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Excerpt from
Vindicated by a Viscount
The Beresford Adventures
Book 5)

Georgiana rushed to the coach as it pulled away. Her shoe slipped on the wet pavement, and she went flying onto the puddled street, landing like a squished bird splayed on a window.

Pain seared from ankle to hip, and her gloved hands, now muddy, stung. She was quite sure something dreadful had happened to her right thigh. Or hip. She couldn’t tell because the radiating pain was so intense.

Before she could attempt to put weight on her leg, someone was lifting her. She found herself enclosed in a pair of strong arms. Her gaze climbed to see who was attached to those arms. She was mortified to discover she’d been assisted by an exceedingly handsome young man.

She could not have looked worse. Not only were her previously white gloves now soaked brown, but a mixture of tea-colored water and mud stained her pink dress and saturated her hair.

“That was a beastly fall,” he said in a cultured voice. Everything about his perfect face conveyed earnestness as he looked down at her with honeyed brown eyes the same color as his stylishly cut hair.

She was aware that she probably was not able to walk. “Indeed.”

“You must be in great pain.”

She hated to admit the extent of her pain. It was bad enough that her unladylike mishap had been observed. She responded with a half-hearted shrug.

“Where can I take you?”

Her sister’s home, where she’d been staying, was still closer than her cousin’s house on Half Moon Street. “Just a few houses back. At Montague House.”

His face went even more somber. “Are you the new Lady Montague?”

“No. That’s my sister. I’m staying with her.”

As they strode along the pavement, onlookers gawked. She wished she could sink her face into his chest. What a sight she must be! Even if she hadn’t looked so bedraggled, being carried along a London Street by such a well-dressed gentleman could never have gone unnoticed. She couldn’t meet the eyes of those who pointed at her. Or those who snickered. Most of all, she was embarrassed by the laughter that met them at each step. Thank the sweet heavens she wasn’t far from Lucy’s house!

In less than a minute, he was presenting them at the shiny black door of Montague House. The footman’s eyes widened when he swung open the door. “Miss Beresford! Are you all right?”

The handsome man answered. “We don’t know yet. Where can I take her?”

She answered in a commanding voice. “The drawing room, please.”

The footman led the way as her rescuer mounted the staircase and brought her to the drawing room.

“Pray, Thompson, could you fetch something to cover the sofa?” she asked the footman. “I shan’t wish to get it dirty. You see, I’ve fallen and gotten quite dirty.”

“Again?” Then, embarrassed over his inappropriate comment, he quietly added, “Forgive me. I’m deeply sorry for your latest . . . injury. I’m off to locate a blanket or such.” He scurried from the chamber.

“I’m going to set you down now,” the man told her. “We need to see if you’re able to stand.” He came to the blazing fire and lowered her until she stood before the hearth.

She winced.

“It hurts when you stand?” he asked.

Eyes narrowed, she frowned. “Yes, it does rather.” He surprised her by onceagain scooping her into his arms. “I feel so ridiculous,” she said.


Something about this man’s commanding presence intimidated her. She wanted to protest, to insist that she did not need to be held, but she was powerless to defy him.

A moment later, a screeching Lucy hurried into the chamber. “What’s happened? Thompson says you’ve been hurt. Again.”

Thompson, carrying a length of linen sheeting, trailed his mistress into the room and began to spread it over the silken sofa.

Why did everyone keep stressing her propensity to meet with unfortunate accidents? She was embarrassed enough already in front of the handsome stranger. He was apt to think her a deranged oaf. “I happened to fall into the street in front of your house.” That wasn’t exactly a lie. She did fall into the street that ran in front of Montague House.

A shudder rippled through her petite sister. “Pray, Thompson, run and fetch the surgeon.” Turning to Georgiana, she added, “Do you think you’ve broken something?”

“It’s probably just a bruise. You must own, I am possessed of strong bones. None of my falls have ever resulted in a broken bone.”

The countess’s gaze moved to the handsome man, her brows hiked in query.

“Allow me to introduce myself, my lady. I am Lord Churston. I was at hand when your sister’s unfortunate accident occurred.”



Home Books Contests Cheryl's Readers
Newsletter Audio Books Articles About Cheryl