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Hellion at Heart (League of Unweddable Gentleman, Book 2) (Ebook)

Hellion at Heart (League of Unweddable Gentleman, Book 2) (Ebook)

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Sifting through the sands in the Middle East while learning of ancient cultures and buried civilizations is all Miss Hallie Evans dreams about. But when an impending scandal forces her back to England, her hopes and dreams are destroyed. Now, as a hired archaeologist for the rich, Hallie explores and studies the ancient ruins excavated on their properties.

The Viscount of Duncannon, Arthur Howard, was beguiled after a chance encounter with Miss Hallie Evans several years ago. She left an impression on him that never faded. But when their paths cross again, Arthur is determined to win Hallie's heart this time around--at all costs.

But as Hallie's buried secrets begin to surface, neither can stop society from unearthing the truth. Now, Arthur must choose between love and family duty. Can Hallie cease those who threaten her livelihood for a real chance at true love?

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Surrey 1813

Hallie sat at the breakfast table with her papa, reading over the latest articles that had come out of Egypt and the wonderful finds of the ancient land that had been buried for thousands of years.
She sighed, looking out the window at the dreary, wet morning, dreaming of the heat, the sand and culture. Where spices floated in the air and invigorated the soul. Not like her life here in Surrey, where she did little except tend the garden and read in the library.
Her father cleared his throat, gaining her attention. “Hallie dear, there is something that I need to discuss with you. It is of great importance, so please let me finish before you say anything.”
Hallie set down her paper, and turned to her papa. “Of course.”
Her father, a gentleman, but one with limited land and fortune smiled a little and she frowned, wondering why he appeared so nervous. A light sheen of sweat formed on his forehead, and, picking up his napkin, he dabbed it away.
“My darling girl, this is not easy for me to tell you, and please know that I do this only because I have your best interest at heart.”
She sat back in her chair, a hard knot forming in her stomach. “Of course,” she managed, although she feared this conversation would be unlike any they had had before. Something was wrong, but what that was she partially didn’t wish to know.
“I’m sending you away to a school in France. The Madame Dufour’s Refining School for Girls is highly recommended and with your love of history, I think this will be good for you. You’re never going to achieve your dreams by only reading the books in my library. All of which are sadly lacking and will be even more so in the months to come.”
“You’re sending me away? Why, Papa? I do not understand.”
He sighed, reaching across the table to take her hand. His touch was warm and yet the idea of leaving Surrey, her papa, left her cold.
“I may have been born a gentleman, the fourth son of a baron, but simply being related to the aristocracy, no matter how distant, does not earn you funds. I have kept the house for as long as I could, but it was of no use and only yesterday I’m happy to say that I have sold it.”
Hallie gasped, pulling her hand away. “You sold our home?”
Her father ignored her accusatory tone and nodded. “I did, and with the funds I have purchased myself a small cottage in Felday. It’s a two-bedroom cottage that looks out onto the town square and it’ll do us nicely I think. All our possessions that we can fit will come with us, the books also, and so I think we can make the cottage our own and be very comfortable there.”
She shook her head, not believing what she was hearing. “Papa, our life is here. I was born in this very room. My last memories of Mama are here. Please, reconsider.”
Her father pushed back his chair, scraping the feet against the floor. Hallie grimaced as he went to stand at the window, overlooking the hollyhocks and roses outside.
“Do you not think I know this, my dear? Do you not know that it broke my heart to sell our home, but it was either that, walk away with some funds, or walk away with nothing? I chose the former. The sale was profitable, and I have enough to keep me for the rest of my days, and to give you a small dowry along with your schooling in France.”
He turned and strode over to her, pulling Hallie to stand. “You must promise me to use your time at school to better yourself. Arm yourself with so much knowledge that nothing and no one can stand in your way. That you will run with your smarts that I know you have and make a life from it. See the world, visit your beloved Egypt you’re always reading about,” he said, looking down at her article, “and live a full and happy life. Just as I and your mama always hoped for. You are always welcome at the cottage when you’re home.”
Hallie swallowed the lump in her throat, having never heard her father speak in such a way before. “I promise, Papa. I shall make you proud and before I go, together we’ll ensure the cottage is just how we like it. Make it our new home away from this one.”
Her papa pulled her into a fierce embrace and Hallie wrapped her arms about him, noticing for the first time how fragile and so much older he was than she realized. She squeezed him harder, wishing life to just halt a moment, to pause and stay as it was.
“I’m glad you said that, my dear. For I have old Farmer McKinnon coming tomorrow with his cart to help us shift. It’ll be a busy two days.”
Her father walked to the door, heading toward the foyer. Hallie followed him. “Two days. Why two days?” she asked.
He turned, smiling. “Because we have to be out of the house in two days. I suggest you finish breakfast and start packing.”
Hallie stared after him, shutting her mouth with a snap. The house was not small, and the idea of packing, picking what they would keep and leave behind left her momentarily stunned. However would they do it with one house maid, a cook and one groomsman who also acted as their butler?
Shaking her head, but never one to shy away from hard work, Hallie called out to Maisie, her maid, for assistance. If they only had two days, then it would only take her two days to complete the relocation of their belongings. She rolled up her sleeves, heading toward the stairs. “I think I’ll start with the guest bedroom first and work my way through,” she said aloud to herself. Determined to hit her father’s deadline and roll with the stones life throws at one’s self, dodging accordingly.

Main Tropes

  • Friends to Lovers
  • Historian Heroine
  • Regency Romance
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