Winning the Gentleman
Hearts on the Heath
Aaron Whitworth hasn't had control over most aspects of his life, but he's always taken pride in being an honorable businessman and better-than-average horseman. When both of those claims are threatened, he makes the desperate decision to hire the horse trainer of a traveling circus as a temporary jockey for his racehorses.
Sophia Fitzroy knows that most horsemen don't take her seriously because she's a woman, but she can't pass up the opportunity to get away from the tumultuous world of travel and performing. As she fights for the right to do the work she was hired for, she learns the fight for Aaron's guarded heart might be an even more worthwhile challenge.
As secrets come to light and past vulnerabilities are confronted, will Aaron and Sophia sacrifice their former dreams and forge a new one together--against all odds?
"5 Stars. Very eye opening and much appreciated."
~ Lady With a Quill
Read an Excerpt
After twenty-two years, Aaron Whitworth should have been aware of his closest friend’s idiocy. Yet it had never crossed his mind Oliver could do something so utterly foolish.
One could argue the man had saved Aaron’s sanity, if not his life, during their school days, but sometime in the years since boyhood, the heir to the Earl of Trenting had lost his mind. Befriending Aaron hadn’t been the wisest decision, though, so it was possible Oliver’s penchant for making poor choices, or at least rash ones, had always been present.
Aaron clamped his teeth together to avoid saying anything he might later regret. Yanking memories of better times to the front of his mind, he forced his voice to remain even. “You did what?”
“Accepted a challenge. That is what men of the turf do.” Oliver lifted his chin as his gaze slid from Aaron’s and dropped to the horse patiently awaiting its rider.
Aaron frowned at the reins in his hand. He’d been moments away from mounting, ready to make the ride to the Stourbridge Fair in Cambridge and approve an order of saddles one of the sellers planned to deliver after the fair.
Dawn was stabbing its first streaks of light into a clear sky. Oliver’s cook had prepared him a breakfast of cold meat, cheese, and bread to eat as he rode. Aaron’s horse, Shadow, had been energetic on the short ride from his cottage to Oliver’s stable, assuring an enjoyable journey to the next town.
The promise of the morning paled in the aftermath of his friend’s blunder.
Aaron sighed and draped Shadow’s reins over a hook on the wall of the stable. Ever since Oliver had gotten betrothed to the daughter of one of Newmarket’s prominent horse breeders, he’d been determined to participate in the interests he would one day inherit.
Starting with the racing stable.
Unfortunately, though Oliver was a solid, loyal friend, his knowledge of property and business was little more than conceptual. He seemed to know he’d made a mistake this time, even if he didn’t realize the enormity of it.
Aaron spoke slowly, weighing every word before allowing it to cross his lips. “Yes, men of the turf—and please don’t use that term again—arrange and accept challenges.” He paused. “It is customary, however, to only enter a challenge when one has a jockey to ride his horse.”
Oliver shifted his weight and cleared his throat, slowly sliding his gaze back to Aaron’s. “We don’t have a jockey?”
“Not since I fired him four days ago, no.”