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A Second Chance For Christmas

A Second Chance For Christmas

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A Second Chance For Christmas

3/5 (4 Bewertungen)
56 Seiten
43 Minuten
Aug 1, 2016


A summons from Philip's "dying" grandfather, the Duke of Danby, is the only thing that can bring him back to England after being jilted by Emily Barlow. It means giving up his life of debauchery for a few weeks, but he has to stomach it for the sake of the family. After the holidays, he can return to his drinking and his women in Italy, pretending to be someone he's not so that he can hide his wounded heart.

Emily Barlow abruptly finds herself a penniless widow, with no way to care for herself or her young child. The only thing she can do is appeal to the grandfather of her childhood friend, Philip, to see if he can offer her a position in his household. After all, he is the Duke of Danby--perhaps he can provide her with the employment she needs to secure her daughter's future.

Danby himself has decided it's long past time for his family to settle their affairs and settle down in wedlock. Will he have to step in and make things right between Emily and Philip? Or will they both earn a second chance at Christmas?

Aug 1, 2016

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A Second Chance For Christmas - Lily George


Chapter 1

December, 1812

Norwich, England

I don't understand. Emily Barlow leaned forwards in her chair, eyeing her solicitor with growing unease. My husband was a wealthy man. He assured me that his business affairs were in order. Why do you make it sound as though everything is on the verge of collapse?

Mrs. Barlow, let me assure you that everything has failed. You have long gone past the precipice. The solicitor pronounced the words with a flourish and removed his spectacles. Holding them up to the ceiling, he squinted and then rubbed them with his handkerchief.

Emily watched this performance in frozen horror, her breath coming faster. Surely the man was joking. Charles had given every indication that they had plenty of money to live on forever. What happened? she managed to gasp, clasping her hands together to still their shaking.

Mr. Barlow invested in a mine—a chancy practice, you know. This was a mine in the West Indies, supposedly filled with diamonds. Needless to say, the mine came up empty. Not a stone in it worth a penny. Yet your husband sank everything he had in it. He mortgaged your home and everything he owned. I'm very sorry to say it, Mrs. Barlow, but you are close to being a pauper.

Surely there is something left, Mr. Brown.

Nothing except the clothes you may own, your daughter’s personal items, and any jewels you managed to hide away.

Jewels? She hardly had any precious stones at all. Only the brooch her former beau, Lord Philip Whitton, had given her, the one she had hidden from Charles to keep from provoking any jealousy. She shook her head, keeping her eyes downcast. Oh, the shame of it all. She burned from within.

Well, then. You will need to move back in with your family, Mrs. Barlow. Or find some means of occupation. He settled his spectacles back on the bridge of his nose. Have you any learning? Perhaps you could hire yourself out as a governess.

Learning? She could read and write, of course, but she had attained none of the polish that a governess must possess to be employable. She couldn’t draw, and though Lord Philip had tried to teach her to play the pianoforte, she was a sad pupil indeed.

So that was that. One day, she had thought herself a widowed woman, but one of means.

Now, she was completely destitute.

The security she had fought so hard to win; indeed, that she had built her life around attaining, had vanished.

Emily stood up abruptly, sending her chair scraping back across the wooden floor. I shall go home to my uncle this week. How much longer do we have the use of the house? After all, it may take some time to gather our things.

You and your daughter may stay there one last week, Mrs. Barlow. That should give you time to go home and gather what is left to you. After that, I shall put everything up for sale to cover your husband's debts. He gave her an icy smile and shuffled the sheets of foolscap littering his desk into an untidy pile.

Thank you, she snapped, turning on her heel. Outside his office, she leaned against the wall, panting and fanning herself.

Mrs. Barlow? Her maid, Molly, scurried down the hallway, where she had been waiting by the front door. Are you unwell?

Oh, Molly. She gazed at the older woman and swallowed. I am no better than a pauper—no better than I had been when I went to live with Uncle Lawrence and Aunt Millie as a young girl. She was the only child of penniless parents, taken in as a charity case, a fact her relatives reminded her of on a daily basis.

Molly gasped, her gray eyes widening, and patted her shoulder. Are you certain? What did he say?

The money’s gone. It was all she could choke out, for the moment. She rested her head against Molly’s comforting shoulder, in the same way she had wept with her maid when Charles died. Together, they had cried when her husband died, for while Emily didn't love

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