This Blog Tour Tuesday we announce the publication of Book 10 in the
by Sandra E. Sinclair
About Blind Affection:
Lily Whitefield’s once prized debutante status, went unfulfilled, marred by a cruel, fateful accident. Now her sister is marrying the man she loves. Trapped by her imperfection, Lily decides to escape the prospect of spinsterhood by being a mail-order bride. She sneaks away, leaving her safe, cushioned existence behind and boarding a train to Colorado to marry a man she’s never met.
Uncertain if he’d ever find true love, or simply an honest woman who saw him as more than a purse, a financial wishing well, Wythe Radcliffe sought the advice and aid of a Matchmaker from a mail order bridal agency. But he already had the girl in mind. He’d been writing to her for the past two years. He just needed a little help.
Lily has her own money and flaws, she’ll make him the perfect wife. After all he wasn’t perfect either.
Broken and scarred by the tragic events in their past. Can Lily and Wythe heal and build a loving future together?
Falling, falling, falling, Lily Whitefield finally closed her eyes against the sensation gripping her and dragging her
downward into a new depth of despair. One she thought she’d reached three years ago, and overcome when her world had come crashing down around her.
She clutched Wythe Radcliffe’s letter close to her chest and swung away from the window, trying to steady her trembling hand and heaving bosom. Why was she so unhappy when she knew deep in her heart this day would come?
Her fingers traced her lips where Edwin Waterman had once placed his. She remembered the first time he’d kissed her before running off yelling, one day he was going to make her his wife. Granted they had been children at the time, but she had loved him from the moment she’d shocked everyone by taking her first few steps so she could play with him.
“What a glorious afternoon.” Sarah came swanning into the hall from outdoors, her lips still swollen from Edwin’s kiss. Lily patted the hair hanging low over her right eye in place.
She spun to greet her sister who was in the process of disrobing, handing her shawl and parasol to the maid waiting at the front door. Sarah blinked when her gaze settled on Lily, a hand flew to cover her mouth and she took a step backward, then began to stutter.
“Er…ah, Lily, I didn’t see you standing there.”
“I came down to retrieve my mail.”
Lily raised the open letter, grateful she still had a hold of it. The need to prove she’d not been spying on her younger sister, moved strongly within her. The truth was, she hadn’t been spying. She saw her post and began to read it, when her sister’s voice had traveled from outside the building and flowed lyrically through the open window.
It pulled her forward like a magnet until she was almost pressed up against the open pane. Unable to look away or close her eyes, she was forced to witness the scene play out in front of her, crushing her heart into a million pieces.
The corners of her mouth turned upward and froze in position as practiced to display the fake joy she should be feeling for her sister. But she couldn’t when it was at the expense of the future she had once foreseen for herself.
However, no matter what the situation or the feelings going on inside her, she would continue being the loving sister she had always been and wish her little sister well.
How Lily’s life turned out, had nothing to do with Sarah. It was God’s will, a punishment for her shallow ways and vanity. Had she been humble like Sarah, maybe she would have been allowed to maintain her once flawless beauty. As it was, she was thankful to still be alive and able to do everything as before, but better somehow, in a strange and unexpected way.
Their father stepping out of his study, drew the girls’ attention. He paused, buttoning his vest.
“Good, you’re both on time for dinner, a welcome change. Shall we go and eat?” He held his elbows outward for each of his daughters to take an arm, and led them into the dining room.
“Well, now, Sarah, would you like to enlighten your sister and I, as to why you were making such a ruckus on the front porch?”
He held Lily’s chair for her. She slipped her letter into the pocket of her skirt and sat. Then he walked around to Sarah and did the same.
Sarah kept her head lowered, refusing to look at Lily, her cheeks darkening and her hand quivering as she picked up her napkin. Focused on every intricate movement her sister made, Lily remained silent. She knew what it was Sarah had to share with them, and tried to prepare herself for the inevitable.
She had perfected this state since Edwin asked her father’s permission to court Sarah, once Lily had rejected his continued interest after the accident. Knowing it was what he and his father truly wanted, but were too polite to say.
After making her decision to leave Edwin, she’d begun to think perhaps she’d been too rash in her assessment of their situation. Edwin had stood by her side after the accident, without complaint.
Although his silent acceptance had troubled her. Unlike most, he never flinched when he saw the unsightly aftereffect of her injury, nor did he make any comment regarding it. It was as if he didn’t see her flaw. But she did—every time she looked in the mirror.
He’d protested when she called off the engagement, declaring he still loved her, and nothing would ever change how he felt. She’d been stubborn for months, not wishing to see him or anyone else outside of her small family. During this time, she’d encouraged Sarah to befriend Edwin to help him through the breakup, while she came to terms with the fact she was no longer beautiful.
Her chance to visit Edwin and tell him she’d changed her mind was stripped away when her father announced over dinner one evening. “In light of Lily’s rejection, Edwin’s father has asked for Sarah’s hand instead.”
Hurt had convinced Lily her suspicions had been correct; even though they had parted ways almost a year ago.
Lily disappeared into herself, resigned to remain a loveless spinster for the rest of her life.
Not having the heart to take away Sarah’s joy at the news she’d be the one to marry Edwin. She’d kept her hurt feelings to herself and had painted a smile on her face—the same one she wore now.
Sarah had been sweet on Edwin for almost as long as Lily. She’d often openly told Lily of her jealousy. Now it was Lily’s time to be jealous, although she wasn’t surprised by the disclosure.
Initially, when Edwin and Sarah met, it was to ask Sarah to convince Lily to change her mind. Over the months, Sarah stopped sharing what they spoke about.
Lily was smart enough to know her fleeting change of heart to reconcile with Edwin was because she could sense two of the people she loved most in the world were slipping away from her. It had been her unspoken vain attempt to hold onto the past. Her only saving grace was, she never told anyone she’d changed her mind.
“So, baby girl, what was it?”
The use of Sarah’s pet name coming from her father’s deep baritone voice woke her from her reminiscing. Lily’s head snapped to attention. She stilled herself for her sister’s response, clutching the letter in her pocket for strength.
“Well…er…well…er.” Sarah licked her lips and took a sip of water. Her lashes half-mast, cloaking her eyes from view as she kept her face turned toward their father. “Edwin gave me some exciting news. I wasn’t supposed to tell as his father is coming to speak with you later today. He wants to come to supper tonight.”
Unable to listen to any more of Sarah’s fumbling’s to keep her stupid secret, in the vain hope of saving her feelings, Lily stood.
“It’s simple, father, Edwin has finished school, his father wants him to begin his political career, so he needs a wife beside him. I think what Sarah is struggling to tell you is they want to bring the wedding forward.”
“How…how could you know?” Sarah’s mouth fell open, her eyes glistening with unshed tears and sympathy.
It was the sympathy part Lily hated. Life is what it is, and she’d known all along Edwin would need a wife from a prestigious family to help further his political future. Edwin had big plans, they’d talked of nothing else when they were together.
“May I be excused?” Lily asked. Without waiting for a response, she left the room.
She would not stand by and watch the life, which should have been hers, played out in front of her by another woman. She loved her sister and was happy for her, but she was equally unhappy for herself. The only thing keeping her sane were the words on her letter from a man she’d never seen.
It was time to change
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Good luck on what sounds like a heart warming story. DorisReplyDelete