The Suitable Bride (The Emberton Brothers Series Book 2)

The Suitable Bride (The Emberton Brothers Series Book 2) by Karen Aminadra Read Free Book Online

Book: The Suitable Bride (The Emberton Brothers Series Book 2) by Karen Aminadra Read Free Book Online
Authors: Karen Aminadra
would ever believe that farce of a marriage even if he could be persuaded to agree to it. If only there was an alternative.
    Reluctantly, Frances decided there was only one thing for it. She had to throw herself back into society and accept the advances of each and every gentleman who approached her in the hope that one of them would make a passable husband.
    As though Providence itself was taking a hand in her life, when she arrived back at the house from one of her long walks, it was to find there was an invitation to a ball awaiting her.
    She picked up the elegant invitation, squinting at the name on the card. Edward Emberton. The name was familiar. She was certain her father had mentioned him more than once before. Perhaps he was a politician. Her mind began to work quickly. If he was a politician, then perhaps he needed her help, or rather her father’s help. She knew he was unmarried by the absence of his wife’s name on the invitation card.
    Slowly, the scheme began to hatch in Frances’ mind. She would use her father and his connections to persuade Edward Emberton to marry her. She chuckled at her own deviousness and made directly to the drawing room and her writing desk to reply in the affirmative to the invitation. She would be delighted to attend Edward Emberton’s ball. She just hoped he was fair to look upon and would be a pleasing catch.  If not, so be it.
    * * * *
    The day of the ball arrived far more quickly than Edward anticipated. The hustle and bustle in the house left him giddy, and he felt his excitement rise. He would be hosting his first ball. He was determined it would be a resounding success.
    Just that morning his mother pointed out that he needed to seek out an eligible bride. He needed no more reminders. From the mounds of acceptance cards he received, he knew he would have more than his fair share of pretty faces to choose from. The only thing he needed to be sure of was that he chose not only to please himself but to satisfy the needs of his life in Parliament.
    The very thought that he was now on display made Edward’s stomach turn. His parents had no intention whatsoever of introducing their sons into society in the acceptable fashion. He was not used to the endless parades of debutantes with their frippery, the language of the fan, and the interminably pushy mothers. This night would be a sort of baptism by fire, as Richard put it so eloquently while they dressed. His mother had done her level best to prepare Edward for the nonsense he would encounter from nearly every unmarried female that night. Edward did not know how much of it he would have to endure or, indeed, could endure.
    He greeted his mother and steered her towards the drawing room, where they were joined by Richard and Grace. Shortly afterward, they were joined by the Colemans. The relief that flooded through his body upon seeing such friendly faces could not be measured.
    “You cannot imagine how pleased I am to see you this evening, Doctor Coleman,” he bowed towards them both. “Miss Coleman.” Edward smiled gratefully at them both as he straightened up, and was rewarded with his own smile reflected back at him from Martha. “I think tonight may be somewhat of a trial for both of us, do you not think?” he asked her conspiratorially.
    Martha blushed, “Yes, Edward, I do.”
    “You know that I do think of you and your father as family. Indeed, you have been brought up as family, being my mother’s goddaughter. I will need to borrow you quite frequently, without a doubt, tonight to escape the machinations and desires of all the other eligible ladies we have invited.” He laughed and was gratified to see she laughed easily too.
    Edward led them to the settee, and they all waited until it was deemed appropriate to enter the ballroom as the sound of carriage wheels crunching up on the gravel drive was heard. The temptation to drink more than one small glass of wine was great—at least it was great for Edward.

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