Scandal’s Prequel (Scandal #0.5) Read Online Pamela Gibson

Categories Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Tags Authors: Series: Scandal Series by Pamela Gibson
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Total pages in book: 33
Estimated words: 30415 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 152(@200wpm)___ 122(@250wpm)___ 101(@300wpm)
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Miranda Carlyle and Jeremy Montague have loved each other since childhood. But Jeremy, eldest son of the Earl of Longley, must marry an heiress and Miranda is the daughter of an impoverished vicar. Worse, her reputation is tainted by her scandalous mother who ran off years ago, abandoning both husband and child.
Driven by loneliness, they meet in secret, sharing their joys and their disappointments. While vowing to keep their encounters platonic, their attraction grows and a deeper relationship is formed until one magical night passion flares and their trysts change to steamy encounters full of love and lust.
Jeremy promises marriage and leaves for London to confront his father. He’s of age. He’ll marry whomever he chooses.
But when weeks pass and Jeremy doesn’t return, Miranda becomes wary. And when she’s lured to their trysting place through a ruse by a virtual stranger, she is paralyzed with fear, because Miranda is hiding an important secret and without Jeremy, her life is going to change forever.

Full Book:

Chapter 1

Village of Longley, late February, 1806

Miranda Carlyle hurled her last stone into the water, wishing instead it was crockery and its destination was a tree trunk. How could Father have allowed Aunt Agatha to manage his daughter’s life?

She was eighteen and had dreams of one day contracting a comfortable marriage and having a passel of children.

Instead she spent most of her time at the vicarage, was never allowed to mingle with gentlemen her age, and was told she must prepare to be a companion, not a governess, which she would much prefer.

Oh, it is so unfair.

Her temporary pique assuaged, she plopped down on the bank and removed her shoes and stockings. If she was indeed a saucy baggage, hoity-toity wench, or unrepentant hoyden—terms her aunt had called her—then by God she’d earn those names.

Miranda lifted the hem of her skirt and stepped into the cold water of the pond, wincing as it eddied around her bare feet. She took another step and sank to her ankles in the soft mud. Securely anchored, she closed her eyes and lifted her face to the sun. The day was glorious, full of warmth and promise, heralding the end of winter.

If only I could remain here forever.

Ladies did not frolic in a muddy pond, not when the water was ice cold. Nor did they skip stones on the water, as she loved to do.

She sighed and took two steps back to the grassy bank. She swirled her right foot in the water to loosen the mud, then did the same with her left. She’d brought a rag to dry her feet and ankles, knowing she couldn’t resist wading on such a fine day, even if it was most inappropriate.

Careful not to crush the perky daffodil stalks that had sprung up along the bank and would soon be in bloom, she lowered herself to the ground and stared out over the water. The surface of the pond reflected the blue sky, and a slight breeze ruffled its surface.

Peace. So different from her daily routine, one she should be returning to at this very moment.

Her head shot up at the neighing of a horse. A lone figure seemed to be watching her from the back of a magnificent roan. Squinting into the sunlight, she tilted her head to the side to get a better look. This was Longley land. No one rode here unless it was . . .

She caught her breath. Could it be Jeremy?

She stood and waved.

He dismounted and walked his horse toward her, a broad grin giving his handsome face an impish look.

“I thought it was you. No one else has hair quite this color.” He reached out and tugged at one of the loose guinea-gold tendrils around her face. “Or is bold enough to cast aside her stockings and shoes to wade in February.”

She stopped breathing. A frisson of heat remained where his fingers had brushed her cheek. She looked into his merry eyes and curved her mouth into a smile. Jeremy, home from Cambridge. An educated gentleman now.

Far above her reach.

“I didn’t know you’d returned. Will you be here long?” She shouldn’t sound too eager. The tendre she’d hidden for years had to remain a secret. He was Viscount Jeremy, elder son of the Earl and Countess of Longley, and she was the vicar’s daughter. One day he’d be master of this vast estate with a proper wife.

That wife wouldn’t be her.

“I’m back for good.” He sat on the grass and wrapped his hands around his knees. “Father thinks it’s time for me to learn how to run the estate.”

“It’s your destiny. Why am I hearing you hesitate?”

He reached out and tugged at her hand until she sat beside him. “You always were one to speak your mind.”

She adjusted her skirts and tucked her bare feet beneath them. “Aunt Agatha says it’s a failing. I shall never be able to comport myself properly before a future employer if I don’t learn to bite my tongue.”


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