Shining Knight – Elizabeth Johns

ONCE UPON A time, there was a girl. Not only was she the youngest of five, she was the only girl at that. Eugenia Knight was already different from most ladies of her station. However, being raised by four brothers, without a mother, put her into an entirely different realm. If you counted their neighbor, Graham Tinsley, then she had five brothers. She lovingly referred to them as the herd. Having nothing better to do with her, they allowed her to tag along on their adventures, and frankly, treated her like one of the boys. Eugenia was a hoyden, a minx. But the thing was, she did not have a malicious bone in her body. She was a devilish good sport. She had been a part of Graham’s life since…forever. She had always been there when he played with the other Knight siblings, and even though she was by far the smallest, she always kept up. When Graham had left for the diplomatic service, after Oxford, Eugenia had still been a skinny stick with unkempt hair and always a smudge of dirt somewhere. Graham had been gone for six years. Seeing her now across the ballroom, after returning from Vienna, he had to look twice.

Gone was the skinny child, all arms and legs. Now she was beautiful, and the thought made him feel dirty, as if it was incestuous. Eugenia Knight was more like a sister to him than his own, who spent most of her time in Marseille with their mother. What was she now, sixteen? Seventeen? He could not remember. Had she changed so much? Or was the hoyden still wrapped up in this pretty picture? “You remember Mr. Tinsley, Eugenia?” the Duke of Knighton asked. “Of course I do, silly,” she replied. The hoyden was definitely still there, Graham thought, trying to repress his laughter. But then she looked up at him and smiled and a warm, uncomfortable tingling rushed through his body—one he instantly recognized as attraction. He was going to hell.

“Would you care to dance, pet?” She smiled up at him again with those big, blue eyes that she had finally grown into as she leaned forward and whispered, “I hope you’ve got steel in the toes of your boots.” “Still ungraceful, Genie?” She jabbed him with her elbow. “Only on the dance floor. Have you ever tried to dance in skirts? Yards and yards and layers and layers of fabric swirling in and out of your legs and under your slippers while you try to remember all the steps and keep rhythm?” She snorted. “If I remain upright, I feel I have succeeded.” Graham could not help but be enchanted. Truly, after years away charming kings and queens, princes and every beauty on the continent, he felt jaded by the callousness of it all. Eugenia was a breath of fresh air. How refreshing it was to be with one so innocent who spoke her mind without artifice. “Are you returned for good?” Eugenia was asking him.

He turned his attention back to her face which was also not quite as it ought to be for a Society miss. It was sun bronzed, with a dusting of Not only was she the youngest of five, she was the only girl at that. Eugenia Knight was already different from most ladies of her station. However, being raised by four brothers, without a mother, put her into an entirely different realm. If you counted their neighbor, Graham Tinsley, then she had . Having nothing better to do with her, they Eugenia was a hoyden, a minx. But the thing was, she did not have a malicious bone in her body. She was a devilish good sport. She had been a part of Graham’s life since…forever. She had always been there when he played with the other Knight siblings, and even though she was by far the smallest, she always kept up.

When Graham had left for the diplomatic service, after Oxford, Eugenia Graham had been gone for six years. Seeing her now across the ballroom, after returning from Vienna, he had to look twice. Gone was the skinny child, all arms and legs. Now she was beautiful, and the thought made him feel dirty, as if it was incestuous. Eugenia Knight was more like a sister to him than his own, who spent most of her time in Marseille with their mother. What was she now, sixteen? Seventeen? He could not remember. Had she changed so much? Or was the hoyden still The hoyden was definitely still there, Graham thought, trying to repress his laughter. But then she looked up at him and smiled and a warm, uncomfortable tingling rushed through his body—one he She smiled up at him again with those big, blue eyes that she had finally grown into as she leaned She jabbed him with her elbow. “Only on the dance floor. Have you ever tried to dance in skirts? Yards and yards and layers and layers of fabric swirling in and out of your legs and under your slippers while you try to remember all the steps and keep rhythm?” She snorted.

“If I remain upright, I Graham could not help but be enchanted. Truly, after years away charming kings and queens, princes and every beauty on the continent, he felt jaded by the callousness of it all. Eugenia was a breath of fresh air. How refreshing it was to be with one so innocent who spoke her mind without “Are you returned for good?” Eugenia was asking him. He turned his attention back to her face which was also not quite as it ought to be for a Society miss. It was sun bronzed, with a dusting of freckles beneath her eyes and across her nose. “I am. Father’s health is failing and he asked me to return to help manage the estate.” “Thank goodness,” she said in all seriousness, then realized how it must have sounded. The emotions flitted across her face like an open book.

“I mean not good that your father’s health is failing, but if you are here, then it means I always have someone to dance with!” He could feel the side of his mouth rise in a smile. “I will always save a dance for you, pet.” She nodded as though there was never any doubt. They were separated by the movements of the dance, and he noticed that a couple of young lieutenants were eyeing her hungrily. When they rejoined, she was smiling wistfully. Oh, dear. He would have to warn Rowley. For all of the duke’s managing ways, he tended not to pay enough attention to Eugenia as a female. He had engaged a governess for her, but Graham feared Eugenia was so comfortable with men that she would not see the sharks in the water. “I cannot wait to go to London!” Her voice was filled with dreaminess.

