View Full-Size Image
A Short Story by: Patricia Harrington
Genre: Gothic Mystery
Release: January 1, 2011
Editor: Annie Deguid
Line Editor: Penny Ehrenkranz
Cover Artist: Delilah K. Stephans
Word count: 7,503
All of her life, Elizabeth Sidham, 20, has dreamed of one day marrying into one of Britain’s elite families. It had been Elizabeth’s mother’s wish, too, even to her dying day.
When George Arbuthnot invites Elizabeth to a dinner dance at his family’s manor house, she believes that finally, her dream might come true—for he “belongs.” He is “one of them”, a member of the British Peerage.
George courts Elizabeth, encouraged and guided by his domineering mother, Catherine Arbuthnot. She is determined that he produce an heir—albeit that he has a predilection, one such that he might never marry. But that is a subject, neither mother nor her only son talk about. At his Mother’s coaching and insistence, George woos Elizabeth and the two are married.
After their honeymoon, the couple move into Heathwood Manor, the ancestral home. George’s best friend, William, who is always in the background and often present, promises to “always be a support.” And he is, to both George and Elizabeth.
But so, too, is Catherine, who still controls George’s life. She is eager for him and his new bride, to produce an heir. And dutifully, within the year, the couple have a baby, Young Will.
The birth is difficult, and Catherine, soon takes control, insisting her young, daughter-in-law keep to her bed. Catherine busily begins making plans for her grandson, the schools he will attend, the life he must live. It matters not what the couple want. Catherine knows best.
George and Elizabeth feel helpless at the domineering mother and mother-in-law’s plans. But George’s friend and secret lover, William, knows he can’t stand by and let his surrogate family suffer. He has promised himself he will be there for them . . . always. And he makes plans to fulfil this promise.
I’m drawn to the graceful black swirls on the envelope, all tall loops and curves and dashing punctuation. They deserve tracing, but my fingers tremble. Lightly, I touch my name, Elizabeth Sidham. Breeding flows in every line. Mother would have so admired it. With the reverence reserved for a holy day, I touch the embossed seal on the flap. The ochre, gold and purple colours are hues of light caught on the armour of knights from ages past. I tenderly carry the stiff vellum invitation into the kitchen to find the brown-handled paring knife, not the serrated one. I must leave the seal intact to show Melissa at work.
My Dear Elizabeth,
I am having a weekend gathering, the twelfth of this month, and would be so pleased if you could come. Dress is casual, although we shall have a small, formal dinner dance on Saturday night. Details and arrival times by train are included. Please let me know by return letter if you will need transport from the station.
With very best regards,
George ArbuthnotI hold the invitation against my breast. “I’m going to a mansion in the country.” After all, the Arbuthnot family is in Burke’s Peerage.
Ms. Harrington has an exquisite gift of imagery. The delicate descriptions painted a picture that I not only was entertained by but reacted to. I would have to say that the descriptions of the mother had me loathing her character. When an author can do that in just a few short pages, I consider that a success. READ THE FULL REVIEW...YOU GOTTA READ REVIEWS
In Stock: 1
Usually ships in:
Customer Reviews:rodow62 (Saturday, 26 February 2011)
Judy (Thursday, 17 February 2011)
List All Products
Adobe Acrobat Reader for PDF
Adobe Digital Editions for Epub
Mobipocket Ebook Reader for Prc
New Muse e-books released on the first of each month!
What is an e-book?
It’s an electronic file that can be read on your computer or a handheld e-reader.
Why purchase an e-book?
You get immediate download satisfaction at affordable prices. With an e-reader you can carry hundreds of books with you instead of lugging only a few print books.
The Association of English-language Publishers of Quebec
All materials on this site © 2010-2012 MuseItUp Publishing and its imprints.
MUSEITUP E-BOOK CLUB
MuseItUp authors span worldwide and are eagerly waiting to meet you in our readers groups. Be the first to get a glimpse of their upcoming books, excerpts, author interviews, advance notice of any upcoming contests, time sensitive discount coupons…and have an all-around fun time!
Why not join one of our two groups today!
Facebook (Interaction and discussions)
Facebook (Discover our authors and books)
Elixir is fantasy at its best. Katie Caroll draws us into her world with ease, her well-polished writing style and flow holding us captive until the end. I especially liked the relationship between Katora and her sister Kylene, obviously drawn from real life. I can't wait to read the sequel.
I was pleasantly surprised when I opened this very charming and witty book to read on the skytrain. But I have to say it was kind of embarrassing. I couldn't stop giggling out loud at Maggie Lyon's humour. People kept looking at me, and I tried my hardest to hold in the laughter, but it was impossible. What a delightful story! What child wouldn't love this. It's a story for 6-10 year olds. It's a great book to read to your children when they're young or by themselves when they're older. If your child likes Geronimo Stilton, they'll fall in love with Dewie the little dragon and his friend Jones the toad. I hope Maggie Lyons will turn this into a series.
Joy Smith pulled me into the story on the very first pages. Fast moving, first I hated Victor, than I love him, than I hated until I loved him. And Marisol with her guarded heart had me hoping throughout that she'd open it again to love.
I loved her descriptions. They created such visuals, I felt I was traveling and discovering Colombia with Victor.
Ms. Smith writes believable, flawed characters that I wound up cheering and caring for on each page. I can't wait to read her next book. Goodreads Reader Review - Five Stars
"...murder, mystery and intrigue..plus did I mention our hero is a witch? Tex and his best friend Olivia are brilliant characters, really well written and I love tex's dad. Can't wait to read more about tex in the future! -Amazon Reader Review
I really enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot of this novel. From Annabelle putting her life in danger when running away from Boarding School where she has lived since the age of five to her tenacious pursuit in finding clues as to her origins.
She is rescued by Roland, who is too much of a gentleman not to help the intriguing young lady. I relished the suspense of the reciprocal desire between Roland and Belle which is thwarted by misunderstanding after misunderstanding and prevents them achieving mutual fulfilment. The reader yearns for the truth to replace the false pretences and for Roland and Belle to overcome each other's prejudices.
Rosemary Morris' major and minor characters spring to life. I sympathised with Annabelle and found Roland charming. Apart from this, Rosemary's great attention to every aspect of the Regency era is impressive.
False Pretences is a ripping read and I look forward to reading this author's next novel. - F.Way- Amazon Review