Going Rogue

Going Rogue by Jessica Jefferson Read Free Book Online

Book: Going Rogue by Jessica Jefferson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jessica Jefferson
Tags: Fiction, General, Romance, Historical
observation with a wave. “I don’t particularly care for bugs. I primarily study plant life, and anything I know about insects is really just secondary.”
    “I’m afraid that’s not much better,” she replied flatly.
    “Nothing,” she answered, quickly changing the subject. “I believe we were talking about your time in London. A first Season can be quite a whirlwind.”
    “It’ll be my only Season if my mother has anything to do with it.”
    “Oh,” Meredith replied. “Are there any prospects, then?”
    Ophelia shrugged. “If you ask my mother, there is.”
    Meredith rubbed her hands together. Maybe this bookish girl had potential after all? “Tell me more.”
    “We met him while visiting the continent. Mama had taken me to a dinner party at the home of one of her friends, royalty or some such nonsense, outside of Brussels. I have to admit, he was one of the most interesting gentlemen I’ve ever met. Not that I’ve met many gentlemen.”
    “Wonderful,” Meredith exclaimed. An acquaintance with royal connections? What luck! “Is he a prince, then?”
    “Hardly. He’s from America.”
    Meredith’s enthusiasm instantly deflated. Little good that would do her. “An American ? What was he doing near Brussels?”
    “I don’t believe he was actually American since he had a rather distinct English accent. The man had helped to recover merchandise for the family we were visiting and sometime during the transaction he’d been shot clear through the shoulder. He was staying there until he was recovered enough to travel.”
    Meredith turned, her jaw practically hitting the floor. “He’s a pirate?”
    Ophelia blinked her doe-like eyes. “That’s absurd. He’s not a pirate. He owns a shipping company that specializes in both the transport and recovery of goods. He calls it procurement .”
    “Piracy, procurement—they sound so similar when you put it like that.”
    “Besides, he couldn’t possibly be a pirate. He’s a titled gentleman.”
    “An English title?”
    She shook her head. “No, he has a Scottish title.”
    “Don’t they all,” Meredith mumbled under her breath. This man was sounding less like an opportunity and more like an opportunist. “And just what is his title ?”
    “I believe he’s an Earl.”
    “Now, let me see if I have this straight.” Meredith arched an eyebrow. “He’s an American pirate with a Scottish title and an English accent?”
    Ophelia nodded her head as if it all made perfect sense.
    Meredith folded her arms over her chest. “The man’s a mongrel, not a prospect.”
    The girls arrived back at the house and stood outside the French doors off the drawing room. Ophelia hesitated before going back inside. “Mama loved him, but I . . . Well, I suppose if I had to marry somebody . . .”
    “And did he return your mother’s sentiments?”
    “How would I know something like that?” She stared back at her, a vacant expression on her pretty face. Academic brilliance aside, Ophelia was naïve when it came to romance.
    Meredith considered the situation and didn’t care much for the fact that Ophelia Marshall had fallen prey to some wayward rogue’s attention. She didn’t know why, but for some reason she felt protective of this girl. Perhaps it was because she reminded her so much of herself before . . .
    “Besides,” Ophelia continued. “What would a man like that ever see in a girl like me? Now, if I were someone like you . . . men must fawn all over you.”
    “I assure you, that’s hardly the case.”
    “Pish! I don’t believe you. If only my brother could meet someone like you.”
    Meredith’s knees practically buckled. Aunt Cynthia was always full of surprises and had undoubtedly known Ophelia had a brother. She should have guessed there was more to her great aunt’s grand plan. Cynthia was an excellent strategist and an avid gambler—she’d know better than to show all her cards at once.
    “Oh, you have a brother?” She

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