When James Sidwell, Marquis of Riverdale, offered to help Elizabeth Hotchkiss find herself a husband, he never dreamed that the only candidate he could propose would be himself..
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June 30, 2005
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Excerpt from How to Marry a Marquis by Julia Quinn
Surrey, EnglandAugust 1815
Four plus six plus eight plus seven plus one plus one plus one, mark down eight, carry the two . .
Elizabeth Hotchkiss added up the column of numbers for the fourth time, came up with the same answer she'd come up with three times before, and groaned.
When she looked up, three somber faces were staring at her-the three faces of her younger siblings.
"What is it, Lizzie?" nine-year-old Jane asked.
Elizabeth smiled weakly as she tried to figure out how she was going to put away enough money to buy fuel to heat their little cottage that winter. "We, ah . . . we haven't much in the way of funds, I'm afraid."
Susan, who at fourteen was closest in age to Elizabeth, frowned. "Are you absolutely certain? We must have something. When Papa was alive we always --"
Elizabeth silenced her with an urgent stare. There were a lot of things they'd had when Papa was alive, but he'd left them nothing aside from a small bank account. No income, no property. Nothing but memories. And thoseat least the ones Elizabeth carried with her-weren't the sort that warmed one's heart.
"Things are different now," she said firmly, hoping to put an end to the subject. "You can't compare the two."
Jane grinned. "We can use the money Lucas has been stuffing away in his toy soldier box."