She is left with an offer she cannot refuse...
Upon his death in 1823, English nobleman, Lord Peyton leaves his daughter Lady Aveline with two choices—stay single and inherit only a small farm in Ireland, where she might just be able to eke out a living, or get married and live in luxury, inheriting all his wealth and property. Fiercely independent, Aveline heads for Ireland only to run afoul of her father’s farm manager, the devastatingly handsome Ciaran O’'Devlin. Alone in a strange country, Aveline yearns for love and friendship, but Ciaran offers only criticism and disdain. Confused and angered by strange visions and her growing attraction to Ciaran, Aveline is determined to make the farm prosper —despite the insufferable Irishman.
He has a secret he cannot reveal...
Ciaran mistrusts Aveline’s intentions and refuses to admit that a willful, English woman now owns the farm that should have been his. Although he insists Aveline should go back to England, he cannot deny their budding passion. Yet, he knows—even if she doesn’t—that nothing will come of it. Not only can’t a poor Irishman marry an English noblewoman, but when Aveline learns of his past, she’ll want nothing more to do with him. Ciaran has always known that each decision carries a consequence, but it’s only when he stands to lose Aveline that he realizes what a heavy price his past decisions may have.
Aveline turned as the last line echoed back in a man’s voice. Her heart fluttered. “I thought you made it very clear we should not see or talk to each other—” She halted as the air around her became thicker. She felt a silent connection to the Irishman.
Twilight settled in around them.
“So I did.” He chuckled, looking toward the ground. “Something about you strikes odd to me though, cailín.”
She wondered why he thought she was odd. “Whatever could that be, Mr. O’Devlin, for surely I have not done anything to upset you.”
She knew she was more headstrong than most women, but obstinacy does not make a person odd. If anything, he could be labeled as odd, too. A stubborn man who devotes his life to a farm? Bah!
A frown creased his brow. “Nay.”
His eyes met hers and she felt the glow of blue fire on her face. “In truth, you have done far more than I ever expected from you.”
Well, overcoming an Irishman’s expectations is very difficult indeed. “Did you really think, Mr. O’Devlin, I would run and hide from you? I am not a coward, if that is what you are saying.”
His eyes widened. “Right, you are not a coward.” His soft words washed through her. “Ya singing voice is quite brilliant.”
“I’m glad the fact is now established.” Maybe he gave a compliment to weaken her. “It is only a voice after all. Certainly not something to get eager about—”
He pushed her doubts into the dirt. “Nonsense! You highly underestimate...”
Every word he spoke made her weak at the knees, so she ignored him and turned toward the wheelbarrow instead. “I should finish my duties before it is time to wash for supper. The days go by so fast as of late. It was only this morning when I was helping the brothers feed the animals—” She bent to place the last item in the wheelbarrow, lost her balance and fell against the handles. The cart tipped, losing its contents. She fell backward into his embrace.
Setting her upright, Mr. O’ Devlin pulled her around, gently moved the hair off her face, and kissed her full on the mouth.
Excerpt from To Love An Irishman written by Diva Jefferson. Now available from Black Opal Books! Please feel free to contact the author on her website: www.divajefferson.com.