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A Secret Love

A Secret Love

Description : A Secret Love
April 17, 1820

Morwellan Park, Somerset

Disaster stared her in the face.


Seated at her desk in the library of Morwellan Park, Alathea Morwellan gazed at the letter she held, barely seeing the precise script of her family's agent. The substance of the missive was burned into her brain. Its last paragraph read:

I fear, my dear, that my sentiments concur with yours. I can see no evidence that we have made anymistake.

No mistake. She'd suspected, virtually expected that that would be the case, yet…

Exhaling, Alathea laid the letter down. Her hand shook. A youthful cheer reached her, borne on the breeze wafting through the long windows. She hesitated, then stood and glided to the French windows standing open to the south lawn.

On the rolling expanse separating the terrace from the ornamental lake, her stepbrothers and stepsisters played an exuberant game of catch. Sunlight flashed on one fair head— Alathea's eldest stepbrother, Charlie, leaped high and snatched the ball from the air, denying Jeremy, only ten but always game. Despite his emerging elegance, Charlie, nineteen, was good-naturedly caught up in the game, indulging his juniors, Jeremy and Augusta, just six. Their older sisters, Mary, eighteen, and Alice, seventeen, had also joined in.

The entire household was currently in the throes of preparing to remove to London so Mary and Alice could be introduced to the ton. Nevertheless, both girls threw themselves...