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Overshadowed by the beauty of her older sister, Lillian is better known as the other Tisdale; unremarkable and unsure how she will ever deliver on the promise of her family's name.
He’s a rake in need of reforming…
Will Colton leads a frivolous existence, embracing notoriety instead of managing his family’s fortune. Determined to forget his financial burden and his father’s growing resentment, he maintains a lifestyle dedicated to pleasure and self-indulgence. When Will is invited to the Tisdale estate for an extended holiday, he never expects to become friends with the forgettable Lillian. But when a family secret comes to light, he must choose between leaving London and protecting the honor of one woman or staying and risking the reputation of another.
Upon his return, Will finds the girl he left behind has come out of the shadows and into her own. Lillian’s finally the center of attention, and not all of it good. With his own reputation in tatters, can a reformed rake lure her out of the hands of London's bachelors and back into his own arms? Can he escape his past and reclaim her heart, or has he lost her forever?
She lowered the hood of the cloak and he knew immediately. Only Lilly could make his mouth go dry with a mere glance.
“This is charming,” she said, walking about the perimeter. She took a closer look at the book shelf, examining its contents, unabashedly exploring the room.
He felt an irrepressible smile start to creep up his face. “Charming? That’s a bit of a stretch, isn’t it?”
She smiled back, instantly brightening the dreary room. “No, I truly mean it. It’s small, but it’s cozy. You don’t really need anything more than this.” She picked up one of his books off the short bookshelf standing in the sitting area. “I sometimes think our home is too big. There’s so many rooms, often times I have trouble finding the person I’m looking for in a timely manner. But this ... I would always know.”
Will’s heart was pounding so hard, it felt as if it were trying to fight its way out of his chest. Forced to reside in places like this one, he would often fantasize over how wonderful it would be to be back at Colton Manor again—room upon room of gratuitous excess. But now, he finally saw the benefit to living within such small confines. If Lilly were to join him, he’d always have her within arm’s length, always available to him. He could watch her for hours, admiring that beautiful face, and when he was no longer satisfied with simply watching her, he would make use of their time and explore her body. There would never be an escape available to either one of them, a delightful torture that he’d happily be victim to.
“That reminds me,” he said, sorry to end his fantasy so promptly. “I have something for you.” He went over to the bed and dug around under the mattress for a moment.
He was elated to hear the note of surprise in her voice. Will finally located the sketchbook and handed it to her.
Lilly laughed, a lovely lilting sound that filled the space. “My sketchbook! I can’t believe you found it for me ... again.”
It had been so long since he’d heard such laughter, he couldn’t help but smile. “You left it at the museum that afternoon after your class. I hope you don’t mind, but I took the liberty of looking at some of your drawings. You’re even better than you were.”
“I’m not really.”
“No,” he argued. “You are. You were always far too modest.”
“History certainly does have a way of repeating itself, doesn’t it?” she replied, setting the book down on the nearby table.
Once she’d said the seemingly innocuous words, her mood started to fall. It was a subtle change, but he’d become overtly perceptive where she was concerned and he immediately knew what she was thinking, the questions she was bound to be asking herself.
Will reached out and took her hands into his. “The reason it repeats itself is so that we may learn from our mistakes.” He looked at the small hands he held in his own, delicate bones, skin the color of cream. “I’ve already learned from mine.”
Jessica Jefferson makes her home in northern Indiana, or as she likes to think of it—almost Chicago. She is heavily inspired by classic sweeping, historical romance novels, but aims to take those key emotional elements and inject a fresh blend of quick dialogue and comedy. She invites you to visit her at jessicajefferson.com and read more of her random romance musings.
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Chasing the Other Tisdale, Compromising Miss Tisdale and Taming Miss Tisdale from Soul Mate Publishing, available now on Amazon!
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