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Lady Amanda's Pearls

The Earl's Acceptance : Book Two

By: Laura Hart
Published By:
Copyright: 2017© Blushing Books® and Laura Hart
Twenty-four chapters / 57,300 Words
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4.9 Out Of 5 (4.9 on 8)   |  Write a review
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Mandy, a modern young Texan, now makes her home in Scotland with her husband Quinn, a Scottish viscount. She was given a valuable pearl necklace by her newly-discovered grandfather, the Earl of Dunblane, but her mother has decided that the necklace should be hers instead. She hires a Dallas lawyer to go to Scotland and get the pearls, but he runs up against the combined power of Mandy’s grandfather, her husband, and her father-in-law, the Earl of Morleton.

The powerful threesome wants to keep the nasty fight a secret from Mandy, but Quinn’s sister finds out about it and tells her, causing the two women to take forbidden action and earn themselves punishment from the furious viscount.

When matters take a surprising turn, the three peers realize they have to beat the Texas lawyer at his own game, no matter what the cost. Mandy’s well-being is at stake.

Publisher’s Note: This book contains elements of domestic discipline.

Chapter 1 – A New Mother

 

“This is it, lass—the final day of our honeymoon.”

Quinn put the last bag in the trunk of the car and then walked over to where Mandy was watching him. “How do you feel about going home today?”

They’d just spend six weeks on the Continent and were now heading back to Scotland to begin their married life. Yesterday they’d crossed the Channel on a ferry from France and had driven as far as Oxford, the famous university town that Mandy had always wanted to see. They’d spent the night there and were now only six-and-a-half hours from being home again in Scotland.

“Lass?” Quinn looked expectantly at Mandy, who seemed lost in her own thoughts. He put an arm around her and drew her close.

“Sorry, I was thinking about that little café in Calais.” She looked up at him with one of those smiles that drove him crazy—half youthful insouciance and half irresistible seductress.

“So how do you feel about going home again?” he asked again.

“I’m not sure. I loved every minute of our trip, and, honestly, I could have stayed twice as long, but I know you need to get home again.”

We need to get home,” he corrected her. “We need to check on how the house renovations are coming along, and we should probably find a place in Edinburgh, too.”

The house in question was on the Earl of Morleton’s lands and was reserved for the earl’s heir, in this case, Quinn, his firstborn son, who was the viscount. After a struggle to gain his father’s permission, he’d finally wed Mandy, the young woman he’d met in Houston the previous year. They were deeply in love, but for Mandy, now Lady Amanda, learning about a completely new way of life had been difficult.

Mandy sighed. “It will be totally real life when we get home, won’t it? No more wedding plans or anything. What will I do all day?”

“You’ll still have Maisie and lots of decisions to make about the house. And don’t forget, there will still be tutors.”

Mandy rolled her eyes. Maisie was Quinn’s vivacious sister, and the two of them were great friends, but the tutors were a different matter. Ever since she’d first arrived in Scotland almost eight months ago, the family had brought in a series of tutors to help her learn what a young viscountess was expected to know—Scottish history and culture, an understanding of the aristocracy, protocol, and even a mastery of the Queen’s English.

At first, Mandy’d been an enthusiastic student, but as her interest in names and dates that had no meaning to her had waned, a bad report from her tutors had earned her a trip over Quinn’s knee. Ever since, she’d been a conscientious pupil, but it still wasn’t always interesting.

“I’d like to do some kind of writing,” she said. She had supported herself writing in Houston, and, in fact, they’d met when she’d interviewed him for an article.

“How’s your Queen’s English coming along?”

“It’s ever so fine, old chap,” she replied in her very best straight-from-the-movies accent.

Quinn laughed and gave her a kiss. “We need to get going. Are you ready?”

Mandy nodded but then added, “Wait! I have something else I want to put in the trunk.”

Quinn turned, shrugged his shoulders, and gave her a blank look.

