This is a difficult letter to write since I have done something very foolish. Please do not think from my actions that I in any way disavowed your upbringing or teachings. I was merely not in a frame of mind at the time to consider my words.
First, it saddens me to inform you that the driver and footman you hired to accompany me and my maid on the journey to visit Sybil was killed in a carriage crash. The carriage was also destroyed in the accident.
Alice and I are unhurt, however. We met two lovely gentlemen on the road, professors at the University of Scotland, who assisted us to reach the nearest inn. Mother, you will never guess, but one of the professors is cousin to Lady Margaret’s husband, Laird Duncan McKinnon! I was quite relieved to discover that since Professor McKinnon offered—well actually I asked—his company for the remainder of the journey to Sybil’s home.
It was while traveling with the professor that my situation… changed. It appears somehow in the confusion of trying to obtain a room at an inn that was quite full, I inadvertently… Well, I accidentally…
I wish there was another way to say this. But, I unintentionally…
Mother – I am married.
A bit of history on ‘irregular marriages’ from Wikipedia:
Under early modern Scots law, there were three forms of “irregular marriage” which can be summarized as the agreement of the couple to be married and some form of witnessing or evidence of such. An irregular marriage could result from mutual agreement, by a public promise followed by consummation, or by cohabitation and repute. All but the last of these were abolished by the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1939, from 1 January 1940. Prior to this act, any citizen was able to witness a public promise… A marriage by “cohabitation with repute” as it was known in Scots Law could still be formed; popularly described as “by habit and repute”, with repute being the crucial element to be proved. In 2006, Scotland was the last European jurisdiction to abolish this old style common-law marriage or “marriage by cohabitation with repute”, by the passing of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_in_Scotland.
If you lived in the Regency period, what would you hate the most? What would you like the most? One commenter will win a $5 Amazon gift card, along with an ebook copy of the USA Today best-selling book The Elusive Wife. That book is the first in the Marriage Mart Mayhem series. If the winner has already read it, they can select any other book in the series.
About The Highlander’s Accidental Marriage
On the way to visit her twin sister in the Highlands, Lady Sarah Lacey makes a huge mistake which has the ability to change her life’s plans… Now what does she do?
Lady Sarah Lacey is on her way to the Highlands to visit her twin sister, Lady Sybil MacBride, when she meets with an accident. Stranded on the road, she encounters Professor Braeden McKinnon, traveling to his home near Sarah’s destination. She cajoles him into escorting her and her maid.
As they take to the road together, Braeden finds the fiery Lady Sarah a handful of trouble. But nothing prepares him for the words she utters in front of witnesses that binds them together in matrimony. Waiting for word that he has been selected to work on an archaeological dig in Rome, he had no intention of taking a wife for a long time. Now that she has accidentally married them, however, perhaps it would not be such a bad thing, after all.
Except Sarah has no intention of being anyone’s wife. She has other plans…
She smiled at him. “Yes. I am ready.” Without another word, she sashayed over to his horse and stood next to it, her eyebrows raised. “Well. Are we leaving?”
Professor McKinnon had to shut his mouth, which hung open. He stomped over and, grasping her waist, flung her onto the horse’s back. She immediately began to slide to the other side, the weight of the wet clothes pulling her over. He reached out and grabbed her, tugging her the other way. Her arms flailing, she slid toward him and fell off, landing on him, sending both of them into the mud.
She lay sprawled on top of his muscular body, not more than an inch from his surprised expression. Mud splattered his spectacles as well as the rest of his face. Unable to help herself, she burst out laughing. He glowered at her and then his muscles relaxed, a slight smile teasing his lips which turned into a grin. “I’d love to lie here with ye on top of me, lass, but I dinna think we’ll get very far if ye do. ’Tis not fond of an audience, I am.”
About the Author
USA Today best selling author of The Elusive Wife, Callie Hutton writes both Western Historical and Regency romance, with “historic elements and sensory details” (The Romance Reviews). Callie lives in Oklahoma with several rescue dogs, her daughter, son, daughter-in-law, twin grandbabies (thankfully all not in the same house), and her top cheerleader husband of thirty-nine years. Callie loves to hear from readers, and would welcome you as a friend on Facebook. You can contact her through her website: www.calliehutton.com.
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Stephen’s Bride, April
Wild Western Women Boxed Set, Volume 3, April
The Earl’s Return, Marriage Mart Mayhem #7, August
Wild Western Women Christmas Boxed Set, October
The Christmas Wager, Marriage Mart Mayhem novella, November
The Matchmaker Series, Book One, December