“Damn. His perfect posture and arrogant smile had her so flustered, she’d forgotten why she was there. She knew after meeting him she’d imagine him as either Mr. Rochester— or worse, Mr. Darcy— while reading her English Lit assignment.” –Abby Forester, Lord Bachelor
Edmund Rushwood was born July 21, 1990 at Danwick Manor to Lord and Lady Rushwood, a privileged family outside of London, England. As an only child, Edmund spent most of his time “watering” his mother’s flower garden and torturing Danwick’s butler, Timmons.
Edmund also spent many days trying to obtain his father’s attention. Unfortunately, before his death, Lord Rushwood had little time for his son, except to read to him, on rare occasions, from Danwick’s vast library. This began Edmund’s love of books, and as he grew older, he gravitated towards the classics from Austen and Bronte. With them, he found some solace and a few romantic passages that he used to charm the opposite sex.
Well known by all, Edmund possessed Hollywood good looks and selfish tendencies. He obtained what he wanted without exerting much energy or caring about the opinions of others. It wasn’t until he was faced with an ultimatum that he was forced to care about someone besides himself.
“It is in your father’s will, Edmund, that you must marry both wealthy and well, or, at least provide the name of the affluent bride before your twenty-sixth birthday, or everything you are determined to squander on women will be lost.”
Both frustrated and furious, Edmund sought to escape to America, finding, instead, a poor and feisty female in his path. Unlike the women he knew, Abby was far from enchanted with either his wealthy or his newly obtained title.
(The excerpt below is a scene between Edmund and Abby. They have only just met, but this doesn’t stop Edmund from turning into a 19th century capricious character hell bent on getting his way).
“My name is Lord Edmund Rushwood, and I’ve come to—”
He paused long enough to narrow his gaze down at Abby. She shook her head, horrified at what he had in store for her. A few seconds later, she didn’t have to guess. In one fluid motion, he grabbed her fisted hands and hauled her upward into his arms. Too stunned to say a word, too ensnarled to move an inch, Abby remained locked in his embrace.
“Surrender my heart,” he continued, his smooth voice rolling over her like a crisp waterfall. “For you are what I’ve searched for, what I’ve loved. Can you feel it?”
His warm breath caressed her flushed cheek. With skill and patience, he used the pad of his thumb to trace a sensual line from her lips to her throat. Shocking tingles raced down to her toes. She tried to hold back a whimper. She really did.
“You are too kind to lead me astray, my dearest, dearest Abby. If you still love me, do not make me wait another second. Tell me I have won your affections. Tell me it is not too late. However, if I am wrong, one word is all it would take to send me away… forever.”
Then he stopped talking and she stood mesmerized, almost hypnotized by his nearness. She stared into his dancing eyes. He was having the time of his life at her expense. While her heart pounded and her stomach somersaulted, from both the attention and his ardent gaze, he stood relaxed and nonplussed, as if he’d rehearsed the scene a thousand times before, with a thousand other women incapable of resisting him.
Thrown together, both Abby and Edmund discover the true meaning of love and sacrifice, but not before discerning how each have similarities to both Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte’s characters.
“Ah, yes, ‘I have been a selfish being all my life’… of course,” Edmund said. He then flipped to the exact page and started to read. Abby listened about the historical character Jane Austen created.
She listened about Mr. Darcy being a spoiled child and how he’d been given principles, but had not been taught how to use them. Then Edmund stopped reading, prompting Abby to question him on the passage.
“Are you like him, Edmund?” she asked, turning so her cheek rested against Edmund’s upper chest. His heart thumped hard and steady, like an invigorating rain.
“I don’t know. My father was very strict, with little time to give me a lesson on any principles, good or bad.”
She smiled. “I think he’d be proud of you.”
He didn’t answer right away, as if he mulled over her words and struggled with their meaning. After a few minutes, she snuggled closer to him, taking his warmth and forgetting, for the time being, what they battled and almost surrendered. He continued to read to her, his rich, soothing voice rocking her to sleep.
Edmund and Abby create their own adventure, destined down the road of happily-ever-after, but filled with a few potholes, of course.
About the Book
Edmund Rushwood is a single English lord in possession of a great fortune who is in desperate need of a rich wife. In accordance with his father’s will, Edmund has until he turns twenty-six to find a wealthy bride or lose his vast inheritance. To retain his selfish lifestyle, he agrees to join an American dating game show to find the woman who can save him. He doesn’t bargain on meeting Abby Forester, an impoverished, spirited American woman who is content to live out her father’s dreams in his vintage record shop. With covert intervention from an unlikely source, Abby lands on the dating game show as one of Edmund’s potential brides. As their worlds entangle and love begins to bloom, Abby discovers Edmund cannot marry her and retain his wealth at the same time. Will love keep them together, or will greed triumph and tear them apart?
Tammy L. Bailey grew up in historical Appomattox, Virginia and moved to Ohio the day after she graduated high school. She joined the Army National Guard in 1988 and served 5 years in the active duty Army. She finally retired as a Master Sergeant in the Ohio Air National Guard in 2011. She is a wife and a mother of two boys. She's a huge Jane Austen fan and loves watching period dramas and Jane Austen movie adaptations.
When she's not writing, she enjoys Star Wars movie night with her 10-year-old son and watching Rock Concerts of her 13-year-old son. He plays both the bass and the drums. Fall is her favorite season, the B-17 is her favorite plane, Mallow Cups are her favorite food, and Hawkeye is her favorite Avenger.
Great giveaway contest open internationally! Win a signed copy of Lord Bachelor + an original bracelet inspired to the protagonists of the book, Abby and Edmund.