandos, strolled the pebbled beach
through the thinning mist, his eyes on the pewter-colored ocean out to where
the horizon met a thunderous deep-gray sky. He accepted he would never be
completely happy again. The joy had gone out of life with the death of his
younger brother, Harry. With only a year between them, they had been close
from birth, and his passing left a huge hole in Gene’s heart.
Seeking comfort, he sought the past, those precious, shared memories.
Gene was considered the serious one. At Oxford, while he spent his time
rowing and at his books, Harry, a year behind him, spent his nights in the
local tavern, and was constantly hauled up before the dean for some prank or
other. Harry was the daredevil, jumping his horse over high walls or driving
his phaeton too fast. And when he took his boat out that last time, Gene was
pretty sure Harry sailed deliberately too close to those rocks. As if he
thumbed his nose at death.
Watching the gulls soar in the sky, he could hear Harry’s voice in his ear.
“Life is too dull for a second son, Gene. There are no wars to fight. I made a
negligent student, so forget the law, and I would make a most disrespectful
vicar. I don’t fancy myself as a gentleman farmer. If I must be idle and a
constant disappointment to Father, I might as well wring every drop out of
life that I can.”
Gene tried to still the rage twisting his gut. “But after Father died, what
you did with your life shouldn’t have mattered a damn,” he cried into the
salty air. But it did matter to Harry.
Gene kicked a pebble, which rattled away, scattering several more like a
game of billiards. When he looked up, a girl came toward him, wandering
along the edge of the water. His interest piqued, he watched her. Barefoot and
holding up her skirts, she darted in and out of the waves, her laughter floating
to him on the breeze. In her wake trudged a stout middle-aged lady,
disapproval writ large on her plain face, carrying what appeared to be the
girl’s stockings and blue shoes. But the girl held his attention, her slender
limbs, and balletic movements. Her joy.
Gene couldn’t help the smile lifting his lips.
Spying him, she dropped the hem of her dress and put a hand to her
auburn locks, escaping from beneath her bonnet. She covered her mouth with
a hand. To suppress a giggle, he suspected. She was so full of life that it
almost hurt him to look at her. Because she made him aware of his
“You’ll catch your death, Lady Mellicent,” the older woman admonished
her. “You are no longer a schoolroom miss and must behave with decorum.
Please put on your shoes. You will upset your mother. What are we to do
with these soiled stockings?”
“We shall take them home and wash them.” With an indifferent shrug,
Lady Mellicent took the half-boots from her chaperone, her gaze resting on
Gene. “Really, Nanny, you are a crosspatch today.” She held onto Nanny’s
shoulder and dabbed at her narrow feet with a handkerchief, then slipped on
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