Lillianna Collingwood is beautiful and graceful, but she is every bit as hot-headed as her hair is red. When she decides to marry Earl, the commander of the Arabella, she is completely unaware that his name is not really “Earl” at all. He is Lord Darby, the son of the Earl of Darbyshire. Elated at first, she soon realizes she now has to learn to act the part of a lady. Having grown up in a convent orphanage from the time she was five, she learned to be wild. She excels in cheating at cards and considers stealth one of her best virtues. A lady? She’s not sure she can do it.
Darby has a reason he hasn’t told her who he is. She’s entirely too concerned with titles, money and possessions. He’s not only determined to teach her those things are not as important as character, but also that her hot-headed behavior is not acceptable.
Lily tries, but she isn’t prepared when the past seems to come back to haunt her. Her past, her nightmares – everything seems to be against her when she arrives. Even Darby’s own mother refuses to accept her into the family, making her feel like an outcast. Darby remains her rock, her anchor, but Lily is unable to make herself confide in him about the terrors that plague her night after night.
And Darby fears he is losing her. Can he save her before it’s too late?
Publisher’s Note: This historical romance contains some graphic and disciplinary scenes.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you…” he scrunched up his face and pulled his notes closer to his face. “The Right Honorable, the Viscount…” He adjusted the distance of his notes from his monocle. “And Lady Darby.”
Her husband grinned down into her face. The crowd was cheering, now, and Lily felt as if she was about to faint, as he brought his mouth once again down to hers.
The church was fading. The crowd was gone. It was only the two of them, and her husband was kissing her with all the passion he possessed.
His voice brought her back to the present. “Lady Darby?” The usual grin was back.
Lily found her voice again, at last. “Lord Darby?” she fumed, her voice growing more intense by the minute. “You are the son of an Earl? You let me believe all this time that you were a commoner, and yet you were nobility all the time? I’m going to kill you!”
He grinned. “And you are a lady now. It’s time you acted like one.”
But the minister had moved his scowl from both bride and groom, and glanced back down at his notes, muttering.
Character Interview with Lady Lillianna of Darby
The London Daily Chronicle
Lady Darby, the new bride of Lord Darby agreed to speak to us about her recent marriage as we visited in the summer house near Glossyp. Lady Darby was quite gracious, and Lord Darby came to join us for tea.
“Lady Darby, is it true the Charlotte, the original ship you sailed aboard for the Americas was attacked by pirates?”
“I am afraid so. They came upon us as we neared the end of our journey. Thanks to my Darby and Captain Smythe, and another brave soul, Ezra Miller, we managed to escape with our lives. Pirates had taken us away on smaller boats, but Charlie… em, I mean Lord Darby, managed to swim out to rescue us. The Charlotte went under, and unfortunately Mr. Miller and a few others perished with it, but other than that we had little loss. Most of our cargo had been moved over to the pirate ship and the Captain and Darby took it over.”
Was it the near miss with death which sent you and Lord Darby to a chapel to wed?
“When I thought my dear Darby was dead, I didn’t know if I could go on with my own life. Having him back convinced me my heart and soul would always be with him. I didn’t know he was the son of an earl at the time. Such things matter so little to me, though.”
My conversation with Lady Darby was interrupted as her husband suddenly choked on his tea, causing him to suffer from a horrible fit of coughing. Only when she was sure he was able to breathe again, after pounding on his back for repeatedly, did she return to speak with me.
“Where were we? Oh, yes, my marriage. I wore the most beautiful dress when we wed. Darby spent a good bit on it, but he said I deserved nothing by the best. When I walked down the aisle of the church, everyone was in awe.”
Unfortunately, Lord Darby’s coughing fit reappeared as he spewed his tea and choked again, and seemed louder than before. Our conversation had to be ended early as she wanted to insure his health. Perhaps I shall get more time to interview Lady Darby in the future.