Raised by an unstable and controlling guardian, an over-protective brother, and a boat-captain grandfather, Collette Moreau's upbringing has hardly been conventional. Seeking a more refined future, she sets her hopes on marriage to an English Baron's nephew -- a choice any woman would make.
When the wedding gets postponed, Collette decides to visit an ailing uncle and learns he's not only been keeping family secrets, he highly disapproves of her fiancé. He's already engaged the services of the passionate Christian Jordan -- suspected womanizer. Uncle's plan is to induce Collette away from her betrothed toward Mr. Jordan, or, if necessary, toward Christian's pious and meddling brother, the community parson.
But should Collette comply with this preposterous whim of some distant kin? What sensible woman would agree to be wooed by a possible Romeo or religious zealot when she's about to wed Baron Kirkland Dewey's distinguished nephew?
He turned and gazed at the crackling fire. "What will you do now?"
"Uncle Edgar no longer has need for me. I'm going to take a trip to Missouri to see my former guardian then return to gather up my things. Neville's no longer in Europe anyway. "
When he leaned back to take it in, she followed his eyes. "Anything else?" he asked.
"Then I'm going home."
Christian pulled back. "I wish you wouldn’t."
"You wish I wouldn’t what?" Her eyes flickered before she turned away.
"I wish you would not leave…me," he murmured, hoping she had not heard him.
"Uncle Edgar doesn't want me. I know that now." She swung back, "You said yourself, if he takes it easy he'll be fine."
Christian breathed in. Collette needed to know the truth about her uncle. There had to be a way to tell her. "If you ever need someone to talk to, I--"
She interrupted him. "If you mean about Neville, Uncle Edgar will know how to explain things to him. He shouldn’t have any problem being convincing."
Christian rose and made his way over to the coffee. Collette jumped up and rushed past him. "After over four years of waiting for Neville, it's enough for me. I should have seen it long ago."
"Mr. Dewey can find someone else to take advantage of, you mean?"
She looked up, her eyes wide. "It appears to be what he does best." When she handed him the cup, he took his other hand and slowly lifted it toward her cheek.
"Collette?" Christian touched another loose curl which apparently had slipped when she removed her hat. He guided it behind her ear. "Collette?" He said her name again, tapping the tip of her nose with a gentle smile. Just like before, now would have been a perfect time to take her into his arms, and… "Collette?" he heard himself say a third time.
"I realize this is a difficult time for you. Would you mind if I--" He saw the look on her face. She knows. She knew exactly what he wanted.
Without thinking it through -- without considering her true feelings as he should have, Christian bent down and leaned in. Closing his eyes, his mouth grazed her feathery soft lips as he savored her sweet breath. Her tremble was impossible to ignore when she quickly pulled away.
"I -- I think maybe you need to go, Mr. Jordan."
Christian withdrew but with reluctance. It had all happened so fast. "Yes…perhaps I had better."
She blew out another breath and turned away. "I believe you can see yourself out."
Without another word, Collette disappeared into the hall leaving him standing and staring at nothing but the dancing shadows of the fire as they waved along the wall.
Posted by Favorite Christian Books on 29th May 2015
I felt for the main character, Collette. She had been under a controlling and extremely difficult woman, Darnell, most of her life. Even as an adult when Darnell visited she attempted to control Collette, yet she maintained a good attitude. Thanks to this overbearing woman, Collette's self-esteemed was extremely low and we saw it play out in her desire to settle for a man that kept postponing their wedding and treated her poorly.
My favorite part was watching the interactions between Collette and Christian. They both had preconceived notions about each other and they weren't positive. It was fun to watch their interactions especially as they teased each other. One of my favorite sections in the story was the journey north to visit Collette's uncle.
Overall I enjoyed watching the story develop, especially in regards to Collette's character, she ended the story a better person than she was at the beginning...