A Historical Scottish Romance Novel

About the book

She doesn’t need to say anything, for him to grant her every wish…

Rhea Milne’s family has rendered her basically mute, after years of mistreatment. When they ship her off to her new husband, Rhea fears the worst. But the brute she expects is kinder than she thought…

Laird Greyson Foster needs to marry a woman that doesn’t speak a lot. Hardened battles have left him almost blinded by the headaches his injuries cause. Yet, his wife is the only ray of sunshine that will part the clouds. Greyson falls head over heels for her.

Their marriage is their only salvation. For Rhea, Greyson is the only man she could ever trust. And Greyson would die for her a thousand deaths. But her condition proves both a blessing and a curse. What will they do when her family decides they want her back, by any means possible?


Chapter One


“Her hair should go down.”

“No, up and then pull a few little wisps of hair down. Then we can curl the sides to give her ringlets to frame her round face. You want the eyes to go to her face, not her neckline and beyond.”

The two maids, Abigale and Dawn, argued back and forth as they tried to decide for Rhea how she should look on her wedding. She stared at herself in the mirror as Abigale, drew Rhea’s blonde hair up and pinned the clump of it on top of her head. She thought she looked rather plain despite the fortune her father paid for the occasion.

Sighing, Rhea didn’t really care which way her hair looked. Her mind was too busy wondering what her husband to be looked like. It had only been three months since Rhea learned of her marriage to the Scottish Laird Greyson Foster, and ever since, she wondered what kind of man picked a bride he had never laid eyes on. Her heart raced as she thought of seeing him.

Wonder what sort of man I’ll be marrying.

What if he doesn’t like me? What if he takes one look at me and calls the whole thing off?

Suppose it doesn’t matter either way. In a few short hours, I’ll be at the altar without a say in the matter. Still, I had always dreamed I’d marry for love.

“There,” Dawn sighed as she stepped back. “Have you ever seen a more beautiful bride in all of England?”

Abigale opened her mouth, but before she could get a single word out, Dawn slapped her arm, silencing her. Dawn smiled brightly at Rhea and turned her to face the mirror directly. There was no place for Rhea’s eyes to go but on the reflection of a woman that Rhea didn’t recognize. Abigale stepped forward and tucked a loose strand up into Rhea’s tassels.

“I still think her hair should flow like a waterfall over her shoulders. With her blonde hair, it will contrast the white dress,” Abigale mumbled as she leaned down and grabbed the hem of Rhea’s dress to puff it out a bit more.

“What do you know about contrast?” Dawn chided as a rough rapping on the door shut both women up instantly. It had been the first bout of silence Rhea had heard since the maids dragged her from bed to get her ready.

The door flew open. Rhea didn’t have to turn around to know who had come into the room. The stern expression of her father’s face in the mirror was clear. Rhea watched as his eyes lingered on her for just a moment before he stepped into the room.

“Is she ready?” Rhea’s father, Harris, asked in a disgruntled voice that set the maids’ heads bobbing.

“Of course, my lord,” Dawn said as she bowed to him. “And doesn’t she look just as lovely as ever? She’ll make a fine bride. The whole country will be talking about this day for some time.”

“Enough,” Harris growled as he moved closer to Rhea. She could feel her heart pounding frantically in her chest. It was clear by his expressionless face he wasn’t pleased, despite the fact that he had arranged the whole thing and saw to every detail.

“Turn around, child, and let me get a better look at you,” Harris ordered. Rhea felt her knees grow weak as she prayed for stability. Turning slowly, she kept her feet firmly planted on the stool and shifted little by little so as not to trip over the hem and rip a hole in the dress.

“Well, I suppose that will have to do,” Harris said as his eyes narrowed on Rhea’s head for a moment. “And who precisely decided to pin up your hair?”

Rhea’s eyes shifted to Dawn before falling on Harris’s face once again. Rhea could feel the tension in the room as the Baron looked over his only daughter, scrutinizing every inch of her. His shoulders rolled back, and he shook his head, clearly displeased by the choice.

“It’ll have to do,” Harris groaned. “We are already running late. The Laird is expecting a swift wedding, not that I blame him for that, so we must not tarry. Say goodbye,” Harris said as he turned on his heels and walked to the door.

The moment Harris was out of the room, Rhea turned her attention to the maids at her side. She couldn’t help but feel as if she was leaving her family. Both Abigale and Dawn had cared for her for so long that they were like sisters to her. Dawn’s eyes turned red from tears as she helped Rhea off the stool.

“You’ll make a fine wife,” Dawn said as she drew Rhea into her arms and squeezed her the way a mother would hug a toddler to comfort them in times of distress. Dawn pulled back and cupped Rhea’s face. The pity on the maid’s face didn’t go unnoticed to Rhea. She stared at the women and flashed a half-hearted smile.

“Just do as you’re told,” Abigale said as she stepped in to steal a hug, “and know that your dear mother, God rest her soul, is looking out for you.”

Rhea had a million things she wanted to say to the maids, but her time was out. There was nothing she could do to veer off the course her father had set for her. She pulled in a deep breath and cupped her hand to each of the woman’s faces.

“Go,” Dawn said, urging her to leave. “We all know what kind of mood the lord is in, and he doesn’t like to be kept waiting. I pray that your husband is as kindhearted as you are, dear.”

That was something Rhea had prayed for herself as well as she walked out of her bedroom for the last time. She paused at the door and stole one last glimpse of the room she had grown up in. It was filled with both good and bad memories that she would take with her for as long as she roamed the earth. Pulling in a deep breath, she stepped over the threshold and walked down the hall to the main entrance.

“You know,” Rhea heard her brother Theodore say from down the hallway causing her heart to tighten. She could only imagine the vile words Theo was going to unleash on her. But she reminded herself that where she was going, his words wouldn’t fall on her ears again. “For a young lady, you do look s…st…stunning.”

Theodore’s laughter filled the hallway when he approached Rhea. She clamped her teeth tighter as she lowered her head.

Let him have his fun. It’s not like he’ll be able to tease me for much longer. In fact, this may very well be the last chance he’ll have poke fun at me.

“Wh… Wh… What’s the matter little sister? Afraid of the big bad Scot? You know the only reason father arranged this union was so that you’d be someone else’s burden instead of ours. And with you out of the house and tarnishing our family name, perhaps Charles and I will finally find a proper match,” Theo said. Rhea glanced up to find her brother’s eyes filled with malice. She knew he was upset that she was to be married off before him, but it was a way for her to escape her brothers’ torment.

“Matters not,” Theo said dropping the stutter as he looked Rhea up and down. “But just so you know, the Scots don’t take too kindly to those with an impediment. I won’t be surprised to learn they’ve beaten you for it calling it a possession of some sort.”

Rhea refused to let her brother’s words seep into her. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of knowing he caused her displeasure. After all, she had lived with her siblings’ torment since she was a child and was quite certain it was their constant bullying that caused her to go mute.

“Come along now, Rhea,” Harris called from the open door. “Your wedding is not the only thing I have to do today. The sooner we get this done, the sooner I can attend more pressing matters.”

“Y-y-you heard father,” Theo said grinning at her as he continued to tease her. “And be sure to give your new husband my regards,” Theo added as he burst into a fit of laughter.

Rhea moved as quickly as she could to the door. Stepping out into the daylight, she felt the warmth of the sun on her face and instantly thought of her mother. She closed her eyes, envisioning her mom kissing her face and washing away all troubles from her mind.

I know you are with me, Mother. Please, I beg of you, may my husband be a man whom I can learn to love.

“Come now,” Harris said, pulling Rhea out of her daydreams. Rhea’s eyes snapped open, and she walked to the carriage and stepped in. The moment her father was seated, Rhea’s body jerked forward with the carriage’s sudden movement before settling as they passed along the cobbled streets headed towards the chapel.

Rhea leaned to the window and pushed aside the thin veil that cloaked her from the people who watched her off. It always surprised her how many people enjoyed coming out to see the bride and to wish her well on her wedding day.

The snap of Harris’s cane on her knuckles caused her to jump.

“Did I not raise a lady? Now sit back and pay no mind to those fools. All they want is charity, and you are in no position to be giving it to them,” Harris chided as Rhea leaned back into the seat rubbing her knuckles. The pain in her hand was nothing in comparison to the pain in her chest. Rhea had always envisioned her wedding day as one that would be filled with laughter and love. But as they drove on, she realized the only one remotely happy was her father. He was finally getting rid of the stain on the family name by having her wed someone who lived far enough away that no one would care to visit.

Although Rhea could see the dreariness all around her, she was determined not to let it ruin her day. She lifted her head up as her father closed his eyes.

Think of the bright side. I’ll be out of my father’s house and away from my brothers’ insults. And although I may not know what kind of man I’m marrying, surely, he can’t be as cruel as my father.

Anxiety filled Rhea as the carriage came to an abrupt stop, startling Harris awake.

“Finally,” Harris grumbled as the carriage door open. Rhea watched as her father stepped out first, and she knew she would have to exit as well. Mustering all the courage she could, Rhea stepped out of the carriage and stared up at the turrets around the church. The stone gargoyles stared down at her with intense glares that seemed to penetrate her very soul.

Swallowing hard, Rhea put one foot in front of the other. No matter her fate, she would have to face it. Love or no love, she was committed to a marriage, and there was no backing out.


Chapter Two


“She’s here. She’s here,” Niamh said as she bounced up and down at the window. Greyson Foster rubbed his temples, trying desperately to ease the throbbing of his head. Through slanted eyelids, he glared at his sister, wishing she’d keep the noise down. Although he knew the day was supposed to be a joyous one, he doubted he’d be joining in on any of the festivities.

“Oh, she looks mighty lovely, she does,” Niamh said cooing at the woman standing at the chapel doors. Although Greyson’s curiosity was piqueed, he didn’t have the strength to get up and look for himself.

“I’ll have to take yer word for it,” he moaned. A part of him wanted to call the whole thing off and go escape to a dark room till the pounding in his head ceased. But he knew he had an obligation to fulfill, and he would do it despite the headache.

“Arenae ye a least bit curious? Ye said ye never laid eyes on the girl. Well, now is yer chance,” Niamh said as she moved away from the window and scooped her arm around Greyson’s, trying to pull him to the window. Begrudgingly, he rose from the plush armchair by the fire and shuffled to the window. His shoulders dropped as he caught the last bit of his new bride’s trail as she disappeared into the chapel.

“Looks like I’ll have to wait a few more minutes then,” Greyson said as his vision began to blur from the pain that coursed through his head.

“I cannae believe I’m goin’ to be a sister,” Niamh said clapping her hands. “Nae as if I dae nae love ye, braither, but when ye’re around men for so long, it’s nice to finally have someone else to talk to about things, ye ken?”

Greyson grunted as he turned his back to the window and pulled down the hem of his vest. Niamh brushed her hands over his broad shoulders and looked him over once more before giving her final approval. In the corner of his eye, he noticed Niamh’s head dropping. The quiet that filled the room, although welcome, was heavy.

“It’s just been us for so long, ye and me,” Niamh said, drawing her eyes back to Greyson. “I mean, what if she doesnae like me? What if she’s like one of those English women who wants to come in and change everythin’?”

Greyson placed his hand on his sister’s shoulder and forced a smile. “She’ll love ye. Everyone does. But remember, she may nae be comfortable at first. Ye’re forgettin’ she’s meetin’ us for the first time too without knowin’ who we are. Jus give the lass a bit of space and time, and she’ll come around.”

Niamh’s spirits lifted, and the sadness on her face shifted back to her bubbly smile. She nodded and rolled her shoulders back. “Aye. Now, I ken ye’re goin’ to be ridin’ back to the castle as soon as ye can. Would it be so bad if I stayed here for a wee bit? Get a better feel of England? I mean, really, when is the next time ye’ll let me come this far? And there is still so much to see an do. I heard the fall festival is comin’ up, and there will be performers and singers. It might be educational for me.”

