There's Something About Lady Mary Part 27

"Oh, it will," she said. "And then it will happen again. Time isn't the only endless cycle."

An Excerpt from

SEDUCED BY A PIRATE.

by Eloisa James In Eloisa James's companion story to The Ugly d.u.c.h.ess, Sir Griffin Barry, captain of the infamous pirate ship The Poppy, is back in England to claim the wife he hasn't seen since their wedding day . . . but this is one treasure that will not be so easy to capture.

"You're married to a pirate?"

Phoebe Eleanor Barry-wife to Sir Griffin Barry, pirate-nearly smiled at the shocked expression on her friend Amelia Howell-Barth's face. But not quite. Not given the sharp pinch she felt in the general area of her chest. "His lordship has been engaged in that occupation for years, as I understand it."

"A pirate. A real, live pirate?" Amelia's teacup froze, halfway to her mouth. "That's so romantic!"

Phoebe had rejected that notion long ago. "Pirates walk people down the plank." She put her own teacup down so sharply that it clattered against the saucer.

Her friend's eyes grew round, and tea sloshed on the tablecloth as she set her cup down. "The plank? Your husband really-"

"By all accounts, pirates regularly send people to the briny deep, not to mention plundering jewels and the like."

Amelia swallowed, and Phoebe could tell that she was rapidly rethinking the romantic aspects of having a pirate within the immediate family. Amelia was a dear little matron, with a rosebud mouth and brown fly-away curls. Mr. Howell-Barth was an eminent goldsmith in Bath, and likely wouldn't permit Amelia to pay any more visits once he learned how Sir Griffin was amusing himself abroad.

"Mind you," Phoebe added, "we haven't spoken in years, but that is my understanding. His man of business offers me patent untruths."

"Such as?"

"The last time I saw him, he told me that Sir Griffin was exporting timber from the Americas."

Amelia brightened. "Perhaps he is! Mr. Howell-Barth told me just this morning that men shipping lumber from Canada are making a fortune. Why on earth do you think your husband is a pirate, if he hasn't told you so himself?"

"Several years ago, he wrote his father, who took it upon himself to inform me. I gather he is considered quite fearsome on the high seas."

"Goodness me, Phoebe. I thought your husband simply chose to live abroad."

"Well, he does choose it. Can you imagine the scandal if I had informed people that Sir Griffin was a pirate? I think the viscount rather expected that his son would die at sea."

"I suppose it could be worse," Amelia offered.

"How could it possibly be worse?"

"You could be married to a highwayman."

"Is there a significant difference?" Phoebe shrugged inelegantly. "Either way, I am married to a criminal who stands to be hanged. Hanged, Amelia. Or thrown into prison."

"His father will never allow that. You know how powerful the viscount is, Phoebe. There's talk that Lord Moncrieff might be awarded an earldom."

"Not after it is revealed that his son is a pirate."

"But Sir Griffin is a baronet in his own right! They don't hang people with t.i.tles."

"Yes, they do."

"Actually, I think they behead them."

Phoebe shuddered. "That's a terrible fate."

"Come to think of it, why is your husband a baronet, if his father is a viscount and still living?" Amelia asked, knitting her brow. Being a goldsmith's wife, she had never been schooled in the intricacies of this sort of thing.

"It's a courtesy t.i.tle," Phoebe explained. "Viscount Moncrieff inherited the t.i.tle of baronet as well as that of viscount, so his heir claims the t.i.tle of baronet during the current viscount's life."

Amelia digested that. Then, "Mrs. Crimp would be mad with glee if she found out."

"She will be mad with glee," Phoebe said, nausea returning.

"What do you mean?"

"He's back," Phoebe said helplessly. "Oh, Amelia, he's back in England."

COPYRIGHT.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fict.i.tiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Excerpt from The Secret Life of Lady Lucinda copyright 2012 by Sophie Barnes.

Excerpt from Three Schemes and a Scandal copyright 2012 by Maya Rodale.

Excerpt from Skies of Steel copyright 2012 by Zoe Archer.

Excerpt from Further Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman copyright 2012 by JB Lynn.

Excerpt from The Second Seduction of a Lady copyright 2012 by Miranda Neville.

Excerpt from To h.e.l.l and Back copyright 2012 by Juliana Stone.

Excerpt from Midnight in Your Arms copyright 2012 by McKinley h.e.l.lenes.

Excerpt from Seduced by a Pirate copyright 2012 by Eloisa James.

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