The Daughters of Amhurst series
by Frances Fowlkes
No woman dared to love him…
The Earl of Amhurst has returned to his estate in search of a wife and, more importantly, an heir. Simon Devere isn’t interested in some comely, simpering creature. A beautiful woman only brings heartbreak and ruin, and Simon’s disfigured visage is proof enough of that. No, he wants a wife who is unattractive and undesirable-and the homelier, the better.
But nothing about Lady Henrietta Beauchamp is homely. She is lovely and sweet… and struggles to mix with polite society when she would so much rather have plants for company. And yet Simon is her only hope for keeping Plumburn Castle in her family’s possession. Even if it means marrying a man she doesn’t love.
It’s an impossible and unlikely match… unless this awkward beauty can bring hope back into a solitary beast’s life.
“Our stroll. Why wait until tomorrow? Why not do it now, my lord? You can walk me to the kitchens on the other side of the garden, where we can retrieve another cup for your ache, and kill two birds with one stone.”
“You wish to walk with me? Alone? At night?” he asked dubiously.
His concern was valid. She was alone. Without a chaperone. With the Black Earl.
She should be afraid—or at the very least, nervous, and cautious.
But the only emotion thrumming through her veins was excitement at the sudden opportunity offered—time alone with the earl—without Miss Saxton and her perfect elocution, or Lord Satterfield staring at her with disturbing interest. This was an opportunity to compare the earl’s character against the gossip—and question why her blood raced at the mere mention of his name. Henrietta took the cup from his hand, her cool fingers brushing against his warm ones, the accidental and simple touch sending a tingle up her palm and into her arm. “ I-I-I would like to walk with you. That is…if you would have me.”
He blinked, seeming astonished. “Of course. I would be honored. My only concern is your lack of chaperone.”
“My sisters know where I-I-I am and with whom I-I-I had intended to meet.”
“Do they?” He stepped toward her, sending her heart into a near fit of palpitation. “And they have no compunction sending their sister into the dark gardens with the Black Earl?”
She shook her head. “No. Especially when he is ill.”
“I am not ill.” He winced, and Henrietta rolled her eyes.
After viewing her all-time favorite love story, “Anne of Green Gables”, at the impressionable age of ten, Frances Fowlkes has been obsessed with affable boy-next door heroes, red-heads, and romance stories with lots of “highfaluting mumbo jumbo” written within their pages. It only seems natural then that she married the boy who used to pull on her curls in her high school English class, had not one, but THREE red-headed boys, and penned multiple love stories with bits of flowery prose.
When not writing, Frances loves spending time with her family, fangirling, and planning her next vacation.
Frances Fowlkes, originally a northern mid-westerner, now lives in the southeast with her ardent hero of a husband, three playful and rambunctious boys, and one spoiled standard poodle.
A self-professed Anglophile and summa cum laude graduate of LeTourneau University, Frances Fowlkes combines her passion for happily-ever-afters with her interests in both American and English histories.