Lord Barry's Dream House

Lord Barry's Dream House by Emily Hendrickson Read Free Book Online

Book: Lord Barry's Dream House by Emily Hendrickson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Emily Hendrickson
forbidding look on his face.
    “I shall speak to you about this later—in private,” he added with a glance at Henry.
    “Henry has been a faithful assistant, first to my father and now to me,” Juliana said with a snap. “There is nothing in this house about which he is not knowledgeable.”
    “But you have the ultimate responsibility for translating the plan into reality. It is you with whom I wish to speak.” His words were quiet, but uttered in a manner that brooked no denial. He was the patron. He paid the bills and was to be heeded if at all possible.
    “Yes, Lord Barry.” She stood at the foot of the stairs, hands folded, watching as he joined her sister by the entry door. When he realized she would not be going with them, he turned and gave her that quizzical look again. “What? Do you not come with us?”
    “I have work to do here, my lord. I shall see you later,” Juliana replied. Much later if she could manage it. He was one to avoid if possible.
    He said nothing, just studied her a few moments, then turned and left the house, listening to Barbara’s chatter with every evidence of pleasure.
    Outside of the house where the beginnings of the avenue had been begun, Edmund paused before joining Lady Barbara in the carriage. He gazed at his future home for some moments, studying the classical lines of the house, the elegant simplicity of it. While it seemed most acceptable, he had strong reservations about some of the innovations he suspected Lady Juliana had introduced after her father’s death. That young woman had a goodly number of questions to answer later, and he would not permit the charming Lady Barbara to deflect them.
    Reluctantly, he turned his back on the construction and entered the carriage. Listening to his companion’s talk with half an ear, he considered his lady architect. Sir Phineas was right. Had Edmund known of the earl’s death, Edmund would have demanded another qualified architect replace him. Yet, it seemed that the daughter sought—with no little determination—to complete the house. Perhaps she intended it as a monument to her father’s genius. Edmund could understand such sentiment. He would most likely feel the same, given the circumstances.
    What he did not know was how he would deal with the attractive young woman on a businesslike basis. Women didn’t belong in business. They should marry and produce babies with proper regularity. It was deuced awkward and not a little distracting to try to be forceful, demand to know what he wished, with a delectable armful as his opponent.
    What qualifications did she possess to make changes? Had she any notion what they would look like in reality? He very much doubted it. In his experience architec t s spent a great deal of time producing piles of contract drawings for each edifice they designed. His smile became rather feline as he considered requesting that the enticing Lady Juliana produce her little stack of such details—the staircase, for example. It seemed to him that those cantilevered stair treads were far too t hin to last any length of time. He did not want a main part of his house tumbling to ruin in short order.
    “We have arrived, Lord Barry,” Lady Barbara said, shifting in the carriage to remind him that he ought to be attending her.
    “Indeed. If you do not mind, I shall not come in with you just now. I have to discuss a small matter with my groom. I shall see you shortly in the drawing room. Thirty minutes, perhaps?” He assisted her from the vehicle, then bowed politely.
    Those limpid pools of crystalline blue smiled at him, concealing any curiosity she might have had.
    He watched as she gracefully walked to the house, blond curls peeping from under a saucy bonnet and her shawl draped elegantly over her shoulders. Some man might appreciate her, but not him. Nor was Lady Juliana his sort. That young woman might drive him mad with frustration, but Juliana would never lie in his bed as his wife. Then—quite

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