Description : A Good Debutante's Guide to Ruin
Rain hung thick in the air, the threat of which turned the early evening gray and mist-shrouded. Mrs. Heathstone knocked smartly on the immense double doors of the Duke of Banbury’s Mayfair residence.
Rosalie slid an anxious glance down her body and winced, smoothing a hand over the well-worn wool of her cloak. Serviceable. That’s the word that came to mind. Shabby. That was another word.
It wasn’t how Rosalie envisioned her return to London. She dreamt of bright skies and heralding trumpets. Ridiculous, but what fantasy didn’t possess a touch of the absurd? At least for her. She was an expert at dreaming up the absurd. She had imagined returning a debutante of the first order, outfitted in a wardrobe that royalty would envy. With swains lining up to pay court on her. With parties and galas that kept her out all hours. An invitation to court from the queen herself. She had imagined all this and more.
She had imagined him.
The words whispered through her mind and made her wince. Perhaps not precisely him. Only someone as handsome as her stepbrother. Whenever she imagined a suitor for herself, he always bore a striking resemblance to Declan. She supposed it was a testament to her lack of exposure to suitable gentlemen during her time at the Harwich School for Young Ladies. Certainly some time about Town would dash such daydreams.
She sighed. Daydreams had long kept herpany as she rusticated in Yorkshire, waiting...