Mandy frowned at him. “What? Why are you looking at me like that?”

Quinn ignored the question. “All right, let’s go,” he said as he opened her door.

“Quinn, I need to put something in the trunk,” she repeated. “Would you please pop it?”

Quinn responded the same as before, shrugging his shoulders and looking at her as if he had no idea what she wanted.

“What are you doing?” she demanded impatiently, glaring at him.

“Trying to get you into the car.”

“But I need you to open the trunk first.”

“This car doesn’t have a trunk.”

“What do you mean? What are you doing?” She sounded thoroughly annoyed.

Quinn looked at her a moment and then replied, “I’m trying to help you with your Queen’s English.”

“It seems to me like you’re trying to wreck our last day.”

A shadow flitted across Quinn’s face, and he took Mandy’s hand and walked her to the front of the car. “What is this called?” he asked, pointing at the hood.

Mandy scowled at him briefly as awareness hit. “I don’t believe you!” she said, shaking her head.

“What’s it called?” he repeated.

“A bonnet.”

“Very good. And you would like me to open what?”

“The boot.” Mandy rolled her eyes. “Oh please, my lord, open the boot.”

“Very good again. Of course your attitude could use a little work now.” He gave her a smack on her backside, but Mandy knew he wasn’t really upset with her. Quinn popped the ‘boot’ and watched as she put a large bag in.

“Now can we go?” he asked.

“If you’d been bilingual, we could have gone five minutes ago.” She smiled sweetly at him before continuing. “Quinn, I know those words, and you know that I know them, so why did you make such a big deal out of them?”

“I was making a point. You know the words, but you haven’t adopted any of them into your own vocabulary. If you want to write, you need to sound more local. Either that or write as a total outsider.”

“There’s an idea! Maybe I could write a column about life in Scotland from an American perspective.”

Quinn looked unenthusiastic. “That might cause some ripples, at least now. Maybe sometime in the future.”

As they zipped along the motorway, they reminisced about the last six weeks. It had all been new for Mandy, who’d never been in Europe before.

“What was your single favorite place?” Quinn asked. He’d thoroughly enjoyed sharing her excitement as she’d visited places she’d dreamed of and others she’d never even heard of.

“I don’t know that I could name just one,” she answered slowly as she thought about everywhere they’d been in the last six weeks. “I’d maybe say Paris, but that sounds trite, because everyone loves Paris. I loved driving on the country roads in Italy, but I also loved seeing the castles on the Rhine River.”

Then she suddenly changed subjects. “I didn’t know you knew all those languages. That was very impressive.”

She’d been surprised when they’d first arrived in France to discover Quinn spoke fluent French, and, as the trip had progressed, she’d also discovered he knew enough sketchy Italian and German to get by.

Quinn smiled. “I told you, my education was rather universal, and the German came from a German nanny I once had.” He chuckled and added, “She was a true joy.”

“You never told me about her.”

“There are many things I’ve never told you,” he replied with an amused look. “I don’t find tales of a nanny who could have given lessons to Hitler to be the best way of entertaining charming young ladies.”

Mandy gave him her best faux-stern look. “And exactly how many young ladies were you trying to entertain?”

“From the day I met you, only one.” He reached his hand out and squeezed her thigh.

Mandy giggled but then added more seriously, “Someday I’d really like to hear about your childhood. You’ve never said much about it.”

“Maybe someday,” he answered noncommittally.

* * *

“It’s lovely to have you two back again,” remarked Quinn’s mother, Lady Isobel, as she looked at them across the dinner table.

“Indeed,” agreed the earl, succinctly. Then, looking at Quinn, he continued, “Considering your stay in Houston, you’ve spent more time away from home than here in the last year or so.”

“Yes, sir, but I think that’s behind me now,” he answered as he smiled at Mandy.

The struggle to obtain his father’s permission to marry a woman from Texas had almost torn their family apart, and Quinn owed a huge debt of gratitude to his mother, who had somehow convinced his father to at least meet Mandy. There had been some very tense times, and Quinn had come close to renouncing his position as heir.

