Widowed Cynthia Jacobs will do anything to support her three young sons, left impoverished by their father’s sudden demise. Anything, that is, but marry one-time suitor Daniel Lewiston. Cynthia’s family and Daniel’s conspired to match them up years ago, but Cynthia struggled to see the shy boy next door as the dashing husband of her dreams.
Wealthy Daniel Lewiston always admired the beautiful Cynthia, even knowing she’d never settle for him. But when her sons beg him to court her so he can be their father, his heart melts and Cynthia reconsiders. Perhaps what starts as a marriage of convenience for the boys can turn into something more, something that is far sweeter than candy.
Fourth book in The Marvelous Munroes series after The Marquis’ Kiss (February 2017), this sweet Regency-set novella was originally published by Kensington in the anthology A Match for Mother. The Marvelous Munroes: what’s more marvelous than falling in love?
Here’s a taste:
Cynthia knew she was having a hard time focusing, and it was entirely Daniel’s fault. Even with his new clothes powdered with dust and thoroughly rumpled, he was looking rather handsome. His jaw was firm, his profile strong; his shoulders were impressive, and his legs long and powerful. The strength of her possessive feelings surprised her.
Now she blinked at his statement, and he pelted off into the maze, his husky laughter floating behind him.
“Daniel, this is ridiculous,” she called, peering into the bushes first in one direction and then the other. Really, couldn’t the man be serious? The path in the maze stretched empty in all directions. “Boys, come out immediately.”
“Boys,” Daniel’s voice countered from somewhere on her right. “You will do nothing of the kind until your mother tags one of us.”
Somewhere to her left someone giggled. Adam. Cynthia narrowed her eyes. “Very well, then, have it your way.” She set the basket on one of the stone benches that dotted the maze and tiptoed toward the sound. Carefully she peered over the top of the bushes. There was no one there. Frustrated, she sank back onto her feet.
“Nah nah nah,” John teased from her right. She whipped about in time to see him disappearing around a turn in the maze. She lifted her skirts and dashed after him.
For the next few minutes it was pure anarchy in the maze. Children raced around corners and dove into bushes. Daniel actually leapt over one of the lower hedges to avoid her touch. Determined, she pursued him deeper into the maze, his laughter always just ahead of her. Adam escaped by crawling under a stone bench. James ran away so quickly he lost a shoe, and she only paused long enough to scoop it up and slip it in the pocket of her gown. John had the uncanny knack of letting her get within a finger’s breadth before sprinting past her and disappearing again. Her hair came undone from its pins, she trod on the flounce of her gown, and she had never had such a wonderful time in all her life.
She was about to get the jump on John at last when she caught sight of Daniel heading for the center of the maze. Letting her son escape, she edged along the hedge and peered around the corner. Facing away from her, Daniel was bent over the stone bench at the center of the maze to catch his breath, one foot up on the bench. She tiptoed up behind him and placed both hands on his broad back. “I have you!” she shrieked triumphantly.
Daniel grabbed her around the waist and pulled her into his embrace. She was so surprised that she could only gasp out an “oh” before he kissed her.
It was a quick peck, nothing more. But it caused the strangest sensations in her stomach, and all she could do was stare at him. He had the oddest expression on his own face, his grey eyes suddenly dark, and she had the distinct impression that his breathlessness had nothing to do with the game.