Excerpt from Bride of the Summerfields
She wore a wig so no one would recognize her. She wore a simple dress of tan cotton, adopting the appearance of a farmer’s wife
instead of a titled guest.
Though other villagers smiled and linked their arms sentimentally as they gathered outside the country church, she wore a frown
and stood alone. As they gathered in small groups waiting for the ceremony to be over, she hid behind a bush and peered in a
The bride, Lila, looked beautiful standing at the altar in her gown of duchesse satin with a pleated edge to the bustled train. The
long veil had a scalloped edge, and there were tiny ivory silk roses sprinkled across her shoulders and hair as if she’d just walked
through a floral shower.
That could have been me.
been Lady Clarissa Weston, the daughter of the Earl of Summerfield. She had held that title her entire life, until the revelation of a
forty-year-old secret allowed Lila’s father—a mere shopkeeper in the village—to step forward as the older brother and rightful earl.
His rise shoved Clarissa’s family down a branch in the family tree, and elevated Lila to her Lady Lila Weston title.
Status had never meant as much to him as it had Clarissa. To Father, the demotion was a relief from the responsibilities that
accompanied the title of earl. Clarissa tried not to think less of him for it.
countess to the rather bland title of Mrs. Weston was no strain on her. Over the years she had grown accustom to leaving the
duties of her position to her mother-in-law, the dowager countess.
to her husband of less than a year, the love of her life, Colonel Grady Cummings. After decades of being married and dutiful to the
late Earl of Summerfield, she’d finally been reunited with her Grady. Clarissa envied their happy ending.
ripened from a boy to a young man. He’d not minded a whit that he was no longer the heir to an earldom and that Lila’s brother
Morgan now held that position. As long as George could breed and train horses, he was happy.
couple toward the congregation and beamed as though they were king and queen of the world. Joseph raised Lila’s hand to his
lips before walking together down the aisle.
lingering, letting her family see her—or letting them think they might have seen her. Yet knowing how the blessings of life seemed
to fall upon everyone but her, she couldn’t take the chance of one final humiliation. And so she ran to the train station that would
hasten her escape back to London, where she could disappear from the sight and mind of her family yet again.
Copyright @ 2015 Nancy Moser
Mustard Seed Press