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She is plump, plain, pleasant A self-appointed wallflower, she has every intention of remaining one. Tabitha made a vow of spinsterhood with her cousins when they were girls, and she refuses to go back on her word. Nothing, that is, except perhaps the barrel of a dueling pistol, held to his face by his ladylove. Looking for information about Shelved, the unreleased third and final book in the series? Find out more here. The massive aubergine feathers adorning her headpiece finished the attack where her hair had left off.
Not that she needed to lean in at all. One would have to exert a valiant and sincere effort in order not to hear the sprawling whine of a voice. She was, after all, merely a few feet behind the two and several positions down the wall. Tabitha remained where she was for two reasons: first, to avoid the possibility of dancing with any gentleman whatsoever; and second, to avoid the notice of Lord Oglethorpe, the blasted fortune hunter currently attempting to pay her excessive attention of the unwanted variety.
As luck would have it, Tabitha had selected a green shade of silk for her gown that evening, one that fortuitously fell somewhere between the hues of the verdant ivies in pots before her and the somewhat softer Pomona green draped over the walls. She thought she blended in quite well, all things considered.
Lady Plumridge was younger, yes. And also much squatter. She was no less a gossipmonger, however. How disgraceful, that Lord Newcastle has had to resort to such measures. Pathetic, really The two dragons were right, of course. Father had, yet again, increased her preposterously large dowry to near epic proportions. This was likewise a task in which he was certain to fail, however much it pained Tabitha to disappoint him with regard to any matter.
Sadly, Father refused to listen to her arguments. Regrettably, these gentlemen all held one commonality which Tabitha simply could not abide: a propensity for fortune hunting. They wanted her for her money, not for herself. Certainly not Oglethorpe or any of his ilk. At less than a month shy of nine-and-twenty, she had never been considered an Incomparable. Tabitha could not boast excellent skill at playing the pianoforte, or an aptitude for painting watercolors, or cleverness in embroidery or stitchery, or expertise in any other traditional feminine pursuit.
Additionally, she was rather more plump than could be considered fashionable and rather more plain than pretty, with straight hair of some muddy, brownish hue and eyes of a lackluster grey that turned downright stormy when she was in a temper, as Jo was frequently keen to inform her. There was, to be blunt, nothing to recommend her save her disproportionate dowry and a superb proficiency at remaining a wallflower.
It was simply one of the sad facts of who she was. Tabitha had to tamp down on a fit of missish giggles at the absurdity of the thought. Suddenly, she felt parched—almost desperately so. Not only that, but she would also make it much easier for Lord Oglethorpe to resume his attentions. So a wallflower she must remain.
It ought not to be difficult—at least not overly so. Why break the streak? Lady Plumridge nodded frantically. Shelton has become quite the rogue. Newcastle seems to have lost his rein on the lad. Tobias Shelton, Toby to those who knew him well which admittedly one could argue would include the majority of Britain and a good half the Continent , was mere minutes younger than Tabitha—and therefore far past the age when a gentleman was expected to cease sowing his wild oats and become a respectable member of society.
Toby, however, had no intention of becoming anything close to resembling respectable. He made certain to inform Tabitha of this fact on every occasion he could, just in case she had somehow forgotten.
He could charm the stockings off anyone he chose. Thankfully, she had not yet heard tell of his charming the stockings off an innocent. Blast him. Toby, not God. Lady Kibblewhite shook her head forcefully. No lady will tame the rascal he has become. Jo wore her blonde curls down in waves that bounced about her shoulders against a bold blue satin gown that highlighted the particular shade of her eyes. And, bless her, she carried two glasses in her hands.
For that matter, it seemed nearly every eye in the ballroom was trained upon her. In fact, were she not already so firmly entrenched in her position upon the shelf, Jo might still be considered an Incomparable to this day.
For a moment, Tabitha silently cursed her cousin for drawing attention to her position of safety—in particular because Lady Plumridge and Lady Kibblewhite looked over at Tabitha with heated disdain.
Her eavesdropping had been discovered. She feigned a smile and waved before whipping her fan out. She said a silent prayer for sherry, though she doubted the Scantleburys had provided anything of the sort. Her voice even cracked from how dry her throat had become. She took a long sip then grimaced. That you were thirsty, or where to find you? Always hiding from the finer things in life. He hopes to claim your hand for the supper dance. I assume you already knew that.
At least not yet. Tabitha stole a furtive glance around the ballroom to locate him. Perhaps three. Then she winked. There was nothing she would put past Josephine Faulkner, including a duel. Jo likely would have managed it with more finesse than their mutual cousin Isaac had, too, taking a clean shot that might not have killed the lecherous bastard. But that was another matter entirely. Tabitha dared a surreptitious glance in order to confirm that Lord Oglethorpe had not somehow already returned to the ballroom.
Alas, the gentlemen involved in the raucous discussion were all related to her in some manner. Or as good as related to her, at least. From this distance, she could not make out the subject. They ought to keep such discussion to their clubs. It was unseemly to deport themselves so, with innocent young misses strewn about. But then Owen raised a hand and said something to the others, in particular to Toby, and the laughter died down.
Toby could use a hefty dose of the same. Perhaps Lady Kibblewhite had been onto something earlier. Taking a wife would do Toby a world of good. But honestly, I think it would solve a world of problems. Particularly since she is as old as Moses and as attractive as an ape. An old, scraggly ape. Then she returned to attacking Lady Plumridge with the plumes shooting off her head in a flurry of heated whispers, this time with far more vigor than before. Tabitha had to curb a snicker.
I simply mean that he needs one, something to the effect of which Lady Kibblewhite mentioned earlier. A bride? You must be feeling ill, Tabby.
It would not do for you to have a fit of the vapors. Or have you forgotten the reason for your current position? The look upon his face was almost Owen seemed somber, no less than his norm.
But Lord Devonport He seemed intrigued. Interested, even. His blue eyes sparkled in the candlelight and he smiled at her, his usual cheerful smile, only somehow laced with something more knowing. Not carnal, per se. Certainly not lusty. Tabitha had to tamp down on a laugh at the mere notion that a gentleman might someday look upon her with lust. Apart from the usual money-lust, of course.
CATHERINE GAYLE WALLFLOWER PDF
Shelves: genre-historical-romance , funny-funny-har-har , hero-i-wanna-hug , fugly-cover , heroine-plainjane-bluestocking , hero-beta , heroine-wallflower Lady Tabitha Shelton made a pact with her two cousins; that they would become old maids together, they wouldnt let societys expectation that they should all marry trap them. Not that Tabitha is inundated with offers, no matter that her dowry is embarrassingly large, she is far to plain and plump for that, and has been a wallflower since her debut. That is, until Noah, Marquess of Devonport one of her brothers best friends and of the few men she is comfortable enough to have a conversation with, suddenly starts flirting with her. But is Noah like all the other men who has tried to pursue her; a fortune hunter or does he want Tabitha for herself?
Grozahn View all 8 comments. Catherine Gayle is a new-to-me author but I will definitely be reading more of her work. If only Bethanne were in Town, she could be in on the plan as well. I enjoyed reading Wallflower and catherije forward to reading more from Catherine Gayle in the future. Tabitha made a pact with her two cousins to form the Old Maids Club and has no intention of being wed. Books by Catherine Gayle.
[PDF] Wallflower Book by Catherine Gayle Free Download (296 pages)