Snowbound romance – or a marriage trap?
Winner of The Cataromance Reviewer’s Choice Award 2006
What do you do when Polite Society considers you unmarriageable, yet your relatives insist on matchmaking? Escaping, Decima Ross ends up stranded in a blizzard. To be rescued by Adam, Viscount Weston, is both an embarrassment and a delight – especially when he proves to find neither her height nor her freckles a barrier to passion. But Adam has compromised her and Decima is not prepared to find herself married off for the sake of propriety. By the time Adam has found his elusive love again they are enmeshed in a tangle of mismatched lovers and matchmaking mamas which takes all his considerable ingenuity to unravel.
The wide grey eyes stared at him, then, disconcertingly, she coloured deeply. Now that had he said? Surely a lady willing to go with a stranger on trust was not going to baulk at being carried through a snowdrift?
The previously assured figure before him seemed to shrink back into herself. ‘My lord, I should tell you…I am five foot ten and one quarter inches tall.’
It might, after all, be better to spend days shut up in the Cock rather than face the shame of being lugged through the snow like a sack of coals. It would probably take both men to achieve it. No previous humiliation lived up to the prospect of this. Obviously the viscount had no idea when he suggested the scheme that he was dealing with a lady who was freakishly tall.
Adam Grantham was looking serious, although it was difficult to read his expression through the swirling snow. ‘Indeed, ma’am? I am six foot three. And one-half,’ he added after a moment’s thought. ‘I would be charmed to stand here all day exchanging shoe, glove and hat sizes, but I really feel we should be making a start.’
‘But you misunderstand me, my lord…’
His expression changed to one of chagrin. ‘You mean you think me incapable of carrying you, Miss Ross? I have to say I resent that slur upon my manhood.’
Completely thrown into disarray, Decima hastened to reassure him. ‘Lord Weston, I did not for a moment mean to imply any lack of strength on your part – ’ There was a muffled choke of laughter from Pru behind her and Decima realised she was being teased. Teased about her height! Why, no one did that, no one considered it grounds for anything but the deepest shame and gloom.