In Regency England, the independent and headstrong shipping company owner Emma Swan attracts three very different suitors: Killian Jones, a sailor; Neal Cassidy, a reckless sergeant; and Graham Hunt, a prosperous and mature bachelor. Roughly based on “Far From The Madding Crowd” by Thomas Hardy (mostly on the 2015 movie). Also on ff.net
HAPPY BIRTHDAY canwefangirl! You are amazing and I hope you have a lovely day. This is 100% for you and your fault!
She should say yes. Women like her don’t refuse offers of marriage; penniless and headstrong and unlikely to get another marriage proposal and certainly not from a handsome naval officer. As a good English girl her choice should be simple, she should say yes.
“Lieutenant Jones. I…”
The wind from the sea snatches at her hair and whips her long skirts. She stares at his chest, at the white starch of his vest and the bright blue of his coat. She barely knows him. They had met only a month ago. He had arrived in his uniform at the tiny seaside cottage she shared with her Aunt Ruby with her scarf in his hand. He had somehow found it and known it was hers despite her having lost it while rambling the coastal cliffs far from the house. Emma had thought him handsome and kind and when he asked to escort her to the market she had agreed. Then he kept coming back. He would help her collect clams in the tidewater or keep her company as she scrubbed clothes in the washbasin or prepared a meager dinner. He was on shore leave and Emma assumed he had no better way to spend his time. She was too poor for him to consider her worthy of marriage and he seemed uninterested in a simple dalliance. Being with him was comfortable and she felt they were friends despite her aunt’s knowing smiles.
He was to set sail soon and had arrived that morning dressed smartly and carrying a gift under his right arm. She had smiled and thanked him, never dreaming that the ship in a bottle was a precursor to his proposal. But he had proposed and now was waiting for her answer.
She should say yes.
“I have nothing to offer you,” she whispers.
“I don’t need a dowry. I will take care of you. I won’t be a Lieutenant forever, Emma.” At the sound of her name she looks up into his eyes and sees the depth of emotion there. "Liam is already a Captain and I plan to follow him. When I have my own ship you can sail with me. You can see the world just like you dreamed.“