“Niamh,” Greyson glared at her a moment and quickly drew his hand to his head. “Ye’re goin’ a mile a minute.”

“Sorry.” Niamh dropped her head and clamped her lips into a tight line.

“As for stayin, I will nae have ye here unchaperoned. Ye’ll be in the second carriage and comin’ back home wit’ us.”

“And when will that be?” Niamh asked as she clasped her hands tightly in front her. Greyson couldn’t help but smirk at his sister’s bright, eager smile.

“As soon as the vows are said,” Greyson said coldly. “Ye ken I’m nae doin’ well right now, and I daenae have it in me to stay a moment longer than I need to.”

Niamh’s shoulders dropped as did her face. Her face scrunched with irritation as she nodded her head.

“I promise ye though,” Greyson said. “We will go one of these seasons.”

“Ye say that every year, and every year we miss it,” Niamh complained as she sucked in a long deep breath. “But I understand.”

“Good, now get ye downstairs; we have a weddin’ to attend,” Greyson urged as his sister rose to her tip toes and pressed her lips to his cheek.

“Ye’ll make a fine husband,” Niamh whispered.

Greyson nodded as his sister skipped to the door and stepped out of the room. The silence that filled the room was that of peace, but the droning sounds of the chatter in the chapel seeped through the wooden door disturbing the tranquility. Greyson pulled in a long deep breath.

I just need to get through the ceremony. Just walk into the room, sign the papers, and leave. It doesnae have to be a huge production. I’ve committed to the marriage and I will nae shame my family’s name by cancellin’ it now. Besides, the travel back to Scotland will be nae less painful either way.

 Clearing his throat and straightening the wrinkles in his shirt, Greyson moved to the door. The moment he pulled it open, the rush of music and chatter caused his head to pound violently. Straining to see through the pain, he forced one foot in front of the other until he saw the blurry black figure in front of him.

“Are you alright?” the priest asked, leaning closer to him. Greyson could smell the rosemary rolling off the priest’s garments as if the man had baked the herbs into the very fibers of his clothing.

“Aye,” Greyson said trying hard not to speak so loud that his voice rattled his ear drums.

“Then we shall proceed?”

“Get on wit’ it,” Greyson said, a bit harsher than he intended. Turning, Greyson faced the group of people gathered in the pews. Although he couldn’t see all who had gathered, he knew there wasn’t anyone, save for his sister, to represent his family. If he had wedded in Scotland, there would have been far more people, and the congregation would have spilled out of the chapel, but this wasn’t about him. The whole production was a show put on for the bride’s family.

Greyson couldn’t help but feel a bit sorry for the lass. He knew the arrangement he made with Harris for his daughter’s hand, and for a moment Greyson couldn’t help but wonder if they had done it to shame the girl.

The crowd fell silent as a lass in a cream-colored dress stepped out from behind the curtains. She moved far too slow for Greyson’s liking, and he wished that she would hurry. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to marry the girl, but he just didn’t want to be there longer than he had to, and she wasn’t making haste in the moment. To Greyson, it seemed like an eternity waiting for her to reach him, but when she finally stepped up to his side, Greyson couldn’t help but gasp.

Even through his throbbing headache, he thought an angel had arrived to cease the pain behind his eyes as he stared at her. Her hair was piled on top of her head in delicate curls, and only a few fell around her soft face. Her brown eyes bore into him as if she could read his every thought. Arching an eyebrow, he found his heart thumping wildly in his chest as she flashed him a smile. He could only imagine what she must have thought of him at the moment, for her smile vanished.

“And who gives this woman away?” the priest asked. Harris stepped up and placed his daughter’s hand into Greyson’s. Instantly, Greyson felt a jolt course through him. Her hand was tender and smooth. The fragrance that drifted up to his nose eased the pain long enough for him to see her clearly.

“I do,” Harris answered as he scowled at his daughter.

The priest continued, and yet, Greyson could not think of anything other than how he came to be standing before God with such a lovely woman ready to marry him. It was clear that she was timid, for when it was her turn to speak, the girl merely looked dead ahead of her as if transfixed by something beyond the priest and nodded.