“Knighton is taking you for the Season?” Everyone knew Rowley hated London. “Emma is trying to convince him. He does not believe I will behave myself,” she added ruefully. Graham did his best to keep his face straight, but he must not have succeeded. “You don’t believe it either!” She looked crestfallen. “I think you can do anything you put your mind to, Genie.” “Thank you. I do not mean to misbehave, truly. It is just that there are so many rules for girls. It is quite unfair!” Allowing her to run wild in Devonshire was going to haunt Rowley, Graham thought sympathetically.

Yet the child was a force of nature and she might have been just as unbroken had her mother lived. A part of Graham hated to see her go to London, where the gardens were perfectly manicured and anything that grew beyond its boundary was immediately plucked. Eugenia was never going to be able to be herself and thrive under those strictures. She needed to be wild and free, growing with nature. “I agree with you. There are certainly many restrictions on females and particularly for young, unmarried ones.” “Well, I am very glad you are home.” Graham was a bit afraid of what she meant by that, but he was very glad he was not Eugenia’s brother in truth. He suspected she would have an overabundance of suitors, if the gleam in those soldiers’ eyes was anything to go by. “Just be careful, minx.

I should not wish anything to happen to you,” he warned as the dance drew to a close. “Why, Graham, I think that is the nicest thing you have ever said to me!” She laughed musically, but as always, just a little too loudly. Her smiling candor was like a bright light amongst the cynicism of Society, and he hoped no one would ever snuff it out. As their dance finished and he began the next with Lady Sybil, he watched one of the young lieutenants lead Eugenia from the ballroom. If the governess, and then Rowley, had not gone after her, Graham would have done. Responsibility for Lady Eugenia Knight was not something that could be achieved alone. He was a part of her herd, and he had a feeling it would take every one of them to save her from herself. freckles beneath her eyes and across her nose. “I am. Father’s health is failing and he asked me to return to help manage the estate.

” “Thank goodness,” she said in all seriousness, then realized how it must have sounded. The emotions flitted across her face like an open book. “I mean not good that your father’s health is failing, but if you are here, then it means I always have someone to dance with!” He could feel the side of his mouth rise in a smile. “I will always save a dance for you, pet.” She nodded as though there was never any doubt. They were separated by the movements of the dance, and he noticed that a couple of young lieutenants were eyeing her hungrily. When they rejoined, she was smiling wistfully. Oh, dear. He would have to warn Rowley. For all of the duke’s managing ways, he tended not to pay enough attention to Eugenia as a female.

He had engaged a governess for her, but Graham feared Eugenia was so comfortable with men that she would not see the sharks in the water. “I cannot wait to go to London!” Her voice was filled with dreaminess. “Knighton is taking you for the Season?” Everyone knew Rowley hated London. “Emma is trying to convince him. He does not believe I will behave myself,” she added ruefully. Graham did his best to keep his face straight, but he must not have succeeded. “You don’t believe it either!” She looked crestfallen. “I think you can do anything you put your mind to, Genie.” “Thank you. I do not mean to misbehave, truly.

It is just that there are so many rules for girls. It is quite unfair!” Allowing her to run wild in Devonshire was going to haunt Rowley, Graham thought sympathetically. Yet the child was a force of nature and she might have been just as unbroken had her mother lived. A part of Graham hated to see her go to London, where the gardens were perfectly manicured and anything that grew beyond its boundary was immediately plucked. Eugenia was never going to be able to be herself and thrive under those strictures. She needed to be wild and free, growing with nature. “I agree with you. There are certainly many restrictions on females and particularly for young, unmarried ones.” “Well, I am very glad you are home.” Graham was a bit afraid of what she meant by that, but he was very glad he was not Eugenia’s brother in truth.

He suspected she would have an overabundance of suitors, if the gleam in those soldiers’ eyes was anything to go by. “Just be careful, minx. I should not wish anything to happen to you,” he warned as the dance drew to a close. “Why, Graham, I think that is the nicest thing you have ever said to me!” She laughed musically, but as always, just a little too loudly. Her smiling candor was like a bright light amongst the cynicism of Society, and he hoped no one would ever snuff it out. As their dance finished and he began the next with Lady Sybil, he watched one of the young lieutenants lead Eugenia from the ballroom. If the governess, and then Rowley, had not gone after her, Graham would have done. Responsibility for Lady Eugenia Knight was not something that could be achieved alone. He was a part of her herd, and he had a feeling it would take every one of them to save her from herself. Chapter One Autumn 1813 EUGENİA GROANED AS she tried to keep her attention on the news-sheet in front of her.

She was not feeling quite the thing after consuming a wee bit too much champagne—and perhaps other unknown beverages—at her best friend’s wedding breakfast. To be precise, her only friend. “That is a horrid likeness,” Eugenia muttered to herself in the dining room which was quiet and empty now that Sybil had married. Aunt Hambridge always took a tray in her room. Eugenia forced down a bite of toast to quell her stomach; it threatened to erupt at any moment as the drawing of herself tripping over Sybil’s veil mocked her. Sybil had not been looking at her in horror, nor had Lord Darling stared at her thus disdainfully. They had been all solicitousness for her safety. Really, she was only clumsy when she danced…or drank champagne, apparently. Indeed, the entire day had been most provoking. Eugenia did not know what she was going to do.

The only reason she had survived the ton thus far without catastrophe was because of Lady Sybil being by her side. Well, and perhaps the small matters of her name and fortune. Three of her brothers had married and now lived on opposite sides of England, while Felix was soldiering in Spain. Aunt Hambridge was no chaperone at all and Eugenia knew she would be bored out of her mind without Sybil to bear her company. To be sure, Graham would take her riding and driving on occasion, but what was she to do in between? She supposed she would have to grow accustomed to making calls with all of the dowagers and attending boring card parties. Why could she not make lady friends more easily? Now she had no one. Everything was changing. Her world was collapsing beneath her feet. She snorted as she eyed her ungraceful caricature. Literally, it seemed.

She loved the adventures to be had in London, especially after all those years alone in Devonshire. If only London loved her more. At first, she had relished the excitement—dancing every night, new gowns, attention from gentlemen and ladies alike. Yet, frequently, she was the source of ridicule in the news-sheets. She could not understand why. She was not dashing or glamorous like her brothers or sisters-in-law. She had attracted loads of attention and hordes of suitors, yes, but not the kind that came up to scratch. She put her head down on her arms on the table, in hope that the room would stop spinning. “Not feeling too well, this morning, pet?” Eugenia groaned again. “I did not hear you come in, Graham.

” “Of course not. You were too busy wallowing in self-pity and nursing your sore head,” he said cheerfully. “Why are you here?” she snapped, her head still down on the table. “I thought you might need some company after yesterday.” There was one thing she and Graham had in common and that was the news-sheets’ seeming fascination with them. On the one hand, they lived for her mistakes and never missed one, while on the other, he was their darling. Perhaps racing her brother’s curricle had not been the wisest choice, she tried to keep her attention on the news-sheet in front of her. She was not feeling quite the thing after consuming a wee bit too much champagne—and perhaps other unknown “That is a horrid likeness,” Eugenia muttered to herself in the dining room which was quiet and Eugenia forced down a bite of toast to quell her stomach; it threatened to erupt at any moment as the drawing of herself tripping over Sybil’s veil mocked her. Sybil had not been looking at her in horror, nor had Lord Darling stared at her thus disdainfully. They had been all solicitousness for her Indeed, the entire day had been most provoking.

Eugenia did not know what she was going to do. thus far without catastrophe was because of Lady Sybil Three of her brothers had married and now lived on opposite sides of England, while Felix was soldiering in Spain. Aunt Hambridge was no chaperone at all and Eugenia knew she would be bored out of her mind without Sybil to bear her company. To be sure, Graham would take her riding and driving on occasion, but what was she to do in between? She supposed she would have to grow accustomed to making calls with all of the dowagers and attending boring card parties. Why could she Everything was changing. Her world was collapsing beneath her feet. She snorted as she eyed her She loved the adventures to be had in London, especially after all those years alone in Devonshire. If only London loved her more. At first, she had relished the excitement—dancing every night, new gowns, attention from gentlemen and ladies alike. Yet, frequently, she was the source of ridicule in the news-sheets.

She could not understand why. She was not dashing or glamorous like her She had attracted loads of attention and hordes of suitors, yes, but not the kind that came up to “Of course not. You were too busy wallowing in self-pity and nursing your sore head,” he said There was one thing she and Graham had in common and that was the news-sheets’ seeming fascination with them. On the one hand, they lived for her mistakes and never missed one, while on the other, he was their darling. Perhaps racing her brother’s curricle had not been the wisest choice, but climbing the tree to save a kitten had been necessary. Graham was always portrayed in a good light. She would wager half her dowry that the person drawing the caricatures was a female. There she went again, she reflected, being unladylike and gambling even in her thoughts. “Why the sour face, Genie?” She lifted a one-eyed gaze enough to scowl at him. Winfred, the old butler, entered the room and handed a glass to Graham, which he then proceeded to shove under her nose.

“Drink this. Trust me, it will help.” “What is it?” she asked as she eyed it distastefully. “Do not ask, just drink it. It will help your impaired head.” “Ladies do not get foxed,” she muttered, as yet another thing to add to her list of unladylike sins. “Pinch your nose and down it,” he advised. She did as he said, then gasped at the horror of the taste and burn as the potion went down her throat. “Now, eat some eggs and bacon and you will be as right as rain in no time,” he said as he placed a plate in front of her. Of one thing she was fairly certain, and that was that what she just drunk was likely to reappear at any moment.

“Eat up, we must not keep the horses waiting,” he urged. “You expect me to ride this morning?”

.

PDF | Download

Thank you!

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Chapter1.us © 2018 | Descargar Libros Gratis | Kitap İndir |
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x