A Dream Come True

A Dream Come True by Barbara Cartland Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: A Dream Come True by Barbara Cartland Read Free Book Online
Authors: Barbara Cartland
Tags: Romance
dark-haired and she could not see his face as it was obscured by a woman standing in front of him.
    â€˜Another one of stepfather’s business associates no doubt.’
    After a while, the music began and Edward accompanied her into the ballroom. Lucia loved to dance and was most disappointed when Edward trod on her toes twice during a Viennese waltz.
    â€˜My slippers,’ she thought anxiously. ‘If he stands on my toes once more they will be utterly ruined.’
    The dance ended and gratefully she allowed him to escort her from the floor.
    â€œReally, Edward dances like a carthorse,” whispered Emmeline, who had witnessed the whole affair.
    â€œOh, dear, here comes my stepfather. I shall have to dance with him, I suppose. I did promise Mama that I would look after him.”
    â€œHe has been talking to that gentleman over there for a very long time. Is he a family friend? asked Emmeline.
    Lucia looked over and now saw the man to whom she was referring.
    â€˜A handsome man for his age,’ thought Lucia fleetingly before answering, “I don’t know who he is. I have not seen him at Bingham Hall.”
    â€œSsh, here comes your stepfather.”
    Sir Arthur had taken some time to cross the ballroom as there were so many guests thronging the floor.
    â€œLucia,” he said as he drew up beside her. “Would you care to dance?”
    â€œOf course, stepfather,” she agreed, feeling unenthusiastic.
    The orchestra had struck up a lively polka and Lucia almost winced at the first notes, fearing that her slippers would now be subjected to further damage.
    However, to her surprise, he proved very light on his feet and, by the end of the dance, she had quite enjoyed myself.
    â€œWho is the gentleman you were talking to?” she asked, as they danced.
    â€œI am surprised that you have not met Lord Winterton,” he replied. “He is a very important man in this County and owns Longridge Manor. It is about fifteen miles from Shilborough.”
    â€œHow curious that we have not met,” said Lucia. “I thought we knew most of the County families.”
    â€œI believe he spends a great deal of time in London these days and prior to that was in India. Lord Winterton is a very clever man and I admire his head for business. Since my arrival down South, he has often given me impeccable advice.”
    Lucia was a little surprised. Her stepfather had the air of a man who was full of self-confidence.
    â€œAre we so very different, we Southerners?” she asked with a hint of sarcasm creeping into her voice.
    â€œSoutherners are fond of giving themselves airs and graces, whereas Northern folk take as they find. In Lord Winterton, I have found a man who, although aware of his position, does not seek to flaunt it in order to make a man feel small.”
    The dance ended and Lucia looked over to where Lord Winterton now stood. There was something about those dark eyes that made her feel uneasy as they burned into her face and then travelled up and down her figure.
    â€˜He has an impudent manner,’ she thought stiffly. ‘I do not care to be gawped at as if I were a prize heifer at a cattle fair!’
    She coolly returned his gaze and thought him one of those men who made a great deal of their masculinity in an almost uncouth way.
    â€˜It must have been the influence of the East that has caused him to forget his manners,’ she thought, as she felt his stare following her around the room.
    â€˜They say that some natives in India are prone to acting like courtesans when it comes to romantic affairs and he must have been tainted by them.’
    There was something about the tilt of his head as he stood in the shadows and the expression on his face. A sensual smile played about his mouth and his eyes were fiery beneath strikingly dark eyebrows.
    Lucia forced herself to look away, but there was something about him that even now compelled her to search him

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