Running from her cousin, a man of low character who is determined to have her placed in an asylum so that he may take control of her inheritance, Laurel Halstrom comes face to face with the only man she believes she will ever love. He is the man of her dreams, the man her heart has waited and longed for her entire life. The only problem is, they’ve only just met.
A brusque scientist, who would rather study insects beneath a microscope than spend his time attending a lady discussing inane subjects such as the weather, Grayson Pendleton is bewildered by his reaction to Laurel. She is like no other woman he has ever met, and not because of her inability to hear or speak. The simple turn of her head, the soft smile upon her lips, the scents and sounds she brings into a room, have him entranced.
But theirs may be a short acquaintance if her cousin succeeds in his plan to have her committed. Dare Gray risk everything to keep Laurel safe?
Page Count: 53
Word Count: 15,146
Grayson lifted his head at the faint sound, not unlike the sound of a small bird, knowing it hadn’t come from his sister, and found Miss Halstrom standing in the doorway. Her lips, no longer pale, were the color of ripe berries and turned up in a bittersweet smile. Her eyes, no longer heavy with fear and fatigue, were warm pools of mocha. There was color in her cheeks, and her dark hair, now properly situated atop her head in some intricate knot, reminded him of the sky just before night turns to day. His first impression of her had been one of casual interest, after all he wasn’t a monk, but seeing her after a well needed rest, made a vast difference in his views of lady. Quite simply, he was stupefied.
She crossed the room and laid a folded piece of paper atop the table before him. Without taking his eyes from hers, he lifted the note but sat there staring at her. How had he not seen her for what she was the evening before? Had his mind been so engaged with his work and the problem she presented that he’d blocked out the rest of his senses? Because never had he ever met a woman so enchantingly beautiful before.
“Grayson?” Mary nudged his arm. “Gray.”
“Hmm? Oh, yes.” He cleared his throat and looked to the perfect penmanship, resisting the urge to tug at his suddenly tight collar.
He read the letter aloud for his sister as she rose and assisted Miss Halstrom into a seat beside her. She poured a cup of tea, and prepared her a plate, while he continued reading aloud the lady’s thanks and detailed explanation of the events that brought her to them since the letter Doctor Emerson had written was a bit vague, its contents hastily written, due to the speed in which she needed to be away from Nigel. He found himself somewhat amazed that he’d managed to read it at all, as his attention did seem to be split between the letter and the woman who’d written it.
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