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Daughter of the Rainbow by Lynn Shurr

Daughter of the Rainbow by Lynn Shurr

Author:Lynn Shurr [Shurr, Lynn]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9781613094068
Publisher: Wings ePress, Inc.
Published: 2020-03-01T05:00:00+00:00


Eighteen

The marriage took place one week later at the venerable but no longer stylish church of St. Mary-le-Strand built in 1717 to replace the one the Protector Somerset had torn down to poach the stones for his house—which ironically now sheltered the Royal Academy of Arts. Iris did have a charming gown and a lovely bonnet, but what set them off to perfection was the hope on her small face and the love lighting her wide brown eyes.

Viscount Valls, pale but handsome, stood on his own two feet before the altar and repeated his vows. The duke and Danelagh would have prevented his doing anything else. The champagne breakfast at Bellevue House stretched into the early afternoon as the duke seemed reluctant to part with his daughter and found excuses to linger. Finally, his wife called an end to the festivities and summoned up the coach to deliver the bride and groom to the studio, not that it resembled the one where a duel had taken place only a week ago.

The duchess had seen the place scoured by her servants from top to bottom. She tested the mattress in Valls’ chamber and found it adequate, but added finer linens and more pillows. Lady Weston gifted the couple with the chairs and table her stepson so often borrowed and added in a new tea service engraved with their intertwined initials. Lady Flora installed a young maid new from the country, unafraid of rats and fond of cats, in a suitable room to see to her daughter’s needs and assist Stubbs. Best of all in the opinion of both Iris and the duke, the elusive Lionel was sent ahead in a tightly secured basket to greet the young couple upon arrival.

All three of the cats, Stubbs, and Tilly, the maid, awaited them in the hallway. Iris marveled at the improvements to the studio, the spotless floor and walls, the shining clerestory windows, the small, comfortable sitting area with a Turkey rug underfoot to mitigate the chill of the marble floor.

Iris twirled around in joy and explored the circumference of the room noting all the changes right down to the two easels set side by side, one taller than the other, holding fresh canvases. “Valls, we still have several hours of daylight left. Shall we paint?”

“I think we are familiar enough now that you might call me Luke, and I believe I’d rather do something else on my wedding day.”

“What, when no one can tell us to put down our brushes and rest before a fete or come along to make boring calls on people who rarely say a word of any importance?”

“I want to assure you my bedchamber is also vastly improved. Would you like to see it?”

“Perhaps after supper. Oh!” Iris pressed her fingertips to her lips. “Mama and Papa do enjoy an afternoon nap.”

“A nap was not what I had in mind either.” By the color rising on his bride’s dusky cheeks, Luke surmised she knew her parents did not spend their time resting.



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