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The Scheming Spinster

The Scheming Spinster by Deans Emily
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In Regency England, Juliet Morseby must marry Viscount Robert Driscoll to prevent a duel, despite their families' long-time feud.
Awe-Struck Publishing; February 2001
108 pages; ISBN 9781587490668
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Title: The Scheming Spinster
Author: Deans Emily
"Ah, so you do not like to dance?"

"On the contrary, I enjoy it very much -- the waltz especially."

She was intrigued. Robert's brothers, Claude and Luc Driscoll, had always been abominable dancers. Even the simple steps of the waltz were beyond them. "I do not believe you. You're a Driscoll, after all. And if you love dancing, then why are you not escorting some lovely young lady? There are, no doubt, plenty to be found within."

"I should think it exceedingly shabby for me to dance the waltz when my wife is forbidden it." The viscount stood up straight and smiled again. His gray eyes regarded her possessively in the dim light, and Juliet scowled.

"I assure you that she wouldn't mind in the least!"

The viscount came closer, and Juliet backed away warily. She most certainly did not want to be kissed again!

"Ah, the real Juliet returns, and the phantom lady from the ballroom fades away. I cannot say that I miss her."

Taken aback, Juliet stopped and stared at him. "You prefer the bluestocking termagant, I presume?" Her eyes mocked him.

"Of course, my dear. Care to waltz?"

Juliet was confounded by his abrupt and unexpected question, and she did not deliver the set-down he deserved for such presumption. He used her confusion to close the distance between them until his right arm was at her waist and his left hand was clasping hers in the air. She clutched at his arm almost instinctively, and Juliet began to waltz with him without thinking.

Juliet regretted her acquiescence as soon as her head became clear again. Dancing with Robert was not a bit like dancing with Geoff. Robert was taller, and Juliet's stomach didn't quiver when she waltzed with her brother. Above all, her brother did not hold her so improperly close, and he certainly did not whisper in her tingling ear how beautiful she looked in the moonlight. Somehow, compliments from the other men did not cause her to shiver so.

What was wrong with her? He was an abominable man who had married her without her consent! But why was she trembling now?

She realized, with horror, that she desperately wanted him to kiss her after all.

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