Lady Catherine's Secret
Publication Date: December 1, 2014
Also in this series: It Takes a Spy
Despite Lady Catherine's love of fencing, she needs to stop pretending to be a boy and fraternizing with men…but not until after the fencing tournament! Her mother plans to marry her off by the end of the season, so this will be her last chance to enjoy her freedom. When she impulsively puts her reputation at risk to save the life of a dashing competitor, all seems lost when he sees through her disguise, but he vows never to reveal her secret. Thank goodness for gentlemanly honor!
Daniel, Marquess of Huntley, wants to overcome the rumors of his father's madness so that he can be embraced by London society. His plan is to marry the most proper woman who will have him, and then raise stable, respectable children. He certainly isn't interested in some hoyden with a penchant for masquerading as a boy and flaunting society's rules. In fact, he'd prefer to keep his distance.
When an obsessed suitor discovers Catherine's secret and threatens blackmail, the only path out of social ruin is marriage. But what kind of protection does matrimony provide when a vengeful suitor is plotting the ultimate revenge?
“Ah, Catherine, I’m so glad you and your mother were able to join us this evening,” said Lady Wilmot. “You look lovely. That color becomes you.”
Judging by the number of compliments she’d gathered this evening, she should wear pink more often— or not, if she planned to avoid marriage as long as possible.
Lady Wilmot turned back to Lord Huntley. “You already met my daughter, the Lady Elizabeth Greville,” she said, indicating her daughter with a slight tip of her head, “but I don’t believe that you have been properly introduced to her dear friend.” Her gaze shifted to Catherine. “Lord Huntley, I’d like to introduce you to the Lady Catherine Williams. Lady Catherine, this is Daniel Kennedy, the Marquess of Huntley. Lord Huntley, I believe that you may have been acquainted with Lady Catherine’s late grandfather, the Earl of Kensington.”
“Lady Catherine, it’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I can see a family resemblance. I think it’s the eyes.” He gently took her hand as she offered it to him, and then widened his eyes in surprise. “You have a firm grip for such a delicate-looking young lady.” He slightly lifted his eyebrow again as he stared down into her eyes.
In a moment of déjà vu, she felt like a mouse under the gaze of a predator. This was all too reminiscent of their introduction last night. She could only hope he wasn’t experiencing the same feeling.
But what could she do?
Struck by inspiration, Catherine fluttered her eyes and let her posture melt, wanting him to see someone quite different from the brash, bold boy he’d met last night. She couldn’t overdo it, of course. Not with Lady Wilmot and Elizabeth standing right next to her. But a stuttering, tongue-tied girl would be unlikely to arouse their suspicions.
“I, uh, I… needlepoint,” she finally said in a flustered voice. It wasn’t hard to add that little waver with those piercing blue eyes assessing her. “Perhaps that accounts for the strength of my grip. Do you enjoy needlepoint, Lord Huntley?” She gave a slight gasp of embarrassment, her fingertips flying to her lips. “I mean… that is, I meant to say, do you enjoy looking at needlepoint?”
His intense expression morphed first into one of confusion, only to be replaced by one of amusement as he recognized her state of “panic.”
About the Author
Sheridan Jeane writes exciting and emotion-packed historical romances set in the Victorian Era that confront issues of trust and conformity.
With the advent of the industrial age, life was changing. Many people tried to hold on to the old ways of life while others embraced the new opportunities open to them.
Join Sheridan as she explores the clash between the old and the new.
Sheridan has always loved books, history, and stories about amazing people who blaze new trails.
Despite naming their daughter Sheridan because they thought it might someday look great on the cover of a book, Sheridan's parents urged her in a more practical direction for college. Sheridan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science with a minor in English.