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The Fair Amazon

The Fair Amazon by Janis Susan May
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Georgina Montcalm has lost her father and her brother, but the final blow comes when Sir Trevor Longchamps, for whom she has waited during the long years of his Peninsular service, says he loves another. Trying to forget her sorrows, Georgina goes riding and, during an ill-omened red fog, saves young Mr. Garrick Courtland and his friend from a highwayman. A romantic, Mr. Courtland immediately falls in love with Georgina, a situation which does not sit well with his social-climbing sister. Lady Barnstaple, Georgina’s godmother and Sir Trevor’s aunt, hears of the incident and realizes she has been neglectful of the girl. Georgina is bidden to London and Lady Barnstaple makes plans to marry her off. Garrick is all too willing, but he is too young. Thomas, the long-lost heir to Georgina’s home, arrives from America and is smitten by his cousin. As more suitors swarm around Georgina, Sir Trevor begins to realize that Diana Wintersea, his new love, is not so enchanting as he once thought, with a certain worldliness and coarseness about her that no debutante should have. In actuality, Diana is little more than a respectably born adventuress, come to London to marry a rich man. Her beauty has taken her to the higher reaches of the Ton, but her dream of marrying a duke or an earl is just that – a dream. Sir Trevor, she decides, will have to do, especially as a skirter named Felix Charbonneau is pressing her for money she does not have to settle her gambling debts. Desperate, Diana sets about to bring Sir Trevor up to scratch just as he begins to think he has made a mistake. Lady Barnstaple is determined that Sir Trevor shall not marry Diana, but she has also decided that he is too weak to handle Georgina. She decides Thomas the American cousin is a perfect match for her goddaughter and proceeds to matchmake relentlessly, forgetting that Georgina is a strongminded young woman who is more than capable of settling her own life her own way.
Awe-Struck Publishing; May 2009
245 pages; ISBN 9781587491702
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Title: The Fair Amazon
Author: Janis Susan May
 
Excerpt
Sir Trevor’s happy mood lasted until he pulled up in front of his aunt’s house, where it seemed all the inhabitants were just exiting. In the street stood Stubbins, holding the reins of the two horses he had purchased yesterday, but they were not alone. There were also a trim bay and a great, rangy gray beast that more resembled a plough horse than a gentleman’s mount, neither of which he recognized. He was even further displeased to notice that the party had apparently expanded to include Mr. Montcalm. The tall American cousin took what Trevor had purchased to be Georgina’s horse (no matter who was said to own it) and walked it out a few feet so that Georgina could properly appreciate all its points. Part of the anticipated beauty of the day seemed to die as far as Sir Trevor Longchamps was concerned. He had seen himself doing that, pointing out the beast’s superior points, enjoying her pleasure. Georgina had always had a superlative eye for a horse. Now that dratted American had usurped him. It was not to be borne! Pulling his horses to a stop, he sent his groom to their heads as he stepped down from the curricle. “Good morning,” he said somewhat coldly, as no one seemed to have noticed his arrival. “Mother… Aunt …” “Oh, you have come just in time!” cried a radiant Georgina, looking up from her inspection of the animal’s knees and something unexpected caught in Trevor’s chest. It was as if Time had not touched her, for she looked as she had their last hunt, before he left for the Peninsula. “Good morning, Sir Trevor,” said Mr. Montcalm, and was almost immediately echoed by a somewhat petulant Mr. Courtland, unhappy at being put in the shade by the two older men. “Trevor, she is magnificent!” crooned Georgina, walking around the animal for all like a general inspecting his troops. Even to Trevor’s dull male eyes his old playfellow was dressed somewhat showily in a riding habit of dark red cut á là Hussar with dull gold frogs and black velvet trim. Her dark red hat was tall, worn cunningly to the side, and it too dripped with gold and black trim. The entire effect was irresistible. When seen against the pale cream of the horse, it was even more outstanding. “Her name is Primrose,” he said, stroking the noble beast’s nose. “She nowhere as big as Smoke,” Georgina said, still investigating the wonders of the animal, “but she’s beautifully proportioned.” “And far too much horse for Edwina to ever ride,” said that young lady’s mother, unfortunately most truthfully. “She is a timid rider, and you know that, Trevor!” “And beautifully mannered,” Trevor said. “The horse, I mean, not Edwina. Where is Edwina?” “We fear she might be taking a chill,” said Lady Barnstaple with serene untruth. “She should rest for the day, and so will not be coming. Stubbins, you had best take the other horse back to the stable. Time enough for Edwina to try its paces later.” “Good morning, Miss Wintersea,” said Lady Longchamps, belatedly realizing that the curricle held another passenger. “Will you not alight and partake of some refreshment with us while these scamps go riding?” Diana had been proud of herself for holding both her tongue and her sweet expression. At another time she would have rejoiced in the invitation to join Trevor’s family. Now she was clever enough to see it was not an honor, but a very clever tactic. To imagine that she would lock herself up in a house with those two old cats while Trevor was out with that gaudy creature in red! “Miss Wintersea is coming to the park with us, Mother. She and I are going to take the curricle.” Reluctantly Georgina pulled away from the glories of the horse and walked to the curricle. “Please forgive my rudeness, Miss Wintersea, in not greeting you earlier. I can only admit that I am utterly and completely horse-mad.” “It is an affliction that besets a great many,” that lady returned easily, “and one to which thankfully I have never succumbed.” “But you take the curricle?” Georgina asked her old playfellow in unfeigned disbelief. “I do hope you are not ill.” Trevor laughed. “No, if you can believe it, Diana does not care to ride. Says she does it too badly to enjoy it.” Georgina, who had been in the saddle since she could walk, could only stare. “That will change once we get you down to Stanbourne, Diana,” Trevor said, blithely ignorant of the flickers of dismay that passed over all the female faces.
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1587491702
9781587491702