“I now pronounce you husband and wife,” the priest said. “You may kiss your bride.”

Rhea turned to face Greyson, and he lifted his hands slowly up to remove the thin white veil covering her face. He exhaled all the air trapped in his lungs as he noticed just how fair she was. There were no artists in the world that would be able to capture her beauty. As the sunlight poured through the stained-glass windows, it was as if God above had blessed her.

Greyson leaned down and pressed his lips to her briefly before pulling back just as quickly. Her eyebrows scrunched at the bridge of her nose a moment as if to express a sadness she couldn’t convey. The hurt in her eyes made him wish he would have thought over this moment a bit longer, but the pain swirled about and stabbed his brain like nails.

Without a word, Greyson snatched Rhea by the hand and escorted her from the pulpit and down the aisle. With each step he took, the voices around them rose louder. Only when he pushed through the entrance doors and stepped out into the fresh spring air did the dizziness subside. Swallowing hard, he glanced over to his bride. Her brown eyes were wide and shimmering from the tears she held back.

“It’s best if we head out,” Greyson said. Rhea nodded without saying a word as he pulled open the carriage door for her. He lifted his hand up to help her into the small compartment, but she didn’t take it. A part of him wished he didn’t have to rush her. He wished they could stay for as long as she needed to say her goodbyes. But with every beat of his heart, his head pounded and pulsed until it was nearly unbearable.

Quickly, he slipped into the carriage beside her and closed the door. Rhea turned to look out the window. Greyson wished he could read her mind to know what she was thinking. He knew he was being rash and urgent with her.

“Ye’ll see them again,” he said as he shifted his weight in the cushioned seat.

Rhea gave a quick stiff nod and sat back. He could feel her body heat rising up against his leg as the carriage rocked, causing her to occasionally bump into him. Each time, she shifted away from him trying to keep as much distance from him as possible.

“Ye’ll love Scotland,” Greyson promised as they rode on through the town and past the stone wall that divided the country road from the city. “It’s greener there and a lot less noisy. That is if ye’re nae countin’ my sister. Niamh can talk ye into the grave if ye’ll let her. Ye’ll meet her proper when we get back.”

Rhea nodded as she glanced to him briefly.

Well, here I thought she’d be a talker, but I was told she was a quiet one. Perhaps I should relish in the peace? My head is poundin’ somethin’ fierce, and it is a very long journey. Maybe I’ll just give her a wee bit of time to mull things over for herself. Poor lass has just been torn from all she kens.

“Best get some rest now, then,” Greyson said nuzzling his back into the seat, trying to find some sliver of comfort. “Tis a long journey, and I daenae suppose ye have much to say to me as of now.”

Leaning his head against the side of the coach, he couldn’t help but let his mind drift. In the corner of his eye, he noticed how pale Rhea’s skin was, like the ivory shells that were scattered about the beaches near his home. He wanted to reach out and touch her, even for a moment. But as his hand gravitated to hers, he noticed her recoil from him.

Best to leave it be for now. She is my wife now after all, and we can take our time wit’ such matters. But I bet her skin is like silk. One day she’ll reach for me, I ken it. Till then, I’ll wait. 


Chapter Three


“Did you see how uncomfortable Greyson looked?” Harris said with a wicked grin curling his lips as he strolled out of the doors of the church. “He looked weak and a bit frail did he not, Charles?”

Charles rushed to his father’s side the moment he heard his name. Harris glanced over his shoulder as his eyes twitched on seeing Charles three steps behind him.

“Well?” Harris asked pulling his white gloves off as he held his oakwood cane with one hand and scanned the crowd gathering at the carriages to bid the bride and groom farewell.

“I suppose any man on his wedding day would look as he did,” Charles answered.

“I certainly did not,” Harris said. “Your mother and I were well matched. She had a fortune she brought into the marriage and a mind for business. Lucky for us, the Laird asked for no dowry for your sister.”

“So, what did you give him for Rhea?” Charles asked with an arched eyebrow.

