Saturday, May 24, 2014
Yours Until Dawn by Teresa Medeiros
I liked this story. Samantha is a spunky character and does not let herself get down!
From the author:
Gabriel Fairchild's valor during the Battle of Trafalgar earns him the title of hero, but costs him both his sight and his hope for the future. Abandoned by the fiancee he adored, the man who once walked like a prince among London's elite secludes himself in his family's mansion, cursing his way through dark days and darker nights.
Prim nurse Samantha Wickersham arrives at Fairchild Park to find her new charge behaving more like a beast than a man. After their first fiery confrontation, she engages the arrogant earl in a hilarious battle of both wit and wills. Although he pronounces her a "tart, vinegary creature without an ounce of womanly softness about her", he is secretly intrigued by her dry sense of humor, her lack of pity, and the bold way she brooks no nonsense from him. Whenever she is near, he feels the stirrings of a desire he never thought he would feel again.
As Samantha begins to let the light back into Gabriel's life and his heart, they both discover that some pleasures are best explored in the dark.
"As you can see, I served two years as governess for Lord and Lady Carstairs," Samantha informed Mr. Beckwith as he gave the papers a cursory thumbing-through. "Once the war resumed, I joined several other governesses in volunteering to treat sailors and soldiers who returned from sea or the front with debilitating wounds."
The housekeeper could not quite hide the faint tightening of her lips. Samantha knew there were still those in society who believed women who nursed soldiers to be little more than glorified camp followers. Immodest creatures who wouldn't even blush to look upon a strange man's nakedness. Feeling heat rise to her own cheeks, Samantha lifted her chin another notch.
Mr. Beckwith examined her over the top of his wire-rimmed spectacles. "I must confess, Miss Wickersham, that you're a trifle bit...younger than what we had in mind. Such strenuous duty might require a woman of more... maturity. Perhaps one of the other applicants..." At Samantha's arch look, he trailed off.
"I don't see any other applicants, Mr. Beckwith," she pointed out, sliding her own ill-fitting spectacles up her nose with one finger. "Given the generous, even extravagant, wages you offered in your advertisement, I fully expected to find them lined up outside your gates."
Another crash came, this one even closer than the last. It sounded as if some sort of massive beast was lumbering toward its den.
Mrs. Philpot hastened around the chair, her starched petticoats rustling. "Would you care for some more tea, my dear?" As she poured from the porcelain pot, her hand trembled so violently that tea splashed over the rim of Samantha's saucer and into her lap.
"Thank you," Samantha murmured, surreptitiously dabbing at the spreading stain with her glove.
The floor beneath their feet visibly shuddered, as did Mrs. Philpot. The muffled roar that followed was peppered by a string of mercifully unintelligible oaths. There could no longer be any denying it. Someone—or something—was approaching.
Casting a panicked look at the gilded double door that led to the next chamber, Mr. Beckwith lurched to his feet, his prominent brow glistening with sweat. "Perhaps this isn't the most opportune time..."
As he shoved the letters of reference back at Samantha, Mrs. Philpot whisked the cup and saucer out of her other hand and deposited them back on the tea cart with a noisy rattle. "Beckwith is right, my dear. You'll have to forgive us. We may have been entirely too hasty..." The woman pulled Samantha to her feet and began to tug her away from the door and toward the heavily curtained French windows that led to the terrace.
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