It's Here!

Book Two in The Huntington Saga Series Novels~

Pirate Bride!

Miss Susannah Blakemore is kidnapped and sold into white slavery as payback to the Huntingtons. Will her pirate hero save her?

“The Huntingtons will pay. Oh, they will pay.” Plots and unholy alliances are put into action carrying out long-awaited retribution.

Only … one was not thought of. One was not even considered. How would anyone have guessed that a descendant of a pirate would take up his old family tradition in a mad quest to regain his bitterly lost love? The Marquess of Latham will not abide by this act of violence arranged for his precious love, but will surely save her -- will he not? And will he make her the next pirate bride?

Next? There must be a first to have a 'next'. But there was another ... centuries ago ... that still walks the halls of Stonecrest Castle.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday, June 10th Blog -- The Governess -- Chapter 9:

Excerpt from The Governess:

            The kitchen was abuzz with talk after the scene the servants had secretly witnessed between Lord Huntington and Lady Blakemore.  How could anyone not hear it?  The staff had grown familiar with their master’s anger in these past years of hurt and loneliness, but they had not forgotten the high spirits he had possessed before his ill-fated marriage to Lady Janese Beaumont. 
Selfish and coldhearted, his bride had doomed him to unhappiness almost from the start.  Lady Janese’s wicked, unkind ways had been a surprise to all the household, for she had been quite the cunning debutante to have captured the heart of their cherished master. 
Years of tolerance for her harmful, self-seeking behavior had fostered in her a more determined eagerness to transgress openly, finally giving way to outright mockery of the sacred vows of marriage.  Once Lord Huntington knew of her flagrant infidelity, his heart crushed, he doubted his paternity to his adored children and had almost wholly quit being present in their lives. 
His greatest sin was his absence from their lives. 
Yet the staff at Huntington Manor believed in him.  Their conversation revealed. 
Millesant said, “We know of his good heart.  Never have I doubted that, for he always protects the children and provides for them with unsurpassed care, quite spoiling them at times.”  Many nods around the table agreed with the maid. The staff held out hope that one day their master would find lasting love. 
            “It is not fair that he has had such burdens to carry without the support of a loving wife.  He deserved so much better than Lady Janese.”  Mrs. Thompson had always cared for the Huntington’s in this way. 
            “Of course, of course,” May agreed.  “He should have love to soften his hardened poor heart.  Poor soul.” 
            “Every man needs a good woman at his side,” Mr. Thompson winked at his wife.  She smiled but blushed and turned away in front of the staff. 
            “And what do you think of her great courage?”  Penny, the awestruck scullery maid, expressed her avid admiration for the new governess liberally. 
            “Oh, yes, it cannot be denied!  She is courageous!” exclaimed May.  “I do not think I should be so brave in such a battle.  You would only succeed in bringing me to tears!” 
            Ethel grunted her agreement.  “I would not have allowed any man to handle me so!”  Doris followed in opinion as always.  
            “I only hope she will not leave.  I think she should do us all good if she were only to stay.  Especially the dear children,” Millesant thought aloud.  Agreement was heard around the table, except from the two chamber maids. 
            “I do not think I have seen Lord Huntington quite this angry since arguing with his wife, God rest her soul,” May dabbed at her eyes. 
            “Well, one thing is certain.  Lady Blakemore has impacted our master’s emotions on some level.  To what degree, we shall have to wait till morning to find out.”  Mrs. Thompson quietly thought of the past two years while each servant was silent with their own thoughts.  After the death of the household’s mistress, the remaining staff had done all they could to dispel the rumors that inevitably followed Lady Janese’s untimely demise after a particularly heated argument—something about the artist of her newest portrait now hanging in the old Stone Gallery. 
But, the rumors persisted, most likely due to the servants that had fearfully left the manor house, regardless of the good man that Lord Huntington was and the reputation of fairness he and his father’s before him had built losing ground.  Even the disappearances of young women in the area were hinted that he might have something to do with them. 
One former laundrymaid from the manor had even gone so far as to say that Lord Huntington had seduced her and then vowed to murder her if she said anything.  Her so-called proof was an illegitimate, dark-haired son.  Of course, most did not believe the sullied buxom redhead, but, nevertheless, rumor lived on and, in fact, spread.  Mrs. Thompson shook her head as she thought of the loneliness that had become a living, daily nightmare for the master, due mostly to his own distrust of others.  His wife still tormented him, even now from her grave.  
Things worsened as the last governess left only after three months, simply because of the gossiped rumors and her fear of the master.  This battle had waged on for the last two years, since the death of their mistress.  And now, hoping to find someone who would stay and help the master’s darling children, Lord Huntington’s temper had beaten him, yet again. 
“I think it a shame we might lose this one,” May somberly stated wiping at her eyes with her apron for the thousandth time. 
George, one of the footmen that always seemed to be vying for Lady Blakemore’s attention said, “She certainly has been easier to look upon than all the others.” 
Ethel, sitting next to him, slapped him fiercely on the arm.  “And what am I, to ye?  Personally, I ‘ope she leaves.  We’re better off, I say.” 
Mrs. Thompson said, “Jealousy will get you nowhere, Ethel.  Of that I can assure you.” 
Ethel turned red, but only jutted out her chin defiantly, ignoring the reprimand.  She always seemed to be arguing with someone on the staff which made Mrs. Thompson wonder how long she would tolerate this new servant’s presence.  Ethel’s jealousy over her love interest’s infatuation with the new governess had grown by leaps and bounds over the last two days.  And now, she was influencing Doris into the same hostile attitude. 
Since Lady Blakemore had come, these two had continually complained about their love life being interrupted.  They were unable to concentrate on their work, instead, contriving opportunities to gossip about Lady Blakemore.  Both footmen unconvincingly denied their interest in the governess. 
Mrs. Thompson continued, “You will all mind your tongue and attitude around Lady Blakemore, is that clear?”  Begrudgingly nodding their heads, Ethel and Doris furtively glanced at each other as if to say they would not. 
Penny said, “I agree with you, Mrs. Thompson.  I think Lady Blakemore will be very good for the children and for Huntington Manor.  She is so friendly, and…” 
“‘Oo asked you anyway,” Ethel fumed loudly. 
Mr. Thompson would hear no more.  He uncommonly commanded, “I believe we have all heard enough from you for one night, Ethel.  You may be excused.” 
As Ethel realized her mistake in her emotional outbreak, she quietly, obediently retired from the kitchens.  Doris’s eyes were wide as she contemplated her own precarious position, and tried her best to act friendly.  The positions here at Huntington Manor, were, after all, sought after by many, not only because of the pay, but because of the harmony that generally existed, regardless of the rumors. 
Joe quietly said, “The little governess will stay, mind ye.  Masta’ will see to it, ‘ee will.”  Everyone listened to Joe’s quiet words of wisdom.  Somehow, old Joe always seemed to know things, but this situation tonight seemed hopeless. 
After sipping their tea in silence, slowly, one by one, the servants left the kitchens and retired for the night. 

Hope you enjoyed my gossiping servants.  Of course, we have to have kind ones and naughty ones...Thanks for reading with me today!

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