Miss Jocelyn Maybrey held doubts about the life mapped out before her, marriage to a man as active in politics as her father–even if he was the heir to a title. While her parents thrived in the London political social scene, Jocelyn did not share their enjoyment. Did she want to continue as her parents did for all her life?
Jocelyn saw the Christmas holiday invitation to Bayneville Castle, the country estate of the 8th Marquess of Tarkington, as a perfect way to clear her head and consider her future. The house party was to celebrate her friend Lady Mary Bayne’s betrothal.
When Lady Mary contracted a wicked cold and became bedridden in the hopes of quick recovery before the rest of the guests arrived, Jocelyn found herself thrown more into the Marquess’s company.
The Marquess had been as active in London politics until the death of his wife. Since then, he’d spent his time on his estate with his young daughter. Jocelyn was amazed at how everyone she met in the household revered the Marquess. He was not above playing hide-and-seek with his daughter, nor taking the sleigh out to gather evergreen boughs and mistletoe when the servants were too busy preparing for his sister’s party.
But what amazed her was the woodturning lessons she found him taking from the estate carpenter. He was making a rocking horse, not watching its creation.
The handmade toy was Lord Tarkington’s gift for his young daughter. His labor of love touched Jocelyn, and she knew she had found her heart’s desire…