Saturday, November 17, 2012

"Contract Marriage" by Gabriella Mahoney (Historical Romance)

Genre:  Historical Romance

Summary:  A marriage has been arranged for Abigail Malton with the awkward Richard Davar. Logical to a fault, Abigail understands that it is her duty to further her family's interests by marrying well. But even she is unsure if logic will be able to crush her secret craving for love. 

Richard is acutely aware of his clumsy moments. And they seem to get worse when Abigail is around. Despite having fallen madly in love with his wife, it seems the only sensible that he do his best to keep her at arm's length. But he soon finds that even the best intentions can go awry...

This novelette is approximately 11,000 words long.


Richard shuddered with visible relief as he watched the Maltons drive away in their barouche. It had taken every ounce of his self-control to not make a spectacle of himself in front of Abigail Malton. His control had only slipped up momentarily as he took a teacup from his mother. A mistake he hoped Miss Malton had not noticed.

For whatever strange reason, fate had decided to make him a clumsy, awkward creature. He would occasionally dribble water onto his shirt when sipping a glass, he tripped over hallway rugs when he wasn’t paying attention and he had a bad habit of dropping things when he was nervous.

These were hardly the quirks that one attached to a dashing, elegant gentleman. But Richard had never aspired to be a beau of the ton. Small talk bored him to tears. He had discovered early on that if he was truly passionate about a subject, he forgot about his clumsiness and was able to interact with others in a somewhat normal fashion.

Coincidentally, by taking on projects that allowed him to become invested, his political career was thriving. He was becoming something of a golden boy in Parliament. His reluctance to take on uninteresting projects was seen by others a high moral standard. And the fact that he would become consumed by a project until it was done meant that he regularly achieved results.

And so when his father had informed him that he was to marry Miss Abigail Malton, he figured it would be best if he approached this marriage the way he did his profession: he would do anything necessary to see this union through and the marriage contract signed. Then his job would be completed, they could go their separate ways and he could spend his energy on his career.

At least, that had been his plan until she visited this afternoon. Richard had no idea what demons took hold but as soon as Abigail had uttered that first sarcastic remark he was besotted.

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