ForÂ as long as she can remember, Bethany Swafford has loved reading books. ThatÂ love of words extended to writing as she grew older and when it became moreÂ difficult to find a â€˜cleanâ€™ book, she determined to write her own. Among herÂ favorite authors is Jane Austen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Georgette Heyer.
London, shortly after I first arrived?â€
times in your letters.â€
absolutely nothing away.
the right words. I rubbed my palms against my skirt. â€œAt Aunt Foresterâ€™s last
dinner party, Mr. Richfield asked for my permission to come speak to Father.â€
â€œWhat was your answer?â€ Mother asked, as calm as ever.
longer meet her gaze. â€œI fear I may have spoken without thinking.â€ Back when I
had said the words, I had been surprised. Now though, I realized just how
mistaken I had been. â€œI said itâ€™s always pleasant to have someone new visit.â€
so.â€ I took a deep breath and let it out slowly. â€œHe is respectable, at least
as far as Uncle Forester could discover. No one ever had a word to say against
him. I think he is a good man.â€
enthusiastic about marrying him.â€
weeks.â€ It felt good to be able to talk this out with my mother, now that the
awkwardness of saying the words had passed. If anyone could help me untangle my
feelings, it was her. â€œIs that enough time to know a person? You knew Papa your
whole life before he proposed.â€
â€œDiana, look at me.â€ I lifted my eyes to hers. â€œYou are the only one who can
make this decision. It is your right to refuse an offer you find distasteful.
However, you need to understand it is not likely you will have the opportunity
to travel again and meet other people.â€
I just donâ€™t think I know him well enough to accept his hand in marriage.â€ I
sighed. â€œI wish I had had the time to know more of him.â€
impossibility. â€œMama, you didnâ€™t see the look on his face when I pretended I
didnâ€™t understand. He was so disappointed. I acted as if I were a senseless,
empty-headed child! What kind of man would pursue me in the face of that?â€
Someone who would realize your shy nature.â€
reached to pour myself some much-needed tea. â€œThere are other, much prettier
girls with better dowries than I,â€ I remarked, adding just the right amount of
cream and sugar. â€œI doubt I will ever see him again.â€
hours to consider the whole mess. I sipped my tea as I watched my motherâ€™s
face. Her smile was one I couldnâ€™t quite understand. Why did she look so