His Perfect Bride(3)

By: Jenn Langston

“I’m sorry, but I don’t have any help to offer in that arena either. I haven’t paid much attention to any of them, and their mothers are not encouraging them to acquire a relationship with me,” Greyson replied, his mouth twisted with bitterness.

“Well, it matters not. I imagine I shall be able to locate a suitable candidate in a relatively small amount of time.”

“Are you so anxious to return to Stonemede? Is there a problem you are not telling us?”

“Only that my father didn’t find it necessary to hire a suitable steward. I have no confidence that everything is being handled properly in my absence.”

Richard found his father’s choice of steward both a blessing and a curse. The man was incompetent, but it was from his lack of knowledge about Stonemede, as well as his lack of self-initiative, that made him thus. The late Marquis had handled the estate by himself, and, therefore, had little use for a steward.

Now that he carried the responsibilities, Richard knew he didn’t have to compete with the steward or cater to his ideas, since this one had none. However, it was difficult to stay away without someone he trusted to take care of matters. It had also left him with no guidance in his father’s absence.

“That is one good thing my father did for me. He hired and trained the best steward around. I don’t have to worry about Merrick for the most part,” Greyson said.

“Lucky for me, I don’t believe my father will ever die, so I will not have to face all the troubles that you two must. So, do you plan to meet and marry this girl all in one day?”

“As delightful as that sounds, I plan to allow myself a little more time than that. I hope to find her quickly, and then learn everything about her before I divulge my plans.”

“To what purpose?” Greyson asked, with more interest than Richard would expect, considering the subject of their discussion.

“As I have seen in the past, some men marry their ‘perfect bride’ only to take her home and discover all of her imperfections. It can drive a man from his home to avoid his wife. I have no intention of becoming one of those unfortunate men.”

Richard had seen those miserable marriages many times, and he would not allow his life to turn out in the same manner. He was not looking for a foolish concept like love, but he was hoping for a marriage similar to what his parents had shared.

The marriage between Hamilton and Adora could never have been described as a “love” match. It began as an arrangement between the two families to combine properties, but had turned into a perfect partnership. Growing up, he’d noticed how his parents interacted, and it was obvious they cared for and respected one another. Adora was not soft spoken or obedient, but his father dealt well with her, and Richard could tell they were happy. He always admired his mother’s intelligence, but he would be content to pass up that quality in preference to obedience.

“That sounds like a reasonable plan, and I’ll gladly assist you in your efforts,” Greyson said.

“I suppose I will offer you my assistance as well,” Jonathan said reluctantly. “It’s conditional, as I must stay away from the matchmaking mothers.”

“I do appreciate your help. It will certainly expedite matters.”

“So, when do we start this bride hunt?” Jonathan asked, the corners of his mouth twitching.

“In two days Lord Minor is hosting a ball, and I plan on being in attendance,” Richard said with a sly smile.

Brianna Denton once again adjusted her place on the sofa, trying to find a more comfortable position. She had been lying under a blanket in the back of the drawing room for what seemed like hours. Where were they? Her mother, Lady Rachel Denton, Countess Ransley, had scheduled a meeting with another potential governess this morning, and Brianna was tired of waiting. At eighteen, she was past the age that required a governess, and her fourteen-year-old sister was nearing that age as well, but their mother had insisted on hiring another.

After Hilda, the most recent governess, left, Grace and Brianna decided to listen to the interviews to discover exactly what their mother told these women. So here Brianna was, anxious and growing crazy with boredom, hiding in the drawing room. She decided to wait five minutes more, for regardless of what they were to discuss, she would once again cause another governess to run screaming from the house.

Having a governess was not all bad, but Brianna was not one to accept what she was told. She had a wild spirit. Nothing would please her more than to be free to go where the wind took her. Although her wildness tended to get her into trouble, and many times she was only barely able to get herself out of a compromising predicament, it didn’t stop her.

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