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A Will of Her Own

A Will of Her Own by K. G. McAbee
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Miss Patricia Mayfair is a Regency bluestocking who has vowed never to marry a man who gambles - until she meets Lord Andrew Aragon and he swears to give up that pernicious habit forever if she will gift him with her hand. But these two wealthy members of the ton never suspect that someone close to them wishes them dead - and will stop at nothing to make that wish come true.
Awe-Struck Publishing; May 2002
99 pages; ISBN 9781587491566
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Title: A Will of Her Own
Author: K. G. McAbee
Claude turned the curricle into a long broad pathway that snaked through Hyde Park. In front and all around them were other curricles and carriages, as well as single horses carrying dandies of fashion, both male and female. Letty watched as Claude carefully worked his way through the throng; she made absent but careful note of a flounce here and a ruffle there for future reference, while the forefront of her mind was engaged in the problem of her friend's silence.

"I beg your pardon?" asked a vibrant male voice from somewhere above both their heads.

A tall young man, his riding habit of the latest mode, his tall hat irreproachable, and his mount a pearly grey that matched his jacket, appeared beside their curricle as if sprung from a magickal land instead of from the horde of other riders and carriages.

Patricia grasped Letty's hand in a grip so hard that it brought tears to her companion's eyes. "Letty," she hissed, "it is he."

"I beg your pardon," said the young man again, his hat now in his hand as he sat the feisty mare with the easiest of seats, "but I believe it's Miss Mayfair, is it not?"

Patricia looked up with a solemn face and gave the barest nod of acquiescence. "Lord Andrew," she said dismissively.

The young man's face-Quite a pleasant face, thought Letty-broke out into a broad grin. "I thought it might be you, Miss Mayfair. How pleasant to meet you again, and so soon too. And this charming lady is, no doubt, your sister?"

Letty smiled. "I am Leticia Warren, Miss Mayfair's school friend and companion."

"Lord Andrew Aragon, your servant, ma'am," said the gentleman with a bow.

The curricle rolled along, kept company by the slowly prancing grey. Patricia said nothing. Lord Andrew said nothing, though Letty noted a strained smile on his face as they threaded their way through the crowd. At last, Letty could stand it no more.

"Patricia told me that she enjoyed her conversation with you last evening at Lady Russell's, Lord Andrew."

"Letty!" hissed Patricia, squeezing her hand painfully.

"Oh, not near so much as I did myself, upon my honour, Miss Warren!" said Lord Andrew. "Your friend is the most-is a most pleasing conversationalist, I do assure you. I had hoped...that is, I was wondering...would you two ladies care to have a cup of tea with me, or some luncheon, or, or...anything at all?"

"I thank you, my lord," said Patricia, her voice as frigid as her expression, "but I do not care to spend time with those who gamble. Claude, drive on."

Claude tapped the handle of his whip against the seat and the horses speeded a fraction.

Letty looked over her shoulder, to see Lord Andrew gazing after them, his face pale and sad.

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