Before I Found You:
A de Courtenay Novella (Book Three)
Release Date: February 8, 2022
A quest for a title. An encounter with a stranger. Will she choose love?
Miss Miranda de Courtenay has only one goal in life: to find a rich husband who can change her status from Missto My Lady. But when a handsome stranger crosses her path at a Valentine’s Day ball, her obsession with titles dims. Might love be enough?
Captain Jasper Rousseau has no plans to become infatuated during a chance encounter at a ball. He has a new ship to run, passengers to book, and cargo to deliver. But one look into a young lady’s beautiful hazel eyes, and he becomes lost. Does love at first sight really exist?
Their paths continue to cross until they are both stranded in Fenwick on Sea. Their growing connection is hard to dismiss, despite Miranda’s childish quest for a title at all cost. But what if the cost includes love?
A young woman suddenly caught his attention as she skipped to the lively patterns of the current dance. Dark brown hair was swept up in a pleasing coiffure sprinkled with what looked like diamonds winking in the candlelight of the room. Her gown was pale blue with a pink ribbon just below her breasts. She turned and the look on her face was one of bored indifference, making Jasper inwardly laugh. Had Lord de Courtenay seen in his features what this woman showed to any who cared to gaze upon her?
Jasper continued to view her from a distance. Blue sapphires hung from her ears while a delicate golden chain with the same stones and diamonds graced her neck. He continued to watch, a slow grin spreading, until the dance ended and she gave a small curtsey to her partner.
As she rose, she scanned the room and he briefly wondered whom she was looking for in the overfilled ballroom. Their gazes met and held for an instant on a heartbeat. Jasper raised his glass in a silent toast and her eyes widened before she looked away, leaving the dance floor and melting away into the crowd.
His curiosity roused, Jasper drained the rest of his glass and handed the empty flute to a passing servant. He began to move, casually walking among the throng of people, hoping to catch another glimpse of the young woman who had momentarily caught his attention. His taste did not normally run to young maidens. She could hardly be older than a score of years, he surmised, as he continued searching for her.