The Accidental Countess
By: Michelle Willingham | Other books by Michelle Willingham
Published By: Harlequin
Published: Feb 01, 2010
ISBN # 9780373295814
Available in: Secure Adobe Epub eBook, Secure Adobe eBook
Categories: Romance>Historical Other
The Accidental Countess (Accidental Series) by Michelle Willingham - Romance>Historical Other
Scandal, passion and secrets--a most Victorian Affair in Book 2 of the Accidental series by Michelle Willingham!
When Stephen Chesterfield, the Earl of Whitmore, awakes to find a beautiful woman berating him, he knows he is in trouble! He cannot recall the past three months of his life, never mind having a wife! What's more, someone is trying to silence him before his memory returns....
Emily Chesterfield is trapped in a marriage of convenience with a man who doesn't remember her. Stephen clearly thinks she is the most unsuitable countess, but she is falling for her enigmatic husband.... Can they find trust and love before it is too late?
Now available from Michelle Willingham: The Accidental Seduction, The Accidental Princess, and The Accidental Prince.
When selecting poultry for cooking, choose a chicken with soft yellow feet, short thick legs, and a plump breast. First, kill the chicken by wringing its neck...
—Emily Barrow's Cook Book Falkirk House, England—1850
Cool hands sponged his forehead. Stephen Chesterfield fought against the darkness that threatened to pull him into oblivion once more. Pain lashed his skull, ripping through him in violent waves. His mouth felt lined with cotton wool, and his body ached with vicious pain.
'Drink,' a woman said, lifting a cup of warm tea to his mouth. It tasted bitter, but he swallowed. 'You're very lucky, you know.'
Lucky? He felt as though someone had cracked his skull in two. He hadn't even the strength to open his eyes to see who was tending him.
'How am I lucky?' he managed to whisper. Lucky to be alive, she'd probably say.
'You're lucky I haven't got any arsenic for this tea,' she remarked. 'Or another poison, for that matter. Otherwise, you'd be dead by now.' A warm poultice dropped across his forehead, scented with herbs.
'I beg your pardon?' His knuckles clenched around the bedcovers, and he forced his eyes open. The room blurred, and he tried to grasp his surroundings. Where was he? And who was this woman?
The creature intending to murder him had the face of an angel. Her hair, the color of warm honey, was pulled back into a loose chignon. Long strands framed a face with tired amber eyes. Despite the hideous serge mourning gown, she was rather pretty, though her cheeks were thin.
She was familiar, but her name hovered on the outskirts of memory. Like a childhood acquaintance, or someone he'd known long ago.
'You broke your promise. If it weren't for you, my brother would still be alive.' Anguish lined her voice, eroding the waspish anger. Her eyes glistened, but she kept her chin up.
She blamed him for her brother's death? There had to be a mistake. He didn't even know who she was, much less her brother.
He pulled off the poultice, and glared at her. 'Who are you?'
She blanched. 'You don't remember me?' The question held sardonic disbelief. And here I thought this day could not get any worse.' With a clatter, she set the saucer down.
He had little patience for her frustration. Damn it all, he was the one who'd been wounded. And each time he tried to reach back and seize the memories, it was as if they faded into smoke. What had happened to him?
'You didn't answer my question,' he responded. 'What is your name?'
'My name is Emily.' She leaned in, her gaze penetrating. Almost as if she were waiting for him to say something.
Hazy bits of the past shifted together. Emily Barrow. The Baron of Hollingford's daughter. My God. He hadn't seen her in nearly ten years. He stared hard at her, unable to believe it was true. Though her rigid posture proclaimed her as a modest woman of virtue, he remembered her throwing rocks at his carriage. And climbing trees to spy on him.
And kissing him when he'd been an awkward, adolescent boy.
He shook the thought away, thankful that at least some of his memories remained. 'What are you doing here?'
'I live here.' With an overbright smile, she added, 'Don't you remember your wife?'
Her revelation stunned him into silence. His wife? What was she talking about? He wasn't married.
'You must be joking.' He wasn't an impulsive man. He planned every moment of every day. Getting married to a woman he hadn't seen in years wasn't at all something he would do. Unless he'd gotten extremely deep in his cups one night, she had to be lying. And by God, if Emily Barrow thought to take...