A Waltz with a Rogue Novella, #1
Olivia Kingsley didn’t expect to fall in love and receive a secret marriage proposal two weeks into her first Season. However, one dance with Allen Wimpleton, heir to a viscountcy, and her fate is sealed. Or so she thinks until her eccentric and ailing father, unaware of Allen’s proposal, announces he’s moving the family to the Caribbean for a year. Unaware of her father’s ill health, Allen demands she choose—him or her father.
Heartbroken at his callousness, but thankful he’s revealed his true nature before she married him, Olivia turns her back on their love. The year becomes three, enough time for her broken heart to heal, and after her father dies, Olivia returns to England. Coming face to face with Allen, she realizes she never purged him from her heart and once again the flames of love ignite, but is it too late?
“Collette delivers as always!!!!” ~Dee Foster
“I truly love this author’s wonderful Regency romances. They are fun to read, romantic, and cute with a touch of humor.” ~Nicole Laverdure
“Wonderful tale of love and second chances. ” ~Vero
“All the required elements for a completely wonderful historical romance… truly sigh-worthy…” ~Janice Hougland
“From the very first page I knew there was something special about this story.” ~Booklover
Her brother stuck his head inside the carriage. “Come, kitten. Put on a brave smile, and let’s go meet the dragon. Who knows, mayhap tonight is providential. In any event, you’ll have an answer, and you can get on with your life.”
“I suppose that’s true.” Although that existence would be only a shadow of what life might have been with Allen.
Such a pity hindsight, rather than foresight, birthed wisdom.
Bradford extended his hand. “Come along.”
Sighing, and resigned to whatever providence hurled her way, Olivia placed her palm in his.
“That’s my girl.” He gave her fingers a gentle, encouraging squeeze.
“So help me, Brady, you step more than two feet away from me, and I shall—”
“Never fear, kitten. I’ll forsake my romantic pursuits and act the part of diligent protector for the entire evening.”
Olivia chuckled, despite her rioting nerves. “How gallant of you, dear brother.”
He tucked her hand into the crook of one elbow while offering the other to their aunt before guiding the women up the granite steps.
Inside the manor, Olivia forced a smile and passed her wrap to the waiting footman. Had he detected her shaking hands? Her stomach fluttered and leaped about worse than frogs on hot pavement, threatening to make her ill. She ran her hands across her middle to smooth the champagne gauze overlay of her new crimson ball gown Aunt Muriel had insisted on purchasing for her. The ruby jewelry she wore was her aunt’s as well.
“Her Grace, the Duchess of Daventry, Lord Kingsley, and Miss Kingsley.” The majordomo announced them in a droning monotone.
Behind Olivia, someone gasped. A low murmur of hushed voices circled the room in less time than it took to curtsy as the three of them advanced into the ballroom. Every eye was trained upon them.
This is a mistake.
Head lowered, her attention riveted on the polished marble floor, she prayed for strength.
Where was the pluck Papa so admired in her, or the feistiness Bradford often teased her about?
She could do this. She must if she were ever to know the truth. Had Allen forgotten her? Did he love another now?
Olivia blinked then blinked again, forcing her eyes upward. Inhaling, she squared her shoulders and lifted her head.
Her gaze collided squarely with Allen’s.
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