Three Weeks to Wed by Ella Quinn
My next novel, Three Weeks to Wed, is the first book in a new series, The Worthingtons! The book starts out with eleven children and two Great Danes. I hope you enjoy this excerpt of Mattheus, Earl of Worthington, trying to find his mystery woman (Lady Grace Carpenter) after a night of passion.
Dawn had still not broken when Matt awoke. Soon he would be an engaged man. He finally understood the looks of love and possession he’d seen in his friends’ faces when they glanced at their wives. That was exactly what he wanted with his lady. Later, after the sun had made an appearance, he’d discover her name and how soon they could wed. Reaching for her, his hand found nothing but a cold, empty sheet. He listened for any sign of her in the chamber, but there was nothing. Hmm, she must have gone to her room, but why? There was no one in the inn but them. Perhaps she was concerned about servants. Although none of them seemed to appear until called.
Rising, he donned his dressing gown, walked down the corridor, then opened the door to her chamber. Empty. Nothing to even indicate she’d been there.
The clock on the mantel showed five o’clock. He went back to his room and tugged the bellpull. In a few minutes, the boots brought hot water for him to shave.
Matt waited until the water was poured into the basin. “The lady who was here last evening, is she downstairs?”
“I donno, my lord. Ain’t seen no lady,” the lad mumbled, and left.
Matt finished dressing and descended the stairs. His groom, Mac, was in the common room eating. “Where are the others?”
Mac finished chewing and swallowed. “Gone, my lord. Their coach ain’t in the yard.”
Something wasn’t right. Why would she have left and not told him? “Be ready to leave in half an hour.”
He looked around for the landlord and, not finding him, entered the parlor. Covered dishes set on the table, with one place setting. He wished he was sharing the meal with her and conversing as they had the night before. Hell. He wanted to be in a warm bed with her next to him.
Mr. Brown knocked on the door before entering. “My lord, you was wishful of seeing me?”
Finally, Matt would get some answers. “Yes, I want to know the lady’s name.”
The innkeeper opened his eyes wide. “What lady, my lord?”
Matt bit the inside of his lip and tried to keep from losing his temper. “The lady who was here last night. The one I shared dinner with.”
The landlord started backing out of the parlor, shaking his head. “Weren’t no lady here, my lord.”
Matt choked back an angry response. Losing his temper would do him no good so he tried to reason with the innkeeper. “I can understand she would not want it known she was here alone and without her maid. But you may tell me who she is. I plan to marry her, and I need to know her direction.”
“I’d like to help you, my lord, but I can’t.” The man closed the door.
Matt stood so quickly his chair crashed to the floor, but by the time he got to the hall, the innkeeper had prudently taken himself off. “You there.”
The young woman glanced at Matt wide-eyed. “Yes, sir?”
“Where is Brown?”
“Me Da had to go to the farm.”
“When will he return?”
She furrowed her brow. “No tell’n how long he’ll take.”
“Do you know the lady who was here?”
“I just got here meself. I only work during the day and weren’t here at all yesterday.”
Matt stalked off. “Damn the man.”
He strode outside to find his curricle ready and Mac standing next to it. “Did any of the lady’s servants mention where they live?”
“No, my lord. One of the younger men said somat about a hall, but the others shut him up right quick.”
Matt clenched his fists. “Hall! Hall does me no good at all. Half the bloody houses in England are called the Hall. How the devil am I to find her?”
Blurb Three Weeks To Wed
In the first book of her dazzling new series, bestselling author Ella Quinn introduces the soon-to-be Earl and Countess of Worthington—lovers who have more in common than they yet know. The future promises to be far from boring…
Lady Grace Carpenter is ready to seize the day—or rather, the night—with the most compelling man she's ever known. Marriage would mean losing guardianship of her beloved siblings, and surely no sane gentleman will take on seven children not his own. But if she can have one anonymous tryst with Mattheus, Earl of Worthington, Grace will be content to live out the rest of her life as a spinster.
Matt had almost given up hope of finding a wife who could engage his mind as well as his body. And now this sensual, intelligent woman is offering herself to him. What could be more perfect? Except that after one wanton night, the mysterious Grace refuses to have anything to do with him. Amid the distractions of the Season he must convince her, one delicious encounter at a time, that no obstacle—or family—is too much for a man who's discovered his heart's desire…
"Oh, the tangled webs we weave…especially when our hearts are involved. Three Weeks to Wed is a delightfully heartwarming escape into the sparkling world of the Regency. Ella Quinn weaves magic." —Cathy Maxwell, New York Times bestselling author
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