“Tell me, Amanda, what did you think about Europe?” asked Lady Isobel as she looked at her young daughter-in-law.

“I loved it, thank you, Lady Isobel,” replied Mandy enthusiastically. “It was like walking through a huge history book.”

Lady Isobel smiled and nodded, then said, “If you’re free after dinner, Amanda, could you join me for a few minutes in the small parlor? I have a matter I’d like to discuss with you.”

Mandy’s stomach did a flip-flop. Why did the countess want to see her? Had she done something wrong? Quinn’s mother had always treated her well, but spending private time together was very unusual.

“Yes, of course.” Mandy glanced at Quinn, who had a surprised look on his face.

She barely heard the rest of the conversation for worrying about why Lady Isobel wanted to see her. As everyone rose at the end of dinner, Quinn came over and took her hand.

“What’s going on?” he asked, nodding his head slightly in his mother’s direction.

“I have no idea,” she answered unhappily. “Do you think she’s mad at me about something?”

“No, not really. I guess you’ll just have to go find out what she wants. I’ll be upstairs.” He squeezed her hand for moral support and then left.

A few minutes later, Mandy hesitated at the door to the small parlor.

“Come in, Amanda,” the countess invited when she caught sight of her. “Come sit down here close to me.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Mandy answered with her best Texas manners. She knew ‘ma’am’ wasn’t really used in such situations, but she wasn’t sure what else she should say. Probably ‘Lady Isobel’ again.

“Now that you and Quinn are married, Amanda, I think it’s time that you called me ‘Mother.’ The other titles are a bit formal and cumbersome under the circumstances, don’t you think? Would you feel comfortable calling me ‘Mother?’”

Mandy stared at her. This was the last thing she’d expected to hear. She realized she’d been holding her breath and let it out again.

“Yes, ma’am—I mean Mother,” she answered quickly. “I think that would be really nice. Thank you.”

“Well, then, that’s settled.” She smiled at the young woman who was so eager to please her new family. “The earl is a bit more formal, so I think it would be best if you didn’t change your manner of address with him quite yet.”

“Oh, no ma—Mother!” agreed Mandy, unable to imagine calling the stern earl by an intimate name.

“Well then, that’s all I needed from you. I’m sure Quinn is pacing the floor awaiting your return, so let’s not keep him waiting.” The countess nodded slightly, and Mandy knew that was her dismissal.

“Thank you very much,” said Mandy as she stood up. Then she hastily added, “Mother.”

“You’re very welcome, Amanda.”

“So what did my mother want?” asked Quinn several minutes later when Amanda arrived in their room.

“You’re not going to believe it! She wants me to call her ‘Mother.’”

“Really?” Quinn was surprised. His mother was a kind person, but she had all the formality normal in a landed family. “She must really like you, because that was very quick.”

He sat down on a sofa and patted the cushion next to him, and Mandy came over and joined him. Then he continued. “How do you feel about it? Are you comfortable calling her ‘Mother,’ or does it conflict with how you view your own mother?”

Mandy looked at him in disbelief. “How I view my own mother?”

Mandy had a very strained relationship with her mother going back to her childhood. Her mother hadn’t been much interested in motherhood, and the problem had been exacerbated by the fact that Mandy looked just like her father, who had left when she was five. There were many ins and outs to the mother-daughter relationship, but her mother had not been invited to the wedding and, in fact, had not yet been notified of it.

Quinn made a gesture indicating that perhaps his words weren’t quite what he should have said.

“All right, I know you don’t have a close relationship, but still, I didn’t know if calling someone else ‘Mother’ would feel strange.”

“To tell you the truth, I’m not sure yet,” answered Mandy slowly. “It was just so nice of your mother to want me to call her that. I was so afraid to come to Scotland, but ever since I’ve been here, I keep getting more and more family. It’s really strange, but strange in a good way.”

