The Country Cousins
- Author: Dinah Dean
- Publisher: Mills & Boon Masquerade #201
- Year: 1986
- Setting: England - 1808
- Amazon Listing - The Country Cousins
Blurb from Australian Edition
She spun round, and there was Mr. Hartwell, standing in the corridor watching her. "Did you manage to hear very much?" he enquired mildly.
Caroline was silent, surprised to find that she was not in the least afraid of him, but was simply nonplussed.
"The trouble is," she said, "I just don't know what to believe. You warned me that I might put myself in danger by prying into your affairs...
"I did nothing of the sort! I warned you against taking too much interest in the smugglers! I said nothing about my own concerns."
"But I thought..." Caroline suddenly realised that this was quite true.
"It seems to me," he observed judicially, "that you've been letting your imagination run away with you. I'll admit that, at first glance, my behaviour is a little suspicious sudden comings and goings, odd visitors at strange hours, no social chit-chat about where I've been or what I've been doing, but I've explained all that to you. Why do you think I'm up to some sort of villainy?"
Why indeed, thought Caroline, did she harbour such ridiculous [doubts] and suspicions about a man with whom she was almost prepared to admit that she was in love...
"A WHOLE MONTH IN THE COUNTRY, WITH A VERY HANDSOME GENTLEMAN TO SQUIRE YOU ABOUT!"
A delightful prospect for Miss Caroline Barnes from Stepney in London. But on arrival in Woodham she found her cousin Julia languishing in a lonely, wretched condition. As for the handsome gentleman...Julia's step-brother Mr. Hartwell was undoubtedly cold, domineering and heartless, wholly lacking in sensibility.
As Caroline speculated about the mysterious nature of Mr. Hartwell's travels, and his strange visitors, she became convinced that he was a spy. If he wasn't a spy, what was he? And was he really arrogant and disagreeable or had she perhaps mistaken his character from the first?
Blurb from US Edition
"I am not in the habit of spying on anyone."
Mr. Hartwell's lips twitched. "Oh, I believe you -" an amused glint appeared in his eyes "- I think you're just cursed with a little more than the average amount of female curiosity and Intelligence. Remember what happened to the cat. Be careful, that's all."
"Consider how easily I could seize you so..." He made a sudden grab and held her tightly in his arms, crushing her against his body.
Was it a warning or a threat?
Caroline did not know, but she did know that all her doubts vanished once she was clasped in that passionate embrace.
A female can easily meet with an accident...
Canons Grange was the perfect setting for a romantic adventure - and its handsome owner was suitably mysterious.
Robert Hartwell seemed the perfect English gentleman. But why was he absent so frequently? Who were his midnight visitors? Where did he acquire military secrets?
Such questions tormented Caroline. She must find the answers - or forfeit any hope of happiness. She must know if the man she loved was a daring patriot - or a ruthless traitor.?