The Proud Viscount

Free The Proud Viscount by Laura Matthews Page A

Book: The Proud Viscount by Laura Matthews Read Free Book Online
Authors: Laura Matthews
Tags: Regency Romance
a great difference between them. That is, one can have the highest regard for a person and yet feel the differences between them are too great to countenance any kind of ongoing alliance.”
    “Nonsense! You and Jane are ideally suited. Obviously you haven’t gotten to know each other well enough yet to have discovered that.” Mabel leaned toward him and tapped a bony finger on the back of his hand. “I’m an old hand at matchmaking. I directed each of Jane’s brothers and sisters toward the right mate. Oh, there were plenty of possibilities of misalliances among them, but I persisted in urging them in the appropriate direction. And with Nancy...  that whole arrangement was mine from start to finish.”
    Astonished, but curious, Rossmere asked, “How did that come about?”
    Mabel was clearly torn between pride in her accomplishment and the desire to get back to the more-pressing subject of their interview. Rossmere managed to look especially intrigued by her revelation, and she settled back slightly in her chair. “I understood John Parnham had only recently come to live in this area,” he remarked by way of giving her a starting point.
    “That’s very true. His own estate, in Yorkshire or Westmoreland or some godforsaken spot, had burned to the ground. Not enough left to make it economical to rebuild on the same site, unless one was drawn to the area, and Mr. Parnham was not.” She said this with some satisfaction. “So he scouted out the best possible location for his home and decided on our very neighborhood.”
    “Had he no relations to object to such a move? Usually there are three or four cousins determined to instruct one in the necessity of following tradition.”
    “If he has any relations, they are very distant ones. Mr. Parnham answers to no one save himself in such matters.”
    “I see. How very convenient for him!”
    “It is very much the same for you,” she reminded him severely. “Mr. Parnham bought an old manor house and furnished it in excellent taste. He made an effort to meet his neighbors and to support local businesses. Too often these old manor houses are bought by men who’ve grown rich in trade and haven’t the first idea of how to behave in a country community such as ours. Mr. Parnham was a stroke of luck for Lockley. His manners are impeccable, he talks sensibly, he has wit, his person is pleasing— altogether a very agreeable man.”
    “And it was you who brought him to Lady Nancy’s notice?”
    Mabel disliked being rushed when she had settled into a tale. “Early on when he moved into the house, he came by and left his card. Jane and her father were in Bath at the time, and Nancy and I were in London for the Season, but due to return. Nancy had been successful in town, you understand, but she was never comfortable with the idea of marrying a stranger and disappearing off to his estate at some great distance, as Margaret had done.”
    “The youngest in a sizable family is often greatly attached to her home, I believe,” Rossmere said.
    “Sometimes. But Nancy is a biddable girl and would have adjusted to a different life if it had been necessary. Fortunately, when we returned from London, we became acquainted with Mr. Parnham almost immediately. Nancy was not taken with him at first. I daresay he seemed rather ordinary after the fashionable extremes of London. Nancy was very young. I, however, could see the distinct possibilities of a match and gave the young people a chance to get to know each other. It didn’t take long for them to develop a tendre for each other then!”
    “I see.” Rossmere shifted slightly in his chair, asking casually, “And you consider it a good marriage? They’re well-suited?”
    “Decidedly. It couldn’t possibly be better.”
    “And do you think,” Rossmere hazarded the guess, “that if Lady Jane and I spend time together, we will decide to marry?”
    “I’m sure of it.”
    Rossmere shook his head. “I can only say that I think

Similar Books

Naughty or Nice

Kari Lee Harmon

And I Love Her

Abby Reynolds

Dragons of the Watch

Donita K. Paul

Passage at Arms

Glen Cook

Kissing Shakespeare

Pamela Mingle

The Wizards of Langley

Jeffrey T Richelson

Manly Wade Wellman - Novel 1966

Battle at Bear Paw Gap (v1.1)