“Dear boy, you really are slow,” Harris said with a wave of his hand. “And here I thought that plague would be eradicated when your sister left.” 

“What father is so eloquently stating, dear brother, is that the Laird offered to pay us for Rhea,” Theo said chiming in as he scrambled to Harris’ side with a wicked grin that matched Harris’s. “Seems the Scottish warrior couldn’t find a bride in his own country for reasons unknown and had to search for one in England.”

“Leave the gossip to the women,” Harris chided as he moved to the cobbled road, pushing past the guests waving and cheering the newlyweds goodbye. Harris didn’t blink an eye as Rhea’s carriage moved past him; his only concern was to get far enough away from the clamor of the guests as soon as possible.

“Do you think the Laird will be kind to Rhea?” Charles asked as he followed closely behind his father and brother. Harris turned on his heels and glared at his son. His lips flattened as he shook his head.

“Rhea is no longer our concern,” Harris said. “The deal was struck, the papers signed, and the ceremony complete. Her happiness is of no issue to me. I just cannot believe the Scottish fool went through with the process.”

“Some Scottish warrior,” Theo laughed. “The man looked as if he had one foot in the grave and would keel over any moment,” Theo continued as he walked next to Charles with a huge grin plastered on his face. Harris huffed and shared the smile.

“Well, age does that to a weaker man,” Harris said. “But even if he turns Rhea into a widow in the near future, I’m sure she’ll be taken well care of in her new home.” Harris paused on the street as he rubbed his chin. The smile on his face grew and twisted.

“If she does become a widow of that estate, we can go to her with open arms and ‘help’ her allocate her new lands to our purposes,” Harris mumbled as the thought grew in his mind like a weed. He pulled in a long deep breath and shook his head.

“Father?” Theo asked a bit confused by his father’s mumbling.

“Yes, yes, all is well,” Harris snapped. “We’ll have to see how this marriage arrangement agrees with our expanding the trading business. Perhaps it will work out to our advantage. Now come. Since the bride and her groom left so hastily, we can cancel the reception and save a few pounds in the process.”

“But all these people,” Charles said, glancing over his shoulder to stare at the guests chattering amongst themselves as they piled out of the church. “Won’t it be rude of us not to have some feast of sorts?”

“Nonsense,” Harris said waving his hand about. “These people came for a wedding, and a wedding they got. Come, Theodore, with the marriage of your imbecile sister completed, we can start looking for a respectable bride for you.”

Without further notice, Harris turned back to the street. He stamped his cane on the ground as the irritation flooded him. Pulling in a long deep breath, his eyes narrowed as a young woman sprinted to the carriage before him.

“Where precisely is our carriage?” Harris demanded.

***

Greyson’s eyes popped open when the carriage jostled him about as they rode over the bumpy terrain. Panic shot through him, stealing the very warmth of his body. Scanning the dark compartment of the carriage, he searched for any signs of danger, only to have the panic ease the moment his eyes fell on Rhea. Instantly, his heart fluttered in his chest as he found her snuggled against his arm sound asleep. A smile lingered on his lips as he carefully brushed away the curls that lingered around her face.

The silver light of the moon seeped through the cracks of the curtains covering the carriage windows, casting a soft light over Rhea’s face. Greyson couldn’t believe how much she looked like an angel resting on him. Her curls were springy, and her eyebrows were dark and perfectly manicured. She had a button nose, and the way her plump lips pouted as she slept stole his heart.

Sharp pricks of pins and needles ran up his right arm. All feeling in his arm and hand seemed to be gone as Rhea snuggled peaceful beside him. Trying to ease the sensation in his arm and hand, Greyson shifted a bit trying to free his arm, but the pricking and stabbing only intensified. Rhea snuggled into him, making it difficult for him to move an inch without waking her.

Moving as slowly and carefully as he could, so as not to arouse her, he lifted his arm out from under her and curled it around her tiny frame. A moan escaped her lips before she shot up, alert and unnerved.

“Tis all right,” Greyson reassured. “I didnae mean to wake ye.”

He tried to shake his hand without making it obvious as she stretched out. Relaxing, her shoulders dropped, and she looked at him with such pleading and apologetic eyes that it made his body yearn for her. The arousal within his bones caused his body to tense. He scooted to the far side of the seat and flashed her a smile.

“We still have a ways to go if ye’d like to rest a wee bit more,” he said as Rhea was launched into him by the rustle of the carriage. Greyson’s hands flew to her to steady her as she bounced about. The rustle caused Rhea to jostle into Greyson. The way her hand felt on his legs sent his body into a frenzy.

Rhea glanced at him apologetically as she tried shifting off him only to find the next bump tossing her practically into his lap.

“Ye all right then?” Greyson asked as he helped her into the space beside him. Rhea nodded but her eyes were wide and white as she gripped the side of the carriage.

“Perhaps ye should stay close to me,” Greyson said. “The road is bumpy, and ye’d be tossed about all night over there.”

Rhea chewed her lower lip before nodding. Greyson stretched out his arm, and she slipped into the nook beside him. Her warm body pressing against his caused his mind to swirl and skip.

“There now,” he said as he felt her head nuzzle into his chest. Her hand slipped around him as he held her tightly, protecting her from the jolts of the road.

“Ease there,” Greyson said stroking his fingers over her arm. “It’ll be alright. A bit bumpy is all. I’m sure England has had its fair share of stormy weather, nay? It’ll pass, and the road back will be sorted out, I’m certain. Till then, rest. There is still a bit to go. Best try nae to fight it.”

Rhea let out a long deep sigh that caused Greyson’s body to relax. He hadn’t noticed how awkward they had been beside one another until that very moment when they were forced to touch.

While the carriage tossed about from time to time, Greyson’s body shielded her from the harder jolts. It was almost as if she were a babe in his arms, resting as peacefully as she was. He sighed as he watched her fight the sleep. He couldn’t help but smile at her determination not to drift off, but he knew she would give in to its haunting lure sooner or later.

As they rode well into the night, Greyson hummed an enchanting melody that caused Rhea’s eyes to flutter before eventually closing.

“Rest easy,” Greyson whispered as he wondered why he had waited to be married. Feeling Rhea against his chest, clinging to him, the peace and comfort was more than he anticipated. He hadn’t realized his headache was now only a minor ache and not the full-blown pounding like a mallet to a stone.

Greyson soon found himself trying to fight off the sleep that wanted to overtake him. There was a part of him, buried deep inside, that wanted him to stay awake if only to watch Rhea sleep, yet even he wasn’t strong enough to hold back the relentless drone of sleep.

Soon the bumpy road tossed him like a babe in a cradle. The rocking became soothing, and as the pitter-patter of rain trickled down on the roof of the carriage, Greyson closed his eyes and let Rhea warm his body.


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  • I am hooked! Greyson is troubled yet tender hearted towards his quiet tortured bride. Can’t wait to read the entire story and find out more . I feel they are already falling for each other…warms my heart! Thank you Eloise x

  • After reading the first 3 chapters, I am really ready for the rest of the book. I love this author and have read most of her books. Thank goodness I don’t have to wait until next year. I am excited!

  • Very well capturing interest at the start, makes me want to read more (mostly to see if someone “Gibb smacks” the horrible brother like he deserves), oh and to see what evil plans the father has in mind. I hope he loses his trousers in the end!

  • A wonderful read! The love between the hero and heroine is palpable. It makes us root for them to get together. A sweet romance for a rainy day.

  • I did not like this preview. I LOVED IT!!! I can’t wait to see what Greyson does when he figures out why Rhea doesn’t talk. Not to mention what happens when the family decides to try to take her back.

  • This is very interesting. I looked for the next chapter. Thank you for letting me read this much. And for free. I sure enjoyed reading your books. I can see this sample I just read. I’m not going to be able to put down.
    Best regards
    Barbara M.

    • Awwh my bonnie, you’re absolutely welcome! I thank you for your kind words ❤ Hope you enjoy the rest as well 😀

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