A secret affair. by: Mary Balogh. Publication date: urn:acs6: secretaffair00balo:epub:b9ced-4eedcce3d Born a commoner, Hannah Reid has been Duchess of Dunbarton since she was nineteen years old. Now her husband is dead and, more beautiful than ever at. A Secret Affair by Mary Balogh - read or download the free ebook online now from ePub Bud!.

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A Secret Affair (Huxtable Quintet, Book 5) [Mary Balogh] on ciagrampackdenpo.gq *FREE* a site? Get your site here, or download a FREE site Reading App. A Secret Affair (Huxtable Quintet #5) by Mary Balogh Born a commoner, Hannah Reid has been Duchess of Dunbarton since she was nineteen. Mary Balogh started writing in the evenings as a hobby. Her first by Mary Balogh 7 editions - first published in Cover of: A secret affair.

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A Secret Affair

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There was not the merest sugges- tion of mystery about her.

A Secret Affair (Unabridged)

And then she became aware of the silent figure of the housekeeper in the background, and she relinquished Barbara to her competent care. She paced aimlessly in the drawing room while her friend was taken up to her room to wash her hands and face and change her dress and comb her hair and otherwise use up half an hour be- fore being brought down for tea.

She was looking her neat, tranquil self again. She laughed. Hannah suddenly tried to remember when she had last laughed, and could not recall an occasion. No mat- ter. One was not meant to laugh while one was in mourning. Someone might call one heartless. You adored each other. Perhaps the only one, in fact. She spread one hand on her lap and regarded the rings she wore on three of her well-manicured fingers.

She smoothed her hand over the fine white muslin of her dress. I keep thinking of all sorts of absurdities I simply must rush home to share with him, only to remember that he is not here any longer waiting to hear them. I daresay it was a blessing that he went quickly in the end.

He had been warned off such extravagances ten years or more before I even met him and every year after that—oh, at least once a year. He was forever saying that his headstone ought to have been already gathering moss in the graveyard when I was rocking my dolls to sleep in the nursery.

He used to apologize to me once in a while for living so long. And clearly unable to think of anything else to say in response.

He laughed so hard that he brought on a coughing fit and very nearly did die. But it seemed rather lame. And they both laughed.

It was not wicked. She was free. She owed nothing to anyone any longer. It was quite unexceptionable for a widow to take a lover provided it was a secret affair and she was dis- creet about it.

Well, perhaps not unexceptionable. But certainly quite acceptable. Barbara was, of course, of a different world than her own. You said it to shock me and succeeded admirably. I al- most had a fit of the vapors. Do be serious. I can never replace him. I have had escorts. They are al- ways good company, but I find them less than com- pletely satisfactory. They feel depressingly like my brothers.

I need someone new, someone to add some. I need a lover. Romantically, I mean. Someone with whom to fall in love. Someone to marry and have children with. Losing him, I mean. It hurts here. Love will come in time. And I have no in- tention of going in desperate search of it and perhaps persuading myself that I have found it when I have not and so trapping myself in another marriage so soon after the last.

I am free, and I intend to remain so until I choose to give up my freedom, which may be a long, long time in the future.

A Secret Affair by Mary Balogh (Excerpt)

Perhaps I will never give it up. There are advantages to widowhood, you know.

It will be an arrangement purely for enjoyment with no strings attached. He is going to be someone sinfully handsome. And devilishly attractive.

And wickedly skill- ful and experienced as a lover. Someone with neither a heart to break nor any aspirations whatsoever toward matrimony. Is there such a paragon, do you suppose? I do believe, in fact, that it is against the law for them not to be. And of course almost all women fall for them—and the eternal conviction that they can reform them. Why would any woman wish to reduce a perfectly wicked rake and rogue to the dullness of a mere worthy gentleman?

Newcombe is not a rake, I suppose? But he is not— he is definitely not a dull man. I absolutely reject your implication that all men must be either rakes or dullards. I will have a masterful, very masculine man.

Someone I will find it a constant challenge to control. Have I missed anything?

Do you have anyone in mind? He usually is. It will be inconvenient if he is not, but I have a few others in mind should I need them. I should have no difficulty at all. Is it conceited of me to say that I turn male heads wherever I go? You always did, even as a girl—male and fe- male heads, the former with longing, the latter with envy.

No one was at all surprised when the Duke of Dunbarton saw you and had to have you as his duchess even though he had been a confirmed bachelor all his life. And even though it was not really like that at all. She had broached it a few times in her letters over the years, but Hannah had never responded. But he was kind. I adored him.

Shall we go out?

Are you too tired after your trav- els? Or will you welcome some fresh air and the chance to stretch your legs? At this time of day Hyde Park—the fashionable part of it, at least—will be teeming with people, and one must go along to see and be seen, you know.

It is obligatory when one is in town. I will not know a soul, and I will feel like your country cousin, but no matter. Let us go by all means. I am desperate for some exercise. It was a fine day considering the fact that it was not even officially summer yet. It was partly sunny, partly cloudy, with a light breeze.

Hannah raised a white parasol above her head even though there were actually more cloudy periods than sunny. Why have such a pretty confection, after all, if one was not going to display it to full advantage? About what you plan to do, I mean. I am that thoroughly enviable female creature—a widow of wealth and superior social standing. I am even still quite young. And widows of good ton are almost expected to take a lover, you know—provided he is also of good ton, of course.

And preferably unmarried. You have grown into the manners and morals of this fast world you married into, I see. I disapprove of what you intend. I disapprove of the moral- ity of it, Hannah.

But more important, I disapprove of your rashness.

You are capable of enormous affection and love. An affair can bring you nothing but dissatisfaction at best, heartbreak at worst. Noth- ing I say will deter you, of course.

And so I will say only this. I will love you anyway, Hannah. I will always love you.

Nothing you can do will make me stop. Does your masterful man, who may or may not be in London, have a name, by the way? Constantine Huxtable. It is very lowering, is it not, that fact, when I have consorted with almost no one below the rank of duke and marquess and earl for the past ten years and more.

Even the king.

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I have almost forgotten what the word mister means. It means, of course, that he is a lowly commoner. Though not so lowly either. His father was the Earl of Merton— and he was the eldest son. His mother, lest you should assume otherwise, was the countess. There was mar- velous stupidity there, Babs, at least on her part and that of her family.


And marvelous resistance, I suppose, on the part of the earl. They married, but they did so a few days after their eldest son was born. I believe the actual number of days to have been two. Two days deprived him for- ever of becoming the Earl of Merton, which he would have been by now, and made him plain Mr.A young wife, however, particularly one of gentle birth, would certainly not appreciate being taken to live among such company and in such a place—and in the dower house to boot.

Shall we go and pay our respects? And she was always bedecked with jewels, ostentatiously large ones, usually diamonds. At the time of her marriage, the duchess was a breathtakingly lovely girl, with a slender, lithe figure, eyes that rivaled a summer sky for blueness, a bright, eager face made for smiling, and long, wavy tresses that were almost white in their blondness—a shimmering white.

He usually is. Two days deprived him for- ever of becoming the Earl of Merton, which he would have been by now, and made him plain Mr. He was never going to get any younger, was he? The Gilded Web 2. Miss Leavensworth, gentlemen, is my dearest friend in the world.