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Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas Read Online (FREE)

Marrying Winterborne Read Online

Read Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels, #2) by Lisa Kleypas full novel online for free here.

About the author

Lisa Kleypas is the author of a number of historical and contemporary romance novels that have been published in fourteen languages. In 1985, she was named Miss Massachusetts and competed in the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City. After graduating from Wellesley College with a political science degree, she published her first novel at age twenty-one. Her books have appeared on the New York Times bestseller lists. Lisa is married and has two children.

Visit Lisa Kleypas online:

www.lisakleypas.com

www.facebook.com/LisaKleypas

www.twitter.com/LisaKleypas

 

Chapter 1

 

“MR. WINTERBORNE, A WOMAN IS here to see you.”

Rhys looked up from the stack of letters on his desk with a scowl.

His personal secretary, Mrs. Fernsby, stood at the threshold of his private office, her eyes sharp behind round spectacles. She was a tidy hen of a woman, middle-aged and just a bit plump.

“You know I don’t receive visitors at this hour.” It was his morning ritual to spend the first half hour of the day reading mail in uninterrupted silence.

“Yes, sir, but the visitor is a lady, and she—”

“I don’t care if she’s the bloody Queen,” he snapped. “Send her away.”

Mrs. Fernsby’s lips pinched into a disapproving hyphen. She left promptly, the heels of her shoes hitting the floor like the staccato of gunfire.

Rhys returned his attention to the letter in front of him. Losing his temper was a luxury he rarely permitted himself, but for the past week he’d been invaded by a sullen gloom that weighted every thought and heartbeat, and made him want to lash out at anyone within reach.

All because of a woman he had known better than to want.

Lady Helen Ravenel . . . a woman who was cultured, innocent, shy, aristocratic. Everything he was not.

Their engagement had lasted a mere two weeks before Rhys had managed to ruin it. The last time he had seen Helen, he’d been impatient and aggressive, finally kissing her the way he’d wanted to for so long. She had gone stiff in his arms, rejecting him. Her disdain couldn’t have been more obvious. The scene had ended in tears on her part, anger on his.

The next day, Kathleen, Lady Trenear, who had been married to Helen’s late brother, had come to inform him that Helen was so distressed, she was bedridden with a migraine.

“She never wants to see you again,” Kathleen had informed him bluntly.

Rhys couldn’t blame Helen for ending the betrothal. Obviously they were a mismatch. It was against the designs of God that he should take the daughter of a titled English family to wife. Despite his great fortune, Rhys didn’t have the deportment or education of a gentleman. Nor did he have the appearance of one, with his swarthy complexion and black hair, and workingman’s brawn.

By the age of thirty, he had built Winterborne’s, his father’s small shop on High Street, into the world’s largest department store. He owned factories, warehouses, farmland, stables, laundries, and residential buildings. He was on the boards of shipping and railway companies. But no matter what he achieved, he would never overcome the limitations of having been born a Welsh grocer’s son.