From the publisher of the USA TODAY bestselling & #1 Amazon bestselling Timeless Romance Anthology series in Clean & Wholesome Romance, comes the Timeless Romance Singles line.
THE MATCHMAKING GAME: A brand new historical romance novella from bestselling author Donna Hatch.
Rowena’s childhood friend, Evan, has returned home from war a handsome, but mysterious stranger. In an effort to bring happiness to her father, not to mention uncover the Evan she remembers from their youth, Rowena seeks to unite their parents. Who better to match a lonely widow and widower together than their adoring children? Her matchmaking game could help their parents find happiness and draw out her childhood friend buried beneath Evan’s new reserve … or it could break more than one heart.
Chapter One, Part 8
A gentleman standing in a circle hailed Evan. “Ah, the returning war hero.”
Evan winced. “Hero,” he muttered.
Rowena released Evan’s arm, and stepped back so he could converse without her hovering over him.
Cynthia Pritchard sauntered to Rowena, fanning herself and glancing about from underneath her enviable eyelashes. Honestly, no one with hair and skin that blonde should have eyelashes so long and dark. With her cheeks flushed from dancing and her eyes alight, she presented a lovely picture.
“Rowena,” Cynthia said in the voice children used when finding a shiny, new toy. At sixteen, she’d only
been out a few months but seemed to have a goal of marrying before autumn, based on her flirting. “I’m simply green with envy that you conversed with Evan Barnes so long.”
Rowena opened her mouth and then closed it with a snap. The last thing Evan needed was a husband-hunter like Cynthia Pritchard dogging him. Evan had only been home from war a short time and had much more pressing issues—like helping match her papa with his mother.
“As I recall,” Cynthia continued, “he is your cousin?”
Rowena said, “To be precise, our fathers are second cousins, so we’re actually third cousins. I have known him all my life.”
She’d even received her father’s permission to write to Evan while he’d been away at war—a privilege she may not have had if they hadn’t been related, despite their long-standing friendship.
Cynthia bit her lip and toyed with her fan while devouring him with her eyes. “He certainly is the most handsome man I’ve ever seen.”
“Er, yes, he is a fine-looking gentleman.”
How annoying that Cynthia should notice. She hardly knew Evan. She’d been a child when her older
brother, Joseph, and Evan left to serve king and country. Of course, her brother never came home. Rowena’s ire softened.
Cynthia was now quite alone in the world except for her aunt and uncle, who seemed to view their charge as an annoyance. Rowena had never seen them offer Cynthia a kind look or an encouraging word. She probably wanted to marry to escape her unwelcome home life.
“I wonder if I stand near him, he’ll ask me for a dance.” Cynthia shot a strangely competitive look at
Rowena. “Perhaps I shall dream up a way of finding myself in his proximity so he might take me out to the terrace for a cozy conversation.”
All of Rowena’s charity toward Cynthia evaporated. The chit could have any other man; she should keep her claws off Evan.
“I wish you luck,” Rowena managed through clenched teeth. She excused herself and mingled with some of the other guests, all the while turning over ideas that might help Papa see Mrs. Barnes as a future wife, help Evan find himself again, and protect him from unwanted advances.
About the Author
April 5th: Launch
April 6th: Rockin' Book Reviews & Hearts & Scribbles
April 7th: Bookworm Nation & Zerina Blossom's Books
April 9th: Hardcover Feedback & The Silver Dagger Scriptorium
April 10th: Christy's Cozy Corners & Katie's Clean Book Collection
April 11th: Reading Is My SuperPower & Heidi Reads...
April 12th: Rainy Day Reviews & deal sharing aunt
April 13th: Mel's Shelves & Getting Your Read On
April 14th: Bookworm Lisa & Singing Librarian Books
April 16th: Celticlady's Reviews & Booklove
April 17th: Falling Leaves & Nicole's Book Musings
April 18th: Grand Finale
- 1 winner will receive a print copy of Heart Strings by Donna Hatch (US only)