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A Kiss Before the Wedding

A Pembroke Palace Short Story


Julianne MacLean


Copyright © 2012 Julianne MacLean


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One


June 12, 1842


Though she was young—only one month shy of her nineteenth year—Lady Adelaide Robins possessed the wisdom to understand that certain moments in one’s life were turning points that could never be undone.

This, she knew, was one of those moments.

Years from now, she would look back on the choice she had made this evening as she sat at her desk, quill in hand, and wonder, what if I had acted differently? What if I had never written this letter?

Lady Adelaide did not know if she was making the right decision tonight. How could she? She did not possess a crystal ball, nor the life experience to judge most men of the world.

Except, perhaps, for one man, who was very dear to her heart.

William Thomas, her friend since childhood, was the second son of a viscount, while she was the daughter of an earl, raised on a vast estate in Yorkshire with her two older sisters, who were now married.

Their father was thankful for the husbands her sisters had procured, for it was common knowledge that their family was impoverished, and there was no money for dowries. Not a single farthing.

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