Matthew turned and faced Jane. “When are you leaving for the city?”
She took another step back, her gaze darting over his face. “The day after tomorrow. Why?”
“Because I will escort you. We can travel together in my carriage.”
“No, I do not need your––”
“I will be going anyway. I planned to visit some contacts in the city in the hope of securing guaranteed trade for Biddestone in the coming year. It seems unnecessary for us to make the trip separately when I have a carriage plenty big enough for us both.”
“There is absolutely no need. Jeannie will be coming with me.”
“My offer still stands.”
She glared. “It’s my intention to start on the path of independence, of finding out what the world has to offer me on my own merit. I will hardly be carving out my own path when at the first step from my home, I lean on you.”
“You are being stubborn.”
She pulled back her shoulders. “And you are not?”
The longer he looked at her, the more Matthew saw the quiet beauty he’d desperately tried to ignore. He took a steadying breath. “Please, Jane. Let me escort you to Bath.”
The seconds passed, but Matthew held his tongue. It was imperative she spoke next, that she understood he didn’t mean to bully her but wanted to ensure her safety to a city ravaged by danger, as much as opportunity.
She sighed. “Fine. On one condition.”
He held her gaze. “Which is?”
Her eyes softened, slowly lighting with mischief. “You smile. Now. You smile at me like you did before she left.”
Heat rose to his face. “You want me to smile?”
“Yes. Smile for me, Matthew.”
Empathy and passion swirled in eyes, but they also bore a deep, painful awareness that scratched hard over his heart. The longer he stared, the more he wanted to make her happy.
He smiled, his gaze on hers…and was surprised to find the trade no effort at all.
ANGIE’S REVIEW: Her One True Love is a sweet historical romance that is part of a Victorian series. It can be read as a standalone, but if you would like to know about Monica, Jane’s sister, and how she met Thomas, I suggest reading that first. Had I known ahead of time, I would have read that first!
I adore Jane’s spunk. She had thought that her and Matthew would be married and share a life together, but that was not meant to be. She’s finally come to terms with her life and wants to move to Bath and live life on her own terms. Her sister has agreed that her maid can accompany Jane as her companion, something that both Jane and Jeannie were happy about.
Matthew is surly and incredibly angry at himself, his father, and his wife, who left him for her lover. Biddeford is his responsibility as its squire, but he’s been too busy staring at the bottom of a tankard to really pay attention to how bad off the village really is.
The pacing of the book is rather slow and can be at times too slow, but overall Jane and Matthew’s story is a good read. I look forward to going back and not only reading about Monica, but about Milly the barmaid as well.
near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses,
she secured agent representation in 2011. Since 2013, she has had five books
published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and three
Victorian romances by eKensington/Lyrical.
finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest.