A Proposal of Marriage
(Brazen Brides, Book 4)
Without looking at him, she spoke. "Will you answer a question,
"Are you considering marriage with me?"
Being coy was as alien to this girl as frugality was to the
regent. He had not admitted to anyone—not even to himself—that he
was considering marriage to Miss Rebecca Peabody.
But she knew. Could she know him better than he knew himself?
"I'm considering it," he said with great honesty. "I must tell
you, though, that a marriage void of sexual intimacy holds no appeal
to me. It's right and good for a man to make love to his wife."
"I know that's true. It's just that I cannot. At least not now."
He drew closer to her. "I would never force myself on a woman."
"Would you consider marrying me if I promised to be open to that
bedchamber business at some time in the future? After a deep bond of
friendship had the opportunity to form between us?"
He felt his chest expanding. Though he'd had no intentions of
begging for her hand tonight, such an idea now held vast appeal. "I
would consider it, but I must first tell you some things that might
change your mind about wishing to marry me."
Her brows lowered. "What things?"
"You know I have six sons?"
She nodded. "What are their ages?"
"They range in age from three to nineteen."
"I assure you I love little boys. In fact, I like them much more
than I like girls."
Would she still feel that way once she became acquainted with his
unruly sons? "My sons are really good lads, but they're always into
mischief. They've run off more governesses than I can count."
"How do they run them off, my lord?"
He frowned. "The last one left after she found worms in her
Miss Peabody giggled. "The woman should have locked her chamber
"My sons should not have gone into her room," he said in a stern
"Were I their mother, I would have to be a firm disciplinarian."
"Exactly what they need."
"And I adore worms."
He burst out laughing. At that very instant he wished to ask her
to marry him. Because of the worms.
But he couldn't offer for her until she knew the obstacles that
would face her should she become his wife.
"In addition to my seven children, I'm also responsible for two
other people: I'm guardian to my sister's son, a wastrel named Peter
Wallace who is one and twenty, and I'm responsible for my uncle, an
extremely eccentric man who's been banished to the dowager's house."
Her brows lowered. "Pray, my lord, why did you banish your
Aynsley really did not want to tell her. "He has a
peculiar habit that is most offensive to females."
"What habit is that, my lord?"
He swallowed. "He's a naturalist."
"But I adore paintings of nature!"
"He's not that kind of naturalist."
"Then he's a scientist?" she asked, her brows raised.
He shook his head. "Not that either."
He cleared his throat. "He takes air walks."
"Enlighten me, please, as to what precisely are air walks."
"My uncle . . . parades about in the nude. In public."
She did not say anything for a moment. Then she said, "I
sincerely hope his peculiar propensity does not run in your family,
He laughed. "I assure you, Miss Peabody, I am not a nudist."
previous version of this book, written expressly for the
Christian market, was published nine years ago. This is a
sexier retelling of Rebecca and Lord Aynsley’s love story.