Published: November 2018 by Perfectly Proper Press
Category: Historical Fiction, Victorian, Romance, Book Review
A Courtship of Convenience
A Last Chance for Love
Sophie Appersett is quite willing to marry outside of her class to ensure the survival of her family. But the darkly handsome Mr. Edward Sharpe is no run-of-the-mill London merchant. He’s grim and silent. A man of little emotion—or perhaps no emotion at all. After two months of courtship, she’s ready to put an end to things.
Sophie had decided to end her courtship with Edward (Ned) Sharpe after two months of trying to draw him out, to get to know him, discover his feelings through meaningful conversation. But it was proving fruitless. He was self contained to the point of impassiveness and their engagement was doomed before it really began.
Ned, the son of a draper, may have little to no knowledge of the way of the upper classes, especially when it came to wooing a lady, but surely following the advice written in his etiquette manual would help. But obviously, judging by events, it isn’t quite living up to Ned’s hopes and expectations.
Meanwhile Sophie was in her father’s bad books for breaking off the engagement. Sir William had almost bankrupted himself and was counting on Ned’s help to fund the rest of the modernisations he had planned for Appersett House. And so after a talk with her mother, Sophie invited Ned to attend the family’s Christmas House Party celebrations, to see if they can get to know each other better and repair their relationship.
Ned’s gaze jerked to hers. A proposition? What the devil?
His breath stopped at the various implications of her words. None of them were good.
He wished it were otherwise. That she’d come here for—What? To tell him she was sorry she’d ended their courtship? That she’d made a mistake? Sentimental nonsense. He’d learned long ago that was no point indulging such thinking. No purpose in sticking his head in the sand. It was better to face reality. Even if that reality was bleak and painful and deeply disappointing.