Since there is no mutual acquaintance here to introduce us to each other, please allow me to introduce myself to you. My name is Lady Selina Kendall. My father is Viscount Runswick. I don’t know him very well. I have a vague memory of my first few years at Gracebourne Manor, my parents’ home. But when I was six years old, they sent me away to live with my aunt and uncle. I never understood why I was sent away, yet my two sisters and brother were allowed to stay. Although my aunt and uncle were wonderful to me, I continued longing for home. Surely, my family must miss me by now.
When I turned eighteen, the long-awaited letter finally arrived. My heart pounded in my chest as I ran upstairs to pack my trunk. My family wanted me home at last! And just in time for my first Season in London. Mother loved attending the London Season each year. She must be delighted to present her second oldest daughter to society. I can already imagine the lovely gowns my parents would purchase for me and all the parties and picnics I would be attending.
When I finally arrived at Gracebourne Manor, only the butler was there to greet me at the front door. He led me to the drawing room and announced my arrival. I stepped in. My eyes landed on the grinning face of my father who stood by the fireplace with a glass of wine in his hand. Two blonde young ladies sat on the sofa next to an older woman, whom I immediately recognized as my mother. Gray strands now competed with her blonde hair, and tiny wrinkles on her brow and around her eyes marred her once smooth skin. I glanced around the room and realized they were all strangers to me now.
“Stop gawking, Selina, and come here!” came the strident voice of my mother.
I hurried to obey and stood before her.
“Hm. You will never be a diamond of the first water, but you will do well enough.” Mother waved a hand toward the chair across from her. “Sit down. I can’t stand having to stretch my neck back to gaze up at you.”
I felt my shoulders slump as I dragged my feet across the small space to do my mother’s bidding. I didn’t dare lean into the chair but held my back ramrod straight with folded hands on my lap, just as mother and my sisters were sitting.
“I think it’s best if we lay our cards on the table right from the start. The reason your father and I called you home is that it is time for you to marry and help fill the coffers of our estate. You are of age now.”
My heart dropped and I found myself staring trying to make sense of my mother’s words. “I-I don’t follow. Am I to have a London Season in the hopes that someone will propose marriage?”
“No, Selina.” Mother frowned and waved her hand dismissively. “We have no money to give you a Season in London.”
“Aunt Theo said she would pay for all expenses,” I tried to explain.
“Stop interrupting!” Mother scolded.
I stiffened my shoulders and neck, not daring to open my mouth again.
Mother looked at Father. “Runswick, please explain to your daughter what is expected of her.”
He cleared his throat before speaking. “It’s like this, Selina. We have some huge debts to pay off and we need you to do your part. You will marry the man your mother and I have chosen for you.”
My mouth hung open. I could barely hold myself back from running out of the room to climb back into the carriage and return to Aunt Theo’s side. My heart pinched at my parents’ betrayal. They had called me home, giving me false hopes, only to tell me I must marry for the sake of filling their coffers. How could I have been so naïve?
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My Story Title: The Marriage Maneuver
My Story Genre: Historical Christian Romance
My Story Released: November 2018
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Anneliese Dalaba is an author of Christian historical romances. The genre she has chosen to write in is Regency England, early 1800s. The Marriage Maneuver is the second book in The Arranged Marriage series. Anneliese won a silver medal in 2019 from Reader’s Favorites for Reluctant to Wed, the first book in this series. She’s also an avid reader and book reviewer.
She lives in Michigan with her husband of almost 33 years. He is a credentialed minister and district official with the Assemblies of God. Before taking this position, they pastored an international church in East Lansing, Michigan—MSU country. Prior to this, they lived in Germany and helped refugees in Nuremberg. They have traveled much of the globe and met people from many cultures, which has enriched their lives.
While raising their two children, Anneliese worked from home as a medical transcriptionist. Now she is experiencing the wonderful phase of grandparenting—three so far.
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- Website/Blog: https://anneliesedalaba.com (Sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know when my new book is released and to be notified of giveaways on my blog.)
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anneliesedalaba/
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- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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WHERE can the book be purchased?
- Amazon: https://amzn.to/2O2GPVA
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a kindle copy – or – signed copy of …
The Marriage Manuever