Benjamin Wetherby, Earl of Glastonbury and heir to the Marquessate of Eastleigh, has just received an urgent letter from home. His father is dying and he must return to England at once. Benjamin is a man bound by honor and duty, to both his country and his family. So, despite his reservations, he leaves his life in New York City behind so he may find a wife and assume his role as the Marquess of Eastleigh.
Miss Phoebe Blake is finally out of mourning for her father, and just in time. She and her mother could be days away from being carted off to debtors’ prison, so Phoebe returns to society with the intent and determination to secure a rich husband.
Sparks fly when Benjamin and Phoebe meet, and it appears they have both found just what they are looking for. But will a dark secret keep them from finding their happily ever after?
A Gentleman Never Tells is available from: Second Wind Publishing, LLC
Excerpt from A Gentleman Never Tells:
“Would you like to hold one?”
“Hold one?” Phoebe choked out. “What if it pecks at me?”
Benjamin laughed and waved her over. “They’re tame, Phoebe. Come.”
She did as she was bid with a hint of reluctance. She wasn’t known for her adeptness with animals, but she supposed if Benjamin were there to assist, she might be all right.
As she approached, Benjamin reached a gentle hand into the cage and closed it around one of the bright yellow birds. It struggled for only a moment before it realized it was in good hands. Then he unclenched his fist, leaving it cupped slightly, cradling the small bird.
“Why does he not fly away?” Phoebe wondered, reaching a tentative finger out to pet him.
“She,” Benjamin corrected, “has had her wings clipped, for her own safety, of course.”
“Ah . . . like the ravens at the Tower. Is it painful for them?”
“Far less painful than getting loose and flying head-first into those windows. Besides, it’s only temporary. When she molts, they’ll have to clip them all over again.”
“May I hold her?”
Phoebe met Benjamin’s soft gaze and felt the color rise to her cheeks. The looks he gave her were so intimate they tended to reduce her insides to mush. She hated to get her hopes up for fear she might be let down, but her instincts told her a proposal might not be too far in the offing.
Benjamin carefully transferred the bird to her cupped hands, taking care to brush lightly against the exposed skin of her wrist before he pulled back.
“If you don’t stop that,” she whispered, “I’ll never be able to look your sister in the eye.”
“Stop what?” Benjamin asked, a playful smile lighting his dark eyes.
“Being so . . . familiar with me.”
“Why? Don’t you like it?” His voice lowered to a gravelly whisper and he leaned in closer, close enough that she could smell the distinct scent of his cologne. It was sharp and manly, and it made her feel . . . tingly inside.
“I like it very much,” she replied, matching his whisper. “That is the problem.” Desperate to change the subject before the duchess came upon them, she asked, her voice noticeably shaky, “Why does this one not sing?”
“Because she is a female. Typically, only the males sing.”
“Yes.” He paused and captured her chin gently in his hand. “There are exceptions, though. Many of the females can sing . . . with the right coercion, of course.”
Phoebe wasn’t exactly sure what Benjamin was talking about, but she had a sinking feeling they were no longer on the subject of birds. Instinct very clearly told her that much. And his lips confirmed it as he swept low, like a bird of prey, and captured her lips.
After obtaining a degree in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, and years of pursuing a career on the stage, Jerrica left the “glamorous” life of an actress in favor of writing romance. She continues to reside in the New York City area with her husband, cat and ever-expanding belly, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the newest addition to their family. In the meantime, she continues to work on the fourth installment of the Wetherby Brothers’ Novels.