Both of Mandy’s parents had been American of Scottish descent, and after she’d come to Scotland with Quinn, she’d met her father’s father—her grandfather, also an earl, for the first time. She’d had no idea of his existence, and the reunion had been a touching one. The elderly earl had been deeply moved by finally meeting the only child of his long-dead only son, and had not only walked Mandy down the aisle but had also given her an extremely valuable pearl necklace, one that had been in the Stuart family for a long time.

“You know, lass, speaking of mothers, there’s something you need to do.” Quinn reached out and took her hand.

“I know,” Mandy sighed. Now that they’d returned, she needed to let her mother know about the marriage.

“Are you going to call or write?”

“What do you think I should do?”

“Probably call her,” he suggested. “It’s more personal.”

Mandy was silent, so Quinn tried to encourage her. “Why don’t you just get it over with? If you want, I’ll sit here with you while you call.”

Mandy sighed again but got up to get her phone and then returned. She put in her mother’s number and then looked puzzled as she listened to a recording saying the number was no longer in service. She tried again but got the same result.

“Now what?” She suddenly had the same insecure feeling she’d had so often growing up. Her connection to her mother was thin in the best of times, and right now, even that seemed to have disappeared, not for the first time.

Quinn wrapped his arms around her. “Did she tell you the name of their dive shop in Maui?” Her mother and her long-term boyfriend had moved from Dallas to Maui a little over a year ago and only four months later had remembered to give the new phone number to Mandy.

“She didn’t really say. You heard that message she left.”

Quinn had indeed heard the very off-handed message her mother had left for her only child and had found it hard at the time to comprehend such a casual attitude toward one’s own daughter.

“Who else would know where she is?” he asked.

“I don’t know.” Mandy’s shoulders sagged, and she suddenly felt tired. She knew she shouldn’t let it bother her so much, but she couldn’t help it.

“Let’s not worry about it tonight,” said Quinn as he pulled her closer. “Tomorrow I’ll ask our solicitors to find her. In the meantime, this is our first night back here since our wedding, and I have a few ideas about how we can spend it.”

 

Redrabbitt on 05/24/2017 09:41pm
The story is the second in the Earl%u2019s Acceptance series and could read as a standalone but is best if it is read after The Viscount%u2019s Lessons. The story picks up with Mandy and Quinn returning from their honeymoon to settle back into life in Scotland. The story will be full of new problems, mystery, suspense, greed, angst, and trials for Quinn and Mandy. Mandy%u2019s mother has never been a loving a caring woman, only thinking of herself. She has always bashed and belittled the Stuart family.

Mandy will struggle with her new role and title, and with it, comes her responsibility to learn Scottish history, especially of the aristocracy of the various lines. At first, she enjoyed this, but now she is finding having a tutor boring. She will also be shocked at how she is treated by people because she is now a Viscountess, Lady Douglas. Nothing in her former life prepared her for her new role in life as Quinn%u2019s wife.

The plot will have Mandy%u2019s mother sending a Texas lawyer, Bobby Ray Parks, to Scotland and for the Earl and Quinn, along with Mandy%u2019s Stuart grandfather trying to deal with her greed. An heirloom set of pearls that the Earl of Dunblane gave to Mandy when she wed will become a pawn that now her mother is suing for. As Quinn tries to protect Mandy from her mother's shenanigans once again, he will find that his best intentions will come unraveled due to his sister, Maisie%u2019s interference.

Maisie and Mandy have become best friends and more like sisters, but that also lands them into trouble together. Quinn will have his hands full trying to keep these two in line, dispensing correction and advice along with protection.

The problems with this suit have affected the health of Mandy%u2019s grandfather, her own health, and it must be handled expeditiously before any more harm can come from it. With help from those in Texas, questionable practices by Parks will be unearthed and presented to him. Making a secret deal with Mandy%u2019s mother will help clear the air and hopefully heal the pain caused by her greed.

I enjoyed this page-turning story with all its secret twists and turns. There is a great cast of characters, plenty of angst, secrets, surprises and romance. The story has several spankings, including the use of a tawse, along with explicit sex scenes. I look forward to the next book in the series that should be available in June 2017, Managing Maisie%u2019s Mischief.
lillie1922 on 05/24/2017 06:37pm
I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book. Mandy and Quinn's love story continues as they return to Scotland to begin their married life. Mandy's grandfather has gifted her with a strand of pearls that starts a mystery until they figure out who wants to get them from her. Poor Quinn has to deal with both Mandy and his sister Maisy's discipline. Along with a leather strap, he manages to control the problem of two curious females in one house.
charlotte Huelsemann on 05/24/2017 10:08am
Lady Amanda%u2019s Pearls
The Earl%u2019s acceptance book two
By Laura Hart
This is the second book in this series. You do not have to buy the first one to understand or enjoy this one. It is a standalone. This story picks up at the end of Quinn%u2019 and Amanda%u2019s honey moon and carries on through her learning process. Unfortunately, Quinn is truly the head of the household and believes in domestic discipline. This story is warm and funny in places, mostly loving. I was given this Advanced Reading Copy to voluntarily review. The story is great and warm. Amanda gets into trouble more than once and earns trips a crossed her handsome husbands knee. You can feel the love when her mother tries to hurt the people she loves. Very good.
Margaret Corcoran on 05/21/2017 12:22pm
A lovely story. Very interesting! Very well written and described. Amanda and Quinn who are very much in love, begin life at Morleton. All the characters are well described and developed. There is plenty of love and sweet sexy scenes. I enjoyed reading this story. It can be read as a standalone or part of this great series. I received an ARC copy of this book and I highly recommend it.
Donna L on 05/20/2017 02:26am
This review is from: Lady Amanda's Pearls (The Earl's Acceptance Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed the continuation of Quinn and Mandy's
story.It has a good storyline that flowed well.
It's a easy book to read,and it was interesting
to read how the Scottish aristocracy lived
and the protocols they followed.The relationship
between Quinn and Mandy is touching and tender,
but Mandy still managers to find herself in deep
trouble for disobedience.Mandy was given pearls
by her grandfather.Mandy's estranged mother hires
a disreputable,Texian lawyer to lay claim to the pearls.
The book was dense with characters,action,intrigue,
secrets and forgiveness.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book.
Dyane on 05/19/2017 09:59pm
Let me begin by saying that I have not read book one but was easily able to dive right into book two. Of course, since I loved this second book, I will definitely have to go back and read the first one. This book has everything - love, humor, danger, conflict, passion. The descriptions of Scotland, its aristocracy and protocols were intriguing. The characters were rich, diverse, and complex. One of the things I love best about this novel Is how Quinn obviously adores Mandy, and continually shows and tells her. But when she deliberately places herself at risk, he enacts some serious discipline for a serious infraction. I can't wait until the next book in the series comes out. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.
Nancy Hughes on 05/18/2017 08:32pm
This was a fun read of romance, spankings, erotic sex, and a little drama. Quinn has his hands full with his sister and wife, though loves them both so much, he can't let them get away with disobeying him. Enjoy. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book.
DB on 05/18/2017 07:16pm
WOW! Another awesome book! Mandy and Quinn are now married and living with his parents until their house is finished and they get an apartment. I love that we now get to see them in their married life. Lady Amanda is taking lessons on Scottish history and Quinn's family lineage - she does not like this part of her life. She would rather be out shopping, learning to drive her new car and running around with her new sister-in-law Maisie. Maisie and Mandy are becoming fast friends and even end up getting in trouble together. This book had - the mystery of the pearls - who's after them-who's going to get them, great romance with Quinn showing Mandy how special and loved she is, spankings, the Earl's acceptance and Maisie's story coming in June! Loved it! 5 Hugh